Here I was thinking how nice and civilized Taipei is, when I saw something in a McDonalds that shocked me to my core.
Mom & Grandma eating lunch with two young kids (girl I’d say 4, and boy about 6). Suddenly I hear slapping, look up and grandma is slapping boy across the face, hard, 4 times. They sit again, and the mother actually shuffles the obviously terrified boy over to grandma who hits him in the stomach, twice, hard enough to make him cry out (though not cry, I can only guess this abuse is regular, and he has previously learned that crying makes her worse). They left shortly after that - and the horrible old bat actually ground her heel into the child’s toes.
I was doing everything I could not to say anything. Don’t speak enough Chinese to say (pardon my French) “What the f&^$ are you doing you stupid old hag would you like me to hit you like that?”. In North America or any Western country of course I wouldn’t think of saying that, I’d have just called the police who would have at the very least removed these children from an obviously abusive home.
Almost said it in English anyway (she probably would have got the gist - I was pretty angry and though a gentle man by nature, I’m sure I would have looked scary). But two things stopped me:
- It was noon, the restaurant was full, and nobody else said anything? I’m assuming this is some kind of social taboo against criticizing others in public and that, inwardly, these people were as horrified as I was. I hope that’s the case (or maybe not: culture or no culture, there’s no excuse for doing nothing when a child is being abused)?
- The children’s “mother” (I use the word loosely) was there! That absolutely floored me. No one in the world could treat my children that way, not a teacher or my brother or my own mother. I would instantly disown anyone who did. What the hell was wrong with this women? I mean I do have some sympathy because obviously she is an abuse survivor herself, but FFS someone is beating your child in front of you and if anything, you seem to encourage and allow it.
Anyway sorry for the long post but I’m so angry I had to get this out. What should I have done?
[list=]Is this behavior illegal here as it is in most Western countries? Should I have called the police?
Should I have just sworn a blue streak at the old bitch, knowing that it wouldn’t affect her, but could at least maybe shock the mother out of the coma she’s apparently walking around in? It occurs to me that public humiliation might be a pretty shocking event for a Taiwanese, and this is a person in desperate need of a shock.
Any other ideas in case this happens again?[/list]
I’m thankful my own children weren’t with me at the time.