While it is a progressive country, Thailand also has its fair share of beggars and assorted mendicants. Maybe I should say "supplicants", for that seems to be their preferred posture when they beg for small mercies from passersby.
Anyway, I was on the skywalk to MBK when I chanced upon this sight:
It was a little girl, probably not much older than 3 or 4. She was dancing up a storm as an older girl - her sister, perhaps? - played a tune on some kind of Thai flute.
My initial reaction was of delight. "Aw, isn't that adorb! Look at that chubby little girl dance in her two-piece!" She instantly reminded me of a more famous Dancing Baby:
And dance she did, with nary a care in the world, it seemed. She looked like she was genuinely having the time of her life flailing her chubby arms about and twirling heedlessly out-of-sync with the music.
Then she saw me. And after snapping my pics, I got a good look at her.
The Coke can and makeshift rose on her head made her look like a little Lady Gaga wannabe, but upon closer inspection, I realized something: this was a child whose baby tits were literally hanging out of her top.
And then introspection set in. Dancing Baby Girl was dancing for her supper, out in the street, in a makeshift two-piece ensemble and a tin can on her head.
How long before she would dance for her supper in a fuller two-piece in Patpong?
But then she made the wai - that Thai gesture with hands clasped together at the chest. A gesture of respect and reverence, and also a common one to say thank you or apologize.
She then resumed dancing gleefully, unmindful of the world and lost in her own groove.
I gave them all my coins and walked away, lost in a groove of my own.