Today, I decided to take a Mexican Food Adventure. Recently, I go to The Mexican, which is a restaurant (new as of June) in Patong. Pretty easy to get to on the Phuket-Patong bus, and the prices aren’t too bad.
However, there is another Mexican restaurant, Sala Mexicali, which is a bit older… but I haven’t been going to since a bit before The Mexican opened because it’s NOT so easy to get to. It takes hopping a Route 2 bus into Phuket Town, hitting the terminal, grabbing one of the TINY (and I do mean TINY) Phuket-Chalong-Rawai buses to the Chalong Circle. About the same price, travel wise, but a little bit more convoluted because my sense of direction is crap, and I always get turned around in town.
With only a little problem (got off the bus at the wrong “terminal”), I was able to catch the Chalong bus. Which was PACKED. If you’ve not been to Thailand on one of their “buses”, it’s a lot like living in a rural area and riding in the back of an old pickup truck. Sometimes it fills up and you end up hanging on the back, so that everyone can fit.
I got to the place with few problems (got off too early and had to walk a bit… it was REALLY hot, y’all), and had a really super tasty lunch of chicken burritos.
They were fabulous. Sooo fabulous. That – my only mission – complete, I headed home. The ride back to Phuket Town had me straddling the middle bench (this was a slightly larger “bus”, so it had a bench), but it cleared out pretty quickly and soon me and one other person had it to ourselves. Pretty plush.
After I hopped off at the terminal in town, I got turned around walking for bus route 2 on the way back home. Ended up in a little residential alley. There was this group of kids about 4ish to 9ish (they were all pretty small, is what I’m saying) playing in the street.
Boys and girls. Some had hijabs, some did not. Some were on bikes, some were getting out badminton stuff. Some of the kids on bikes were trying to do tricks, they were mostly bad, but one of the older boys (or at least bigger boys) could almost pop a wheelie. He got the front wheel about two inches off the ground. Pretty impressive for someone his size. They were giggling and happy.
Not separated into genders. They didn’t seem to be separated into religions. (The hijabs on some of the girls, Muslim, but some girls had none and I saw a few Buddhist icons in cars on the street.) But they were all happy and playing together. The point I’m making here is that kids don’t really naturally hate other kids. Generally, if they’re encouraged to, they are fine playing with people who are a bit different. And kids on one side of the planet aren’t all that different from kids on the other side of the planet (kids here play on smart phones and ipads in restaurants, too).
When I was little, living in the country, my brother and I had two groups of close kid neighboors. Next door were two black boys about my age, who we would have hoola hoop competitions with after school. There were also two Hispanic girls close by, as well, who were about my age and went to church with us. It was harder to get to them (we had to go around a cow ranch to get there), but we still hung out.
My uncle on the other side of us still used the “N” word. My grandparents (other side of the family) freaked out a bit when their daughter, my aunt, married a Hispanic guy. My cousin had a biracial baby? Oh, they love her now, no question. Adore her like crazy. But there were a few people who said a few bad words when the news first came out.
Maybe if adults stopped being such jerks, younger generations could work some of our crap out. Maybe if older generations would stop shitting on younger generations, calling them lazy and stupid, re-enforcing how much people with the SLIGHTEST difference are completely alien and to be distrusted, those kids might grow up to be a little better than we are.
Or maybe not. Maybe we hit puberty and choose to hate folks no matter what. Jealousy and possessive greed are pretty natural, been with us since we’ve been around. Maybe hatred is unavoidable. But DAMN, you watch something like that for just a few minutes and wonder why, in such a short number of years, those kids are going to be assholes like the rest of us.