2 May 2013

Phnom Penh Pensioner

This elderly, all-but blind lady, emerged from Wat Sansam Kosal in Phnom Penh, Wednesday morning. With stick in hand, moving slowly she readied to cross a busy intersection.

She thrust out her stick to indicate she was about to cross and without waiting walked out into the traffic. A motorcyclist squealed to a halt to avoid hitting her. Another motorcyclist cracked into the back of the first.

Both drivers looked at each other and then the old lady and quickly summed up the situation. Then, without a word, and without inspecting the damage and apportioning blame, they both drove on.

It's difficult to imagine such a reaction in a western city. More likely the old lady would get a mouthful of abuse. And the two drivers would get into a heated argument as to who should pay for the damage.

The old lady continued, oblivious, down the street; cars, trucks, and cyclists carefully avoiding her to make sure she got safely to where she was going.

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