A memorable facet of our trip to sample the culture of Thailand were our visits to the outdoor night markets. One particular small market we visited was an eye-opening experience to say the least.
The market took place on a piece of waste ground where some large marquees were erected. The market was crowded with people, both visitors to the island and many local people.The atmosphere of this colourful market was wonderful to experience and we happily wandered around bartering for our purchases.One reaction to our visit was my resolution never to be tempted to buy street food abroad ever again.
I had received some highly desirable tickets for a high level Science show at the college theatre. A well known expert in Entomology, Professor Deacon, was to expound his theories of a newly discovered strain of highly intelligent insects.
I was seated at home reading up on the background of extra-terrestrial insect life and I almost forgot the show completely.
I dressed in a hurry and quickly called a taxi to take me to the college theatre. I arranged for the driver to collect me in a couple of hours.
The performance was in full swing and I was soon waiting outside in the foyer during the first half.
At the interval, I made my way to the box office to explain my situation.
Suddenly an overweight man dressed in an evening suit with a large red polka dot tie, pushed his way forward. He had a black moustache, and thick black sideburns, on his moon-shaped face, topped by a shiny hairless head.
With an extremely loud, aggressive manner, he said.
‘She’s next if I come back and anyone’s inside, there will be trouble.’
He then pointed towards a young lady standing at the back of the queue. The young lady was a teenager, roughly 19 years old, wearing a loud pink blouse and blue torn jeans. She had long blonde, shoulder-length hair, and her face was conspicuous by some bright red lipstick that she had thickly plastered on her mouth.
I stepped back from the ticket window and glared at him, risking his open, high, alcohol-fueled, aggression.
At this point, the young lady stepped forward and said,
Leave it alone, Dad! You’re upsetting me, please take me home.’
With that, they both made to leave the theatre which seemed to be full to bursting point. I had almost given up hope of ever getting to the front of the queue when another intimidating aggressive man yelled from behind me in the queue.
‘Are you coming back?’
There was a scuffle as the man with the polka dot tie turned back and grabbed the questioner by the throat and said, ‘Mind your own bloody business.’
Then he quickly left the theatre with his daughter.
With an embarrassed shrug of his broad shoulders the second man, who had a shaved head and an earring in his left ear. just glared and took his place back in the queue.
Frustratingly there was no movement for ages and by the time the interval was nearly over an usherette appeared.
l explained the situation to her quoting the Science department and I was instantly shown to a seat for the rest of the performance.
During the second half musing on this frustrating, unnecessary aggression, I wondered if there were mirrors of unnecessary aggressive behaviour such as this in the insect world. Perhaps the difference between a thoughtless, robotic, zombie-like creature and man is accentuated by an unfortunate side effect of egotistic aggression.