August 31, 2012

Nonchalance, Thoughtlessness or Stupidity?

Bangkok is generally known for not being sufficiently accessible for people with reduced mobility or other disabilities.  The streets and pavements are uneven. Few buildings and public transportation system provide ramps and handrails to aid disabled access.  The Sky Train (BTS) is one of the worst culprits in my opinion as they just don’t make sense. Build on two levels – ticketing on the lower, and trains on the upper, it makes access a challenge for those in wheelchairs; especially when there is only ONE escalator going up , not to mention the sheer number of steep flight of steps one has to access for those who needs to go down to the lower level! (NO escalator going down!)
That being said, it is of no surprise that moving around the city can be extremely difficult not only for disabled people, but also for parents who need to tot their kids in a stroller. (This is why baby wearingbecomes a much better alternative)
While the city has been designed as such, the display of thoughtlessness amongst the very abled Bangkok residents can be appalling. For a culture that raves compassion, kindness and empathy, I cannot seem to understand why some people choose to look the other way. Take this incident which happened to us recently:
Silver Bullet was wearing a sleeping Spud and I was carrying a backpack while pushing a stroller with a sleeping Squirt in it. Between the both of us, we struggled to get the stroller up and down several flights of steps to get to where we want to be;  yet, people around us choose to pass by us as if we are inconveniencing them or they pretend that they did not see us and walked on by. Rarely would people be offering us any help.

What baffled me though was that on this particular flight of steps connecting the BTS walkway to a shopping mall, there stood a person trying to distribute her flyers to anyone who passed by her to get to the entrance of the mall. She literally was standing on a platform between 2 flights of steps, and actually saw both Silver Bullet and me struggling to carry the stroller up.

Guess what she did when we took a small breather before getting on to the second flight of steps? Instead of offering some help, with a poker face, she just handed us one of the flyers which she was distributing! Last I checked, she wasn’t blind!

That really riled me up and really was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.  I was so mad that I exclaimed loudly, “Are you stupid?!”
Excuse my rant here or the lack of consideration for calling people names, but really, times like that makes me wonder if that was just sheer nonchalance, thoughtlessness or plain stupidity.

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