Sunday, February 10, 2013

Farang in a Thai world!

On the way home from church, we saw a motorcycle accident, so we pulled over. Now this is a new concept to me. In India, the LAST thing you would do is pull over. To do so would be to say "This accident was my fault, I will pay". 
But pull over we did. I have my first aid and have had plenty of opportunities to use it, but Im by no means a pro. Well, in Thailand, it doesn't matter. Something is better than nothing! I am introduced as a nurse and quickly look the guy over. The front of the motorbike is completely destroyed. Its obvious that he hit the concrete median at a high speed. I quickly check his pulse and breathing and see that he is conscious. I ask them to translate for me as I ask questions. I am shocked to see that he is barely bleeding and has no obvious external injuries. While Im pretty sure a few ribs were broken, his lungs sounded good and he didn't seem to have a head injury. I was flabbergasted, by all accounts, his legs should have been broken, and probably his arm too! But nope, none obviously broken! As I was checking him, I hear the distinct "click" of a camera and, sure enough, upon looking up, I see others taking pictures of me. 
Can it be? A white, blond "nurse" comes around to make sure this man isn't dying, and yes, lets take a picture! 
I can only imagine where those pictures will turn up! 
While I can see the humour in this, especially now, my first thought was "Are you kidding me?! This man has just been in a serious accident and you are concerned with taking a picture of a farang?!" (Farang means foreigner) 
Mind you, I was wearing mascara so I did look exceptionally good! 

I heard the ambulance coming and, because I knew I couldn't do anything more for this man,  decided to leave before more people showed up. I didn't want them payed more attention to me than to the injured man. 
Life is funny. Andrew and I, because of our hair and skin, are noticed frequently here. Andrew especially, because of his height (and chiselled good looks!)
 Its not that we mind (although we certainly tire of it sometimes!) it just makes me sad. We are no more special than any of the people we encounter, but sometimes are treated as if we are!  
When I walk into the local market here, the shift in attention is almost audible. Its especially bad if I have one of the kids with me. 
I also wonder, when we are back in Canada, will it be strange not to be noticed? I certainly don't revel in it, but I am used to it by now. 
I guess all this to say, Im glad I was trained in first aid and I have frequently debated dying my hair black!
Don't worry mom's, I wont! Im not really into the vampire look!

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