Red Red Whine

Many tourists visiting Thailand this year will have put in endless hours of work and sacrificed much gluttony to fund their next trip to the Land of Smiles. By the time their holiday arrives they will feel in need of a well earned rest and will travel to Thailand satisfied their hard labour and forfeited pleasures have been all worthwhile.

Alcohol free nights sat at home watching drab TV reality shows will have replaced natty designer clothes and nightclubs. Everywhere in the world the typical red blooded male Thai tourist is now plotting to beat the recession blues and hoard their cash for another jaunt to enjoy Thailand’s beaches and hour glass peaches. Stockpiling hard earned money is their key to unlocking Thailand’s door once more and the current strength of the Thai baht is dictating to that, but maybe they don’t realize just how lucky they are.

Bangkok is currently besieged by a massive red wave of United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) supporters who are protesting against Thailand’s current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his Democrat Party led coalition government. The 100,000 or so UDD red shirts have vowed to keep up their peaceful protests until Abhisit Vejjajiva bows to their demand to dissolve parliament. The current crisis has led to over 20 countries choosing to advise their citizens not to travel to Thailand during the present political crisis.

The working class of New York and London may litter their apartments and high rise flats with the latest game consoles, touch phones and flat screen TV’s on salaries that scream national average, but for the majority of UDD demonstrators those kind of accessories are just a dream. An Xbox to a red shirt villager is a cash for votes ballot box which may offer a 200 baht sly backhand.

A recent post on Thai blog Sevenwinds: Life on the Bookends of the World reminded me once again of the plight of the common rural worker in the North East of Thailand, the region known as Isaan. Sevenwinds story is about a team of flower cutters who were paid 170 baht (just over 5 US dollars) a day to harvest flowers on a farm way up country from Bangkok. The 170 baht (£3.40) daily wage paid to the flower farm workers is a typical rate for the Isaan region. Most village hands would consider the cash as a reasonable offer due to the present lack of work available now the rice harvest is all but over.

Thailand’s cost of living may be lower than that of the USA and Europe but 170 baht doesn’t purchase a lot in the Land of Smiles. The red shirts may be having a red red whine in Bangkok but when you look at just what a day’s wages buys, you may understand why their make up consists of so many rural people.

  • 51 large eggs – A long hot day working in a rice field with just a hat to protect you from the heat of the beating sun will pay the equivalent of just over four dozen large eggs.
  • 4 – 5 litres of gasoline – The price of a litre of fuel in an Isaan village is at present about 40 baht which is 5 to 6 baht higher than city petrol forecourt prices. A full day’s work is worth about one gallon of gasoline making shared transport or travel on foot a necessity for work location.
  • 80 cigarettes – A packet of Thai Wonder Red cigarettes will cost you 42 baht. A day’s work will buy you 4 packets and if smoking doesn’t kill you then working to feed your habit just might.
  • 4 large bottles of beer – Refresh yourself after a hot day in Thailand’s rice paddy fields with a bottle of Beer Chang. I don’t know anyone here in the UK who would raise their drunken head from the bed for four bottles of beer.
  • A few things a days labour won’t buy – One kilo of beef (190 baht), a bottle of red red wine or a nights stay in a cheap hotel.

The UDD red shirts demonstrations in Bangkok are aimed at toppling the present Thai government and for the lions share of the protesters, their hope is the outcome will bring them greater reward in the future.

Thailand produces around 30 million tons of rice every year and so the weight of argument would appear to be on the red shirts side. Their protests have thus far been peaceful and the hope is they won’t have to resort to throwing their hard earned eggs in anger.

Finally, I would like to issue a challenge to all Thai bloggers who read this post. The Beyond The Mango Juice ‘ One70 Baht Challenge.’

Ex pats living in Thailand are reported to have living expenses of around 30,000 – 50,000 baht per month, though that figure does include utility bills, schooling and the cost of running a motor. Could they survive one day on 170 baht.

I would like some of my fellow Thai bloggers to pick up the ‘One70 Baht Challenge’ and give it a go for one day. It just might make an interesting blog post for one or two of you. Here’s the rules and what your 170 baht must cover.

  • All alcoholic and soft drinks must be paid for from the daily allowance. An early morning tea or coffee is the exception.
  • Cigarettes or tobacco.
  • All food consumed during the day.
  • No usage of your own car, truck or motorbike. Travel must be paid for on public and private transport, or by your own devices.
  • Entertainment, newspaper etc.

Good luck and please let me know how you get on.

