Was it enough? ( +protocols)

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Dangerous Dave
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Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by Dangerous Dave » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:53 pm

So, a few minutes ago on my walk back from feeding the cat colony, I saw a little boy on the back of a motor scooter get the cuff of his pants caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. He got yanked off and conked his head on the pavement and then, it developed, his foot and ankle were caught between the wheel and the muffler, which was burning him.

A bunch of us ran over and helped -- which amounted to wrenching the poor little guy's leg through the gap, since it was either that or let him burn. He doesn't have any broken bones (I've seen and heard little kids with broken bones) but he's all road-rashed up, plus the bump on his head, plus a cut on his elbow and the obvious foot-and-ankle injury, which is probably first degree burns and a bad sprain, maybe a little more.

Without really thinking (we were all pretty much acting on stress-autopilot), I gave his mom $50, for which she and the boy said thank you in English while about a half-dozen other people yelled "DOCTOR!" at them for a few seconds before they drove away. Afterward I realized that the reach for a $50 was more or less reflexive, and that there were other notes in there including a couple of hundreds.

This is the first time I've had to directly confront what might be called the "poverty tourism" angle of being a comparatively well-to-do barang in Phnom Penh and it was, and is, upsetting to say the least. So I have a two-part question:

1) Was it culturally and sociologically the right thing to do to give the boy's mom cash, and,
2) Was $50 more or less the right amount, or am I a schmuck because I could have given her more?

I'm not trolling for any particular response, please don't think: If I made a mess of this, I *genuinely* want to know.
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Duncan
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by Duncan » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:56 pm

Dangerous Dave wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:53 pm
So, a few minutes ago on my walk back from feeding the cat colony, I saw a little boy on the back of a motor scooter get the cuff of his pants caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. He got yanked off and conked his head on the pavement and then, it developed, his foot and ankle were caught between the wheel and the muffler, which was burning him.

A bunch of us ran over and helped -- which amounted to wrenching the poor little guy's leg through the gap, since it was either that or let him burn. He doesn't have any broken bones (I've seen and heard little kids with broken bones) but he's all road-rashed up, plus the bump on his head, plus a cut on his elbow and the obvious foot-and-ankle injury, which is probably first degree burns and a bad sprain, maybe a little more.

Without really thinking (we were all pretty much acting on stress-autopilot), I gave his mom $50, for which she and the boy said thank you in English while about a half-dozen other people yelled "DOCTOR!" at them for a few seconds before they drove away. Afterward I realized that the reach for a $50 was more or less reflexive, and that there were other notes in there including a couple of hundreds.

This is the first time I've had to directly confront what might be called the "poverty tourism" angle of being a comparatively well-to-do barang in Phnom Penh and it was, and is, upsetting to say the least. So I have a two-part question:

1) Was it culturally and sociologically the right thing to do to give the boy's mom cash, and,
2) Was $50 more or less the right amount, or am I a schmuck because I could have given her more?

I'm not trolling for any particular response, please don't think: If I made a mess of this, I *genuinely* want to know.


Dont worry about it,, It's only money and you will soon replace it with a lot more,,,, even if it takes a few years.
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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John Bingham
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by John Bingham » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:50 pm

Dangerous Dave wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:53 pm

This is the first time I've had to directly confront what might be called the "poverty tourism" angle of being a comparatively well-to-do barang in Phnom Penh and it was, and is, upsetting to say the least. So I have a two-part question:

1) Was it culturally and sociologically the right thing to do to give the boy's mom cash, and,
2) Was $50 more or less the right amount, or am I a schmuck because I could have given her more?


I'm not sure why you assumed these people were in poverty. Either way it was a very kind gesture, $50 would certainly help in getting some medical attentions and dressings/ pain killers etc, so don't get cut up about it.
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:02 pm

Dangerous Dave wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:53 pm
So, a few minutes ago on my walk back from feeding the cat colony, I saw a little boy on the back of a motor scooter get the cuff of his pants caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. He got yanked off and conked his head on the pavement and then, it developed, his foot and ankle were caught between the wheel and the muffler, which was burning him.

