Tuesday, October 12, 2004

During my college days, studying behavioral health, I remember study sessions where we discussed people's boundaries....

You know, that "invisible bubble" of space a person has that is their so-called comfort zone in relation to other people around them. We studied the possible reasons why people have "big" or "little" bubbles and the differences in comfort zones involving different cultures, religions and mores.

Yada, yada, yada...

Well, as you can probably guess....Asian people, in relation to interacting with westerners, are supposed to have pretty small bubbles.

Not so today, on my songthaew ride to Hatyai!


Here I sat in this crowded songthaew, people pressed against one another...but the skinny-yet-goodlooking woman to my right, although she had plenty of space, was practically in my lap. She had a young child on her knee, maybe one - two years of age and she was trying to balance baby-on-knee as she was also trying to change cell phone batteries between two different mobile phones in her carry-on bag,

She kept losing her balance, grasping at the baby on her knee, while trying to juggle these two cell phones in her other hand. Her husband sat across from us, but he had his hands full with a rambuctious three year old.

Finally, (and much to my surprise) she simply grabbed baby and plopped him into my lap, thus freeing herself of her burden so she could attend to more important matters.

Naturally (instinctively?) I held the baby, who seemed perfectly happy to be on my lap. He cooed and cawed (ahhhh, you know what I mean!) at me and gripped my shirt with both hands while looking into my eyes.

I looked up and caught the eye of an elderly Thai lady across from me, who just smiled knowingly, like she knew that life, as it was at that moment, was perfect in it's own sense. I, however, did not share this feeling, and only looked at her emploringly as if saying, "Would you PLEASE offer to take this kid?" But, she didn't seem to catch the telepathic message.

Suddenly, the skinny mother, now finished with her task, turned to me, smiled, and took her baby back into her arms, kissing him on the head and plopping him back onto her knee in one smooth swoop.

Minutes later we arrived at her and her husbands departure point and once they disembarked, she turned around once and gave me this quick, almost imperceptible wink.....

Which of course totally made my day.



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