Credits

Photograph Money by AMagill

Photograph Abhisit Vejjajiva by thaigov

Photograph Thailand Red Shirt Parade  by Honou

Photograph Thailand rice field   by Takeaway

Martyn

I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

23 Responses

  1. Talen says:

    Martyn, Great post but I can’t help but feel that the 170 arguement doesn’t always ring true.

    Yes, when they work for someone else in rural Thailand the average daily wage for a Thai person is 170-200 baht but that isn’t taking into consideration quite a few things.

    From what I’ve experienced in Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom the average Rural Thai owns their own home and most own at least a rai or more of land. They grow their own rice and other fruits and vegetables and barter with that for what they don’t grow. They all own at least a few chickens if not ducks and geese as well.

    The majority of Thai homes I’ve seen in rural Thailand all seem to have a tv, dvd player, refrigerator and a lot of them have a computer…while they don’t have x boxes and plastations they do play video games on the computer daily. And I would estimate that easily over half of rural Thai families own a karaoke set up complete with amp, speakers, hard drive and monitor…I’ve seen no less than 5 such systems pulled out for impromptu parties on different front lawns next to the fields.

    At the least most rural Thai’s have a motorcycle….quite a few have a pickup truck in the family as well. They Always have decent clothes for themselves and their children and they all make donations at the temple weekly.

    In Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom a lot of the farmers hire day laborers from Laos that they pay 150-200 baht a day to.

    While they certainly don’t have the standard of living that we do in the West they most assuredly are a self sustaining group of people that look out for their own. And do quite well with very little or nothing at all.

    Maybe the Thai’s of Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan are much better off than their neighboring provinces…hell they even have a Kubota tractor dealership outside of town and more than a few new tractors rolling around the countryside.

    I have gone days without spending much more than 50 baht but we fished for our food and I wasn’t buying beer and smokes. If I lived like I normally do I couldn’t come close to living on 170 baht for more than an hour or so.

    It was mentioned last week, I think it was in the in The Nation or Bangkok Post, that many Bangkok residents were remarking that for the supposed poor rural Thai’s they sure seem to own a lot of brand new pick up trucks.

    I think the protests have a few differing reasons but I think for most rural Thai’s they want to be represented equally in the government.

    But, as a silly Westerner that has rambled too long I can also say that I couldn’t survive on a middle class Thai’s salary for a month either…
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Bringing Thailand Into Focus =-.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Talen thanks for your speedy comment, the ink is still wet on the post.

    Motorbikes – Yes I’d say every household has one and that’s why I included the village price per litre in the post. The reason I excluded it from the challenge is that it would be free transport as it would already be topped up with fuel.

    Computers – I don’t know of anyone in Wi’s village who has a computer or games machine (Wi has a Wii). I guess the headman might have a computer and one or two of the richer folks but the common villager wouldn’t know how to use one let alone have the money to buy one. The people of Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom must be a lot richer than the ones in Wilai’s village, it is a very poor area of Isaan. In Wi’s village many of the rice workers are paid less than the minimum daily wage which I believe for Udon Thani is 161 baht.

    Pick Up Trucks – Thaksin’s village loan scheme enabled many to buy trucks a few years back but the repossessions were quite high. Most of the new trucks you see are bought on HP and I think the repossession trend will soon be back in fashion if it’s not already.

    I agree that most or nearly all Thai’s own their own land and homes, and they do live off the land but the wages they receive don’t really enable them to get into the comfort zone. The post is aimed at showing the difference in what western wages can buy in relation to what rural wages buy. I think it’s one hell of a difference.

    The post is also a reminder to people like myself who budget on 3000 – 4000 baht a day whilst holidaying in Thailand that we aren’t doing too bad even at today’s exchange rate. It’s also a nudge to the ex pats as well. I hope someone takes up the challenge.

    Thanks for your great input and I’m now blowing the ink dry.

  3. Talen says:

    Martyn, The same can be said for all of Thailand wages as compared to the west…even though I think the West will be the new third world countries of the future.

    It’s odd….in Nakhon Phanom there are two appliance stores that you can buy computers at. The laptops are expensive at 14-16000 baht and up but a desktop computer with low specs including tower, bulky monitor, keyboard and mouse can be had for 4000 baht. Obviously it’s not a supreme machine but I’ve seen the likes in more than a few Thai houses …and they come with all kinds of pirated software. Pookie’s has like 150 games on it. It also doubles as the karaoke set up.

    Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan definitely have a high rate of immigrant labor as well with people coming over from Laos every day.

