14 May 2006


Those of you who live in Thailand would have probably heard by now the news about an alien from the sky in the shape of an almost transparent worm-like cone. The moment the media knew about it, they rushed to the scene and the rest is history. The owner appeared on TV and tried to safeguard her new treasure, believing that it was something given by gods to cure her illness. Loads of people rushed to her place, some with incense sticks and candles, asking for "divine numbers" for the next lottery draw.

However, soon after, it turned out that the alien was just a cool-aid pad left in the water. The chemicals in the pad will naturally form an ice-like layer around the pad. Now loads of people, especially those in the city, stormed into their nearest 7-elevens to get these pads (which are now being sold like hot cake) and enjoy their new home-made aliens.

I've found this event rather amusing and thought-provoking. It shows how differently people in the country and the city approach the same object of mystery. The former group, still holding a deep faith in pre-Buddhist paganism, reluctantly submits this object for scientific inspection, whereas the latter group, with a rather alarmingly high level of irreverence, does not seem to take this event seriously or question why almost every popular newspaper choose to give space to this type of news. They rather think that this is an opportunity for a new toy and not a situation showcasing gullibility and sheer nonsense. Maybe it's just that the culture of serious criticism has yet to be formulated, especially among those middle-class kids heading towards their nearest convenience stores to get these pads.

Saying that, I think I'll go to buy one of these pads tomorrow and make my own little alien. I think my colleagues would love to see it! :)

1 comment:

Mat said...

Rural Thais are perhaps superstitious and gullible, but are they really pagan?

I don't mind it appearing in the national news, if it's treated ironically, because the country needs a bit of light relief at the moment.