Friday, 17 August 2007

The tale of the dilemma bun

Introducing the Dilemma Bun!

I travelled to Mongolia in 2005, and it was the first time that I saw poverty within such close proximity. As our train disembarked at the station, I noticed many locals waiting by the deck, some of them were hawkers selling food (and milk) and other stuff but most were children waiting for the travellers to share some of their generousity with them. Food, drinks, money, cigarettes, any kind of contributions were welcomed.

I was given a lunch box by the train attendant, quite a generous portion I would say, meat, veggie, rice and bun. Way too much food for me, considering I have been sitting on the train and doing nothing all day. I carefully put aside my bun which was wrapped in transparent plastic, thinking that maybe I could use it as a snack later on in the day. After lunch, I took a stroll along the deck while waiting for the train to continue its journey.

It was that fateful moment when I saw a pathetic little dog. He was dirty and skinny and his skin wasn't exactly in the best condition. I love dogs as you know and look at his pitiful eyes, how can you not want to do something for him? I remembered my bun and decided to offer it to little 可怜here.

The twist of the story happened here. When I was back in the train cabin collecting my bun, I looked out of the window and saw 2 mongolian kids, one of them holding a leftover lunch box from our train, and her face was full of smile. She was so small that the lunch box looked relatively big in her hands. At that moment, I realised that there were too many hungry mongolian people and if there was something good I could do, it was probably to offer them some food.

I had an extra bun remember? A moment ago, I was so determined to give it to poor dog but then I have changed my mind again. Will I be cursed and condemned for giving the bun to a dog instead of satisfying the hunger of a poor mongolian child? The thought was tormenting and I was completely at a lost as to what was the correct thing to do. I did not have the heart to see poor doggy go hungry, neither could I bear the thought of depriving a child from a bun by giving it to an animal. In a place like this, are humans more equal than an animal? That is so against the belief which I advocate! But....but....but......

Well, what happened in the end? I waited and waited, hesitated and hesitated until the train finally left. The bun was still on my table and I completely couldn't figure out what I should do with it. Neither was I able to eat it anymore as I was way to sad just looking at it. Henceforth, it was known as the "dilemma bun" by me and my travelling companions. My "dilemma" eventually landed up in the rubbish bin together with the empty lunch box containers.

See what mess I have created? I helped no one and tormented myself....

No comments: