Friday, September 14, 2012

The beggar with a bike - Pattaya, Thailand

In Pattaya there is a beggar with a run-down bicycle and a lot of plastic bags hanging from the handlebar, where he stores all his belonging. He must be used to fight for the meager space that he normally enjoys, little by little, with caution. You can tell by the way he's crossing the road right now, for instance. If he just waited on the curb nobody would stop for him. On the other hand if he acted with haste he would be punished, scolded, maybe even run over. That's why he advances with short leaps, stopping often to make sure that those who are driving the cars have acknowledged his presence and intention, while his lips relentlessly bring out a sad mantra, apologetic and reverent, a prayer that escapes his mouth almost as if he didn't even notice it. Is he apologizing for crossing the road? Or because he exists? Maybe he is thanking everybody for not having knocked him down (yet). Come to think of it, though, it might not mean anything at all: his jaw only fueled by the twitching of one who has already lost all his teeth.

Photo by {e u g e n e} (CC)

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