Birthday cakes and scooters.

One of the things we all noticed in Thailand is that there is not a whole lot of OH&S going on. No, folks, it would seem that occupational health and safety hasn’t even come up on their radar.

The area it is most noticeable is on the roads. I thoroughly enjoyed riding in the back of a jeep for the entire first week, the wind in our hair, hanging on round corners. It engenders a feeling of freedom that we don’t have on our roads here.

Perching, and I do mean that quite literally, on the back of a fast moving vehicle also gives one a perfect view of what is happening on the road. Scooters are prevalent and are quite entertaining to watch. They weave in and out of the traffic, no regard for lane markings – oh wait…there weren’t any…no helmets and definitely not feeling the need to actually ever come to a complete stop at a red light.

I was walking on my own at one point, risking my life by simply trying to cross the road. I didn’t have my camera, or my iphone to snap one particular scooter that I watched come all the way along the road, so you will have to make do with me describing it for you.

The scooter was carrying a woman driver. The woman was carrying in a sling, a baby. Another child was on her knee, another was standing on the board together with the family dog. With her free hand, she was holding a mobile phone to her ear.

I laughed out loud. It was the most I had seen on one scooter. Normally there were two or three but four humans plus a dog was a feat of balance and the ultimate testament to multi-tasking.

On my return to Australia I am informed that in some states, children will no longer be able to bring a birthday cake with candles to kindy due to the germs expelled all over the cake when the candles are blown out by little 5 year old John or Mary.

And then another person relayed to me that she has been told to remove children’s books from her waiting room as books harbour sickness inducing germs.

Talk about polar opposites!

Going from  a country where rules – if there are any – are maybe too relaxed, to a country that wants to wrap us up in the proverbial cotton wool – I was struck by the disparity.

Now, you and I both know, somewhere in between the two is the optimum.

We need balance, don’t we?

Work too hard, the toll shows up in our health or relationships. Don’t work hard enough, we suffer the consequences of bills not being paid and again, it shows up in our health and relationships. Too much food…well, we all know what happens! Not enough food, we are malnourished and prey to sickness.

It started me thinking about how much we think, ironically 😉

Some of us analyse ourselves, make goals for self improvement, buy every self help book available, talk to our friends, seek professional help – and do all this obsessively.

Others of us barely give a second thought to our personal development and merrily coast along in life, sometimes oblivious to the wake of hurt and distress left behind them.

Now, I am probably more prone to naval gazing than not. And I know it’s easy to get so caught up in self betterment, that I miss the life that’s right in front of me.

So busy trying to be better, I forget to simply be.

It’s all about balance. I think the dictionary definition says it best:


• an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady

• stability of one’s mind or feelings: the way to some kind of peace and personal balance
• sailing: the ability of a boat to stay on course without adjustment of the rudder
How is your life balanced right now? Does it need some adjusting?

12 thoughts on “Birthday cakes and scooters.

  1. Excellent post, as always, Susannah. We found this in Mexico: very little concern about things that are only marginally important and a vital awareness of joy that we so often miss by scurrying to achieve and have. Having little, they seemed to have much. Which may be why a number of well-educated, US-licensed physicians told us they preferred practicing in Mexico for very little money, very few threats of lawsuits, and a great deal of satisfaction.


    • Thanks Normandie 🙂 I totally agree…in our Western culture we seem much less satisfied with our ‘plenty’ than other countries do with their ‘less’ – and there will be a separate blog post more on that topic (lots lined up! LOL).


  2. Your description of the woman on the scooter sort of makes me cringe! But I get the point…often we try to do too much. If we are doing a dozen things at once, not one gets done proficiently or correctly. Take one task at a time, concentrate on that (even if it’s for just 10 minutes), then move on. And trying to learn too much at once – like keeping up with new social networking features or internet features – makes me cranky. I attempt a new online feature about once a week, just try it. Then I go back to what I know, what makes me comfortable.


    • And I think that’s the important thing Karen…that we try new things and see what works. One task at a time is particularly hard for women, I think. I’m not being sexist, it’s just that, traditionally, mothers tend to do a thousand things at once, out of necessity, not choice, and then it’s hard to change that when the kids grow up and don’t need us as physically as before.
      Ahhh, it’s good to have friends who are constantly learning on the journey, right along side you…thanks for being here xo


    • LOL Yes, when I saw her I couldn’t believe it but by then was somewhat used to seeing funny things being transported on scooters or trucks overflowing with people, so it just made me laugh. One time, we pulled up beside a ute, which appeared to be empty until a couple of men suddenly sat up rubbing their eyes, obviously just waking up from sleeping in the back!


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