It starts when they assign you to the bus you are supposed to sit it. For the next 320 km you are either part of an atomised microbus community where noone hardly ever gets in touch with each other; or you find yourself amidst a singing and laughing group of hard working Philippinos. The choice is not really yours – its determined by your skin color or maybe better to say by you being of non-Asian origin. That’s what the thai word farang means literally. It’s also synonymous for hords of drunken neocolonialists from western countries, who claim thailand to be theirs – in one way or another.
I am currently on a visa run to Cambodia. Being German I am only granted a 30 day tourist visa on arrival and only 15 days when crossing a land border in Thailand. This organized tour begins at Tesco Lotus – one of Thailand’s biggest slave-industry supermarket – Thailand’s Walmart.
When departing the operator groups participants into western foreigners and filipino / malaysian. It was only once that I was lucky enough to go with the filipino bus because the other one was already full.
The experience I made was completely different – everyone was talking, laughing, singing and there was quite a sense of community in that little bus. Whenever someone brought food after a stop we all shared it – and we had some sort of group conversation, very much family like. I felt at home.
Right now I am sitting in a ‘western bus’ and we are all fully engaged in our electronic ativities – ipads, notebooks and kindles.
What is it that makes such a profound difference here?
Is it our education? the way we are socialised to not care ?
or have we just lost any sense of what it feels like to be one human family – all part of the same consciousness — all made of love as a divine family and children of god?