Monday, November 25, 2013

Culture matters

It's only when you travel that you realise the importance of getting lost and finding yourself. Those who indeed travel—not just fly around—know what i'm talking about. I happened to visit Thailand last week. Not the entire country, just two cities to be precise. Bangkok was fastidious and Pattaya, avid. What connected both of them was the civic sense so prevalent amongst Thais. The stuff they do to English could be the worst form of torture but it's worth accepting that they know how to keep the tourists in. How they manage to do that despite their allergy to Angrezi is mind boggling? Oh wait, it's the cheap(er) currency. And during my stay, i couldn't help notice how their cities are so well-planned and maintained. Vehicles wait for you to cross the street first. Honking is a rare phenomenon there. Unlike ours, their footpaths are meant for walking and people don't litter. For a country filled with Sanskrit titles, it was nothing less than a surprise. I was expecting a few lapses in infrastructure but i was utterly disappointed. Throughout my stay, i couldn't locate a single pothole. Compare that to Mumbai where all roads lead to huge ugly craters. It's depressing, actually. A nation that was struggling not so long ago is now doing so well for itself. They have their share of problems—the ongoing anti-government protests being the least of them—but at least they are working towards finding a solution. In retrospect, our sexagenarian independence seems like a series of lost opportunities. On top of that, we haven't been lucky enough to find ourselves yet either.

No comments: