Monday, November 22, 2010

You know, you don't think things like this can happen when you come from the Land of the Wide-Open Spaces, but I've now had two freaky incidents with a massive crowd of people on the edge of losing it, and it's a terrifying experience.
Nothing here in Canada, of course - the first time for me was at a Carnaval celebration in Mazatlan, and the more recent time was this spring at a famous cave site in Vietnam where thousands and thousands of Vietnamese Buddhists do a pilgrimage to in the weeks after New Year.
No bad stuff actually happened in the end, but the possibility of it was made very, very real to me. This latest tragedy in Cambodia is particularly sad in a country that's had a hell of a time coming back from that massive slaughter of so many of its intellectuals and artists under Pol Pot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About an hour after the Canadian men had cinched the gold medal in hockey I made my way to the corner of Granville and Robson.

Never had I experienced such a crush of humanity before, nor had I ever felt such a communal sense of joy and exuberance. I made my way to the centre of the intersection and did a slow pirouette while recording that happy mass... then I got out of there as fast as possible.

Such an unrelenting press of people closing in from all sides was overwhelming, but I never felt even for a moment that there was any danger in that crowd.

The only sign of trouble was from the fans who had climbed on top off the bus shelters and looked in danger of falling off, or breaking through the glass.

Various news reports put the death toll in Cambodia's most recent tragedy at over 375 and counting.