Friday, December 31, 2004


When I was in Morocco, I noticed that my comfort as a Westerner was far more important to many local authorities than their own people. At least one report suggests this is true in Thailand, as well, even in the face of tragedy:

"While foreign survivors of the ocean's onslaught were put up in an international school complete with beds, TVs and Internet connections, Thais from a devastated fishing village slept outside, many without blankets, burning wood to keep warm and keep mosquitos at bay.

"The locals said Friday that they are torn between wanting to help the foreigners, who are the lifeblood of the area's economy, and getting what they can from the relief effort.

"'No one came to help, we just helped each other out,' said 65-year-old Yokhin Chuaynui, whose home in Ban Nam Khem was destroyed. 'When injured Thais went to the hospital, if they weren't about to die they helped the Westerners first.'"


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