A bunch of us ran over and helped -- which amounted to wrenching the poor little guy's leg through the gap, since it was either that or let him burn. He doesn't have any broken bones (I've seen and heard little kids with broken bones) but he's all road-rashed up, plus the bump on his head, plus a cut on his elbow and the obvious foot-and-ankle injury, which is probably first degree burns and a bad sprain, maybe a little more.

Without really thinking (we were all pretty much acting on stress-autopilot), I gave his mom $50, for which she and the boy said thank you in English while about a half-dozen other people yelled "DOCTOR!" at them for a few seconds before they drove away. Afterward I realized that the reach for a $50 was more or less reflexive, and that there were other notes in there including a couple of hundreds.

This is the first time I've had to directly confront what might be called the "poverty tourism" angle of being a comparatively well-to-do barang in Phnom Penh and it was, and is, upsetting to say the least. So I have a two-part question:

1) Was it culturally and sociologically the right thing to do to give the boy's mom cash, and,
2) Was $50 more or less the right amount, or am I a schmuck because I could have given her more?

I'm not trolling for any particular response, please don't think: If I made a mess of this, I *genuinely* want to know.
1) It's not uncommon to see Khmer leave money with dead people in the street, presumably to help the family with costs and coping. I've never seen anyone steal this money, I assume a thief would get the usual treatment if they tried. So yes, giving money is not uncommon culturally. Sociologically, as someone else pointed out, you may have assumed they couldn't cover their own medical costs and white-knighted it a little too quickly, but doing that rather than nothing is commendable.

2) $50 would be too much for medical treatment given what you describe by about half, but again, don't sweat it. Congrats for your generosity. More would have been unnecessary, and possibly endangered the mother if random strangers watched you give her more.

A different solution (if you have time) might have been to put the mother and son in a tuktuk and ride with them to the nearest Khmer hospital (Russian Friendship at one end, Calmette at the other) and use your whiteness (I presume) to advocate for the kid as he gets treatment, and then cover the costs. Sure, there's always the risk that you'll get slugged with Barang Tax, but you've been around long enough to watch out for that. If the family is truly impoverished, there's a risk they'd take the kid home and let him tough it out, perhaps with the help of the local healer, while pocketing the $50.

We do our best at the time, given the knowledge we have, in the circumstances that present. You did your best - well done.
Bodge: This ain't Kansas, and the neighbours ate Toto!
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by taabarang » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:07 pm

If the family is indeed poor you just bought lots of Tiger Balm for home recovery.
As my old Cajun bait seller used to say, "I opes you luck.
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Kuroneko
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by Kuroneko » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:59 pm

Dangerous Dave wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:53 pm

1) Was it culturally and sociologically the right thing to do to give the boy's mom cash, and,
2) Was $50 more or less the right amount, or am I a schmuck because I could have given her more?

I'm not trolling for any particular response, please don't think: If I made a mess of this, I *genuinely* want to know.
You helped because you could, and that's all that matters. Something my Grandmother taught me: "The Giver Should Be Thankful" http://gawker.com/zen-koans-explained-t ... 1644922105

With respect to was it the right amount, I would remember Ignatius of Loyola :
To give, and not to count the cost
to fight, and not to heed the wounds,
to toil, and not to seek for rest,
to labor, and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will”
Dangerous Dave
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by Dangerous Dave » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:13 pm

All great responses. Thank you everyone.
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by finbar » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:46 pm

Well done.
If you weren't at fault, then no cash is the "right" amount, and anything above is a blessing. I'm sure the victims will have been spared further difficulty or even tragedy by your donation.
Dangeorus Dave wrote: half-dozen other people yelled "DOCTOR!" at them for a few seconds before they drove away.
Were they Khmer?
Did they take some videos or photos before they left?
Khmer love Khmer.
Last edited by finbar on Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Barang chgout
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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by Barang chgout » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:47 pm

A kind heart on Cambodia, could be dangerous, Dave!

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

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Re: Was it enough? ( +protocols)

Post by newkidontheblock » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:10 pm

Gangsters rear ended younger sister’s moto back in the province. 2 kids injured. The middle kid got part of the toe cut off with the bone showing. They paid $12.5 for compensation. I advised missus to send the kid to hospital in SR for surgery.

What the OP was exceedingly kind. Bravo to him!
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