The absolute worst experience of my trip happened today. I really can not even say when I last experienced something so awful, so vile, so wrong when dealing with other human beings. Just know that I currently want to shove seven aging, disgusting white males through a wood chipper, and I must say that I feel this action would be totally justifiable.
Yes, it was that bad.
Lets see, the day started out just fine. Like I has planned, I got up and made my way over to ride the Death Railroad to try and remotely experience where over 100,000 POWs died constructing a railroad through an unimaginable hell of a terrain. Pure and simple, they were used a slave labor and died at an epic clip. And after visiting the Death Railway Museum, I can honestly say I have a new found appreciation for just how evil mid 20th century Japan was. Horrifying….
But I rode the train north and had nothing but a somberly enjoyable time. Many of the views were as astonishing and I just kept struggling to comprehend how any one was able to cut a railroad into such impassable terrain. Acknowledging the ominous evilness prevalent in the construction, I have to also say the Japanese had some amazing engineers to get this designed, constructed and running in a little over a year.
It was the ride back where things went sour and makes me seriously question my new found respect and growing compassion for humanity. The first few stops were totally uneventful outside the fact the train was late. It was not until a large group of seven white wealthy, at least in appearance, male tourists got on that everything changed. They were amazingly lewd and crude, to put it kindly. The main point of conversation was how they wanted to find and fuck young Thai girls. Somehow they thought discussing this very loudly was totally cool on a train populated mostly by Thais.
As if on cue, the next stop an entire class of school girls got on the train. We are talking 10-14 yr olds here. The comments got worse. Far worse. What were once hypothetical girls became “that one,” as they continued to discuss whey they wanted to do to “these Thai girls.”
This is where it finally hits me that I am on a train w/ a tourist group of freaking pedophiles, complete with a minder/guide who does absolutely nothing about their reprehensible behavior. They seem to have boarded the train expecting to troll for underage girls. And this is where I get closer and closer to being physically sick. All the while, I am thinking these are the grossest most lecherous men I’ve ever come across.
I close my eyes and imagine them getting shot. It does nothing to make the situation better. But I fail to do anything, say anything, because — that most horrible of thought impulses runs though me: “It’s none of my business”.
These fellow males, yes somehow not only are we the same gender, but also species, kept learing and spewing bile and filth and amazingly some of the girls are visiably uncomfortable. And I just look out the window at the trees and plants moving by ever so quickly, trying to ignore that all this is happening 4 meters away from me. I feel AWFUL. But I am impotent to act.
I am a coward.
I just want the train ride to end. The car feels like a prison. And I am just a bystander. Think how the girls must feel. I do, yet, still do nothing. I shreak my responsiblity to my fellow humans to ensure the world is decent.
Finally one of these god awful human beings moves over to talk to two of the girls. I see the cowering fear in their eyes. They are no more than 13 years old. This so beyond not right. And finally I plough though my impotence. And I tell firmly say to this horrible human being to stop. I wish I was recording what I said, as I sort of dropped out of time and space when I began to talk. It was terrifying. But I stood up and told him to stop. To these girls alone. To leave girls alone.
I continued to exclaim what type of horrendous people they were. And this is where it gets ugly. There are seven of them and one of me. They do not enjoy being called lecherous assholes. They certainly do not like to be called pedophiles. They begin talking over my words about how I am “out of my league”, “don’t understand the culture” and how it appears I need a good ass kicking.
By now I am standing in the aisle of the train between the two girls and this gang of bastards. I see that the rest of the car seems rather empty and my fear escapes as my speech is nothing but trembling stutters. All the same I move towards them to ensure the girls who were being harassed are out of the way. I am pretty sure I am shaking. My cane: the only thing holding me up.
And as things get ugly, the conductor comes in and stops what ever was about to occur. I am moved to the front of the car, they to the back. I am told I will “still get mine” as this is “not over.” So I sit in the front row, directly opposite the girls who were harassed and I am near epileptic in my shaking and tears roll down my face. And I am not sure if I was crying due to fear, my utter hatred for humanity at that moment, or that it took me so long to react and do the right thing. I look over at them and they clearly are avoiding looking at me. I have created a scene, called attention to them, something of a faux pas in their culture.
I want to tell them that they need to learn how to kick the junk off these type of assholes. I want to tell them how what happened was seriously not okay. But I really do not want to embarrass them anymore. Their day has been ruined enough. Though it easily could have been much worse. I just hope they do not obtain permanent scars from this. I hope this has never happened before and never happens again.
They got off one or two stops later. In fact all the school girls had exited the car. The assholes remained though. I kept staring outside all the while wishing their heads would explode a’la Scanners. And then if on cue, as they knew all the girls would be gone, at the next stop they all got off and went to a tourist minibus. Off into the wilds of Thailand to perform more criminal activity no doubt. Bloody crap…
Thailand is sadly known for its sex tourism and that includes catering to pedophiles it seems. Call me culturally insensitive all you want but the age of consent here is 15, and that I am sorry to say is FUCKED. TOTALLY, WHOLLY, RIDICULOUSLY, FUCKED.
I also know that if I did anything, I helped two girls for one day. This shit does not happen in a vacuum. I should never have had to get involved as this should NEVER happen, but it does all the time. And clearly, the girls should never have to worry about a gaggle of aggressive men seeking to use them in horrific ways. But again, should and reality do not meet.
I really have no idea what more to say. I started this last night when I returned to my hotel after it happened, still shaking like a junkie waiting on a fix. I had to stop as I could not keep reliving it and continue being a decent human being. So I meditated to try and access peace. It took nearly an hour to be able to shut off my brain, but am I glad I have this practice in my life or I would still be a steaming bowl of anger right now. Not the person who contacted officials of two countries today to report the criminal activity I saw. But I know full well this will likely lead nowhere. But if there is a chance these assholes are caught, I will assist anyway I can.
Also, sorry for any typos, errors, etc, I have decided to not reread this before publishing, as I just can not go over it all one more time right now.