Sometimes I wonder about people and their sense of decency. Seeing people not really care about what others are going through and just focus on their wants and needs makes me wonder how they would feel if the tables were turned. How would they feel if someone else did the same thoughtless thing to them? Would they accept it? Would they move on and just shrug their shoulders? Or would they be ticked off and feel angry?
On the way back from Koh Tao and while we were waiting in line with 2 big bags, a heavy carry on, two back packs, and two children in tow, the sky opened up and down came a wall of rain.... tropical rain... heavy... one where you would be soaked to your underwear in a matter of seconds. As we walked towards the ferry, that would transport us to the main land in 1.5 hours, we could barely see in front of us. I was carrying my daughter, my back pack and dragging the heavy carry on and watching out for my son, while my husband was carrying all the other bags.
Everybody was in the same boat maybe minus a few bags or children, but they were soaking wet. We finally reached the ferry and when we went in, we were faced with utter chaos... people trying to find a place to sit, people trying to place their bags on a mountain of others... it was just crazy!
In the midst of it all, I spotted a place to sit with my daughter... when I approached the row of three seats, I saw a young man sitting in the middle seat with two bags on either side of him. I asked him if the bags were his or if he had some friends coming? He barely paid attention to me... I asked him again politely, and he informed me that he had friends coming.
Ten minutes passed... after finding dry clothes for my kids, and when I still had no seat yet, I went to him, still carrying my back pack and my daughter and asked him again where his friends were...
He looked at me and gave me the cold shoulder.... I nearly killed him with my eyes then... but I kept my cool and asked him if he saw the chaos around him and how people cannot find a place to park themselves... he just ignored me. I thought that maybe he did not speak English... but then I remembered that he told me about his friends... so no, I was wrong... he did speak English but he chose to ignore and close his eye pretending to fall asleep.
A Thai staff member saw what was going on, ushered me to a seat and then went back to him. Thai people are extremely tolerant and accepting and sometimes I think that single travelers like this man take advantage of that. They take advantage of the fact that the Thai people do not like confrontation and so they could get away with murder if they wanted to. But due to the state of the ferry, the staff member had to intervene this time. Their conversation went on for minutes... he then gave up one of his seats... the aisle seat.
But guess what... no one wanted to sit next to him... there was a young traveler at the back of the room who was sitting on a stool. I spoke to him, as I was trying to get my displaced bag, and told him that there was a seat next to that man over there. He told me that he did not want to sit next to someone who would not give up his seat for a mother and daughter. He had watched it all.
I should not wonder at people who behave in such a way... I should feel sorry for them... because they are loners. This traveler was alone... he had no friends as he made us believe he had... he walked alone, traveled alone... no one wanted to sit next to him....talk to him... people who have no common decency and who thought of their own convenience and comfort, will always be loners and I feel sorry for them. Other travelers on the ferry who were with friends or family offered their help. to others... asked if anyone wanted to switch seats so that a family would be together, smiled and made small talk... but this guy... he was alone... and I really felt sorry for him.