Sunday, January 06, 2008

More comparisons

Bryan flew into Bangkok from a 16-month stay in a west Kenyan village, so it was not surprising that he suffered a bout of extreme culture shock. I made a list of all the things he marveled at as wonders he'd forgotten about:

*air conditioning
*street lights that work
*bridges, overpasses, civil engineering in general
*municipal workers -- actually working
*fat dogs
*clocks that work, posted schedules adhered to
*buses carrying fewer than 31 people
*tiled walls

In fact, he found, even the poverty in Thailand was of a grade above African despair. The hilltop villages and city street people were more organized and in better shape. It was sad.

It turned out lucky for Bryan that he was with us. The Kenyan elections devolved into charges of fraud, protest and riot.He watched his home village burning on CNN and BBC. The Peace Corps deemed it unsafe for him to return as planned and he is waiting out the return of order in Mikey's Thai village as the rest of us flew home.

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