Around this Hari Raya holiday, I applied for a few more days off my annual leaves and took the chance to visit home in Phnom Penh for one week.
One of the things I really don’t miss at all about my lifestyle in Phnom Penh is going around on a motorbike and having to fix a flat tire. OMG, having to deal with a flat tire!!!
During my one week trip home, I can’t believe I had to deal with this annoying occurrence. After a dinner with a few friends, while the sky was sprinkling, making my way through a dark road near Russian Market, I felt something was wrong. About 50 m further, it was guaranteed a flat tire – the worst day part of this time off from work.
After a while of walking my motorbike to find a repair shop, a gentleman approached me, asking what had happened and offering to help me take out whatever nail that pierced through and flattened the tyre.
Instead of feeling appreciative and happy for such an act of kindness, I got instantly alert and apprehensive – was it really out of rare good heart or it was out of some foxy intention?
I refused his offer, playing the being-considerate card, as in I didn’t want to trouble him, while I got all imaginative of what could possibly happen during this badly lighted time, to my watch, wallet and the motorbike, if he had been a bad guy.
He then offered to go further on his motorbike to check if there was any repair shop ahead. After a few brief seconds he returned and confirmed there was none in the direction I was heading. He suggested I turned left or went to a place further, close to his house. I decided to turn left and he offered another favour – if I wanted to pop on his bike so that he could help me with speed and more push to drag my bike to find the repair shop.
I continued to refuse the favour, mentioning my sheer reluctance to trouble him. Plus I really didn’t think I could drag the motorbike on the ride that he wanted to give me.
I kept reassuring him that I’d be fine on my own and he needn’t trouble himself. He bought it and left.
A mentality, a context, a reflex has become affixed; the more we hear, the less we trust. We have come to question good deeds, kind gestures, for fear of risks and harms. We become less optimistic about our society, our neighbours, our fellow countrymen.
The odds can be our fear is true, as much as the fact that our lens, mentality, assumption, doubts, and fear belittle a truly good heart, harming the dignity and good will of a rare kind being.
If I had to be put in the same situation again, I would do the exact same thing. Prevention is better than cure. What would you do in such situation?