Saturday, December 26, 2009

Moral dilemmas

I saw the part of Asia that I never saw before. I grew up amongst bougainvilleas, hawker food, night markets and baseball played with a 2x4.

I was the first in line to vote for seeing ping pong in Bangkok. Sure, it's always been funny in pop culture. The thought of seeing someone project a ping pong ball from their va-jay-jay seemed high-la-ri-ous.

Until I stepped in. There's someone in there who could be my sister. And my mother. Even my grandmother. *
That one*, she could be my brother!

It's not just that which makes it less funny. It's not funny at all. Women shouldn't honk horns, draw "Welcome!" signs, shoot darts out of their va-jay-jay. How the hell do you even find out you can do those sort of things? So yeah, it's really depressing to watch. It's depressing to watch the 50-something year old beer-bellied white guy with a wedding ring on, get a blow job just a meter away behind us. It's disgusting to watch him rub his face into a girl's muff just because he can.

But... what other choice is there?

I'm in the Russian markets in Phnom Penh...
(My Ma: "Why do they call it Russian markets? I didn't see any Russians..."
Me: "Maaaa, I told you, a lot of foreigners used to live here. The foreigners were mainly RUSSIAN and they use to come here all the time!").

Me: "I'd love to buy that for our niece, but it's probably made by a kid our niece's age."
My brother: "SO? Would you rather our niece prostitute herself? It's either work in a sweatshop or sell yourself for sex."

Me: "So what sort of power plant are you building? Nu-cu-lear?"
My brother: "Nope. Coal."
Me: "Wtf? What happened to green and global warming? Coal is filthy!"
My brother: "They can't afford it. It's coal or the people die. What do you want? Do you want them to die?"

My brother: "That's the prime minister's house. It took three years to build."
Me: "That's a freaking mansion!!! Wtf, there are people sleeping on the streets outside his house."
My brother: "Yup."

That's the side of Asia I never saw growing up. We were poor, but we weren't dirt poor. We were corrupt, but we weren't *that* corrupt that teachers and doctors had to be paid to do their jobs. Corruptness to the point where NGO's could pay for penthouses for self, spare apartments for storage and visiting friends.

A middle-aged guy sat next to me on the plane from Bangkok to Singapore. I eavesdropped as he told the lady on the other side he'd been to Pattaya, Bangkok, Hua Hin, etc. My first thought - You sleazy bastard. Wtf is someone your age doing travelling alone in Thailand?

I perpetuated. It doesn't make me sleep easy.

Beauty really is skin deep.

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