23 September 2008

Would anyone help?

Yesterday, the kids and I were wandering aimlessly through Chatuchak Weekend Market. (In reality, we were just a bit lost. But, that's beside the point of this tale!) Nearing the end of our wanderings and preparing to head back to the underground for a return trip home, we took a break by one of the ice distributors stands. The market is open air, hot and humid. So, in order to keep various foods from spoiling and drinks worth drinking, ice is delivered regularly to the market's vendors. The deliveries are made by about a half dozen young Thai men, pushing hand trucks loaded to the top with giant bags of the cool stuff.

We spent a few minutes people watching and F enjoyed noting the "giiiiiiaaaaannnnnnttt" stacks of heavy bags of ice. Market goers strolled by with their own bags full of purchased items, eating various snacks and enjoying their day in the heat. One minute later, we heard a giant crash. A hand truck full of ice was on the ground and on top of one of the young delivery workers. He was buried under the stack after it fell backwards on top of him. 

I only had time to blink and like ants on an ant hill, several dozen passerbyers were already digging the man out. Bags of purchased items were abandoned in the market's "street," food was literally thrown aside and the entire bustle of the market focused in on helping a fellow human being. The man was out from the bags in seconds and appeared, other than being a bit embarrassed, to be alright.

Watching such a natural reflex that the the Thai people exhibited in rushing to a stranger's aide made me sadly recall a news story I read a few months before leaving for Thailand. As captured on a DMV camera, a person was hit by a driver, who fled the scene, and laid in the street for 14 minutes before anyone stopped to offer help. The camera's view showed cars and motorcycles slowing and driving around the person in need of help. The camera also caught many pedestrians gathering on the sidewalk to watch. When some of the pedestrians were asked later why they didn't offer help, several said that they either thought it was a prank or were scared that the person was trying to pull a scam.


Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 13:
Thai Whipped Milk
A new favorite of my kids when visiting the weekend market. A cooling special treat!

Add the following ingredients to a blender and process until smooth:
1 cup of milk
1 cup of fresh fruit
1/2 cup of ice

Pour into a tall cup, serve with a generous amount of whipping cream, topped with sprinkles and a cherry. Spike with two straws and share with a good friend (or, in the case of my kids, head to head with a favorite sibling!).

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