    You are probably right about the new pickups….but it seems in Nakhon Phanom at least they have a high retention rate. Much fewer pickups seen in Mukdahan as it is much smaller and poorer.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Bringing Thailand Into Focus =-.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Talen as far as the wages go I know the different scales are relative to the prices but in the major western countries (USA & Europe etc.) you wouldn’t work all day for 51 eggs or a gallon of fuel, that is basically what the poor of Thailand do. Admittedly they don’t have mortgages etc. but in the villages the money they earn means life is still a struggle.

    I have seen the computers in Tesco Lotus and they are cheap but way above the average Udon villagers scope. The 4000 baht ones would be nearer their range but apart from games they would be of no real use. The Internet is out of their budget range.

    The villagers do have TV’s, dvd players and some a karaoke machine but the ones they have will have to last a long long time because updating is not really an option.

    I assume Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan are near the Laos border which would make the immigrant labor an obvious source. I’d guess their wages are pretty low, probably below the minimum wage.

    I often wondered how there was so many new pick ups in Thailand and then I found out. HP. Nowadays I wonder at how they can keep them running at fuel prices of 34 – 40 baht a litre. That one is beyond me. I can only guess they must be earning at least 10,000 baht a month and spending 20 – 30% of it on fuel.

  5. Camille says:

    The village loan scheme is one thing I don’t get, Mr. T apparently is the best thing since sliced bread but instead of using those loans for what they were created people went out and bought fancy stuff like expensive cell phones and cars that they can’t afford and now they’re being re possessed. Still, Mr. T remains their hero.

    How many women do you think help the rural families in Issan and throughout the country with their horizontal jobs, another factor that buggles the Western mind, How can families, fathers and mothers keep their eyes closed from the source of that money and possible even put greater pressure on their children to send more? Let’s keep in mind that the Thai part of this business totally exceeds the Western part.

    Another thing is, your average person who does make 170,-THB per day won’t be in a position to either stay in Bangkok for a longer period of time or travel up and down, eben with the handouts they will loose income, so who is actually protesting? Imo the red shirt middle class since they can afford it.

    The problem with the red and the yellow shirts is that they both are no good for Thailand, in my humble opinion and both damage the tourist tremendously with their protests, something that they won’t or can’t aknowledge. Very sad and not an easy situation for Abhisit to maneuvre in.
    .-= Camille´s last blog ..Driving in Thailand [del.icio.us] =-.

  6. Mike says:

    Hi Martyn, I just spent 30 minutes on this one, a great post and an interesting debate.

    Since I live in South Central Thailand its hard to make a comparison, although our village is probably similar in many way.

    Here farming and fishing(Sea) are the main industries,not much rice, mostly coconut related products.

    Taking my neighbours as examples and some other people I know in the village we have a huge difference in wealth here(among the Thais), I suppose my neighbours are reasonably wealthy given they have mortgages or pay a rent of 3000Baht a month.

    Some things that are a common theme though are debt and the use of credit. The finance man along the road (he repossess vehicles) is always busy and makes a good living. It seems to me many of them(neighbours) live hand to mouth.

    My immediate neighbour Geep(farmer) and husband (lorry driver)never see each other(maybe once a month) and work all hours. Recently Geep nearly had kittens when her electric bill was 900 Baht (mine was 3000).

    In my experience many Thais(Duen and her family as examples) do not manage money well. If I gave them my monthly budget of 40,000 Baht they would spend it within a week.

    One final point(sorry to go on)all the families I know have TV(most satellite)some a karaoke machine and at least one M/cycle.

    Only myself and the finance man have trucks.

    However unless I missed it no one has mentioned mobile phones, Thais must spend hundreds of Baht each month on this method of communication and in many cases have the latest models.

    Finally finally, given your challenge, I could manage on the money you mention IF I was desperate, but there is no rural public transport here and I would just stay home or go on my bike.

    Now lets see 2 packs of Marlboro (140) a Chang (40)….. alright maybe not!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Wat Samakee Sattharam(วัดสามัคคีศรัทธาราม) Samut Sakhon =-.

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Camille a very interesting response. Mr T is indeed still the hero of the common man in Thailand and especially so in the North East. His 30 baht health scheme and cheap loans went a long way to putting him on his high pedestal. I have visited the Isaan region for over six years now and have seen the small improvements to village roads, bridges etc that Mr T and his crew made but to be fair that small investment has continued under Abhisit Vejjajiva. Whether they were already approved budgets I don’t know. The Isaan folk believe life will be better under the Peau Thai Party. That remains to be seen. My guess is a little not a lot.

    ‘How many women do you think help the rural families in Issan and throughout the country with their horizontal jobs’……Nicely put, I’d like to have written that myself. A lot of people don’t realise or at least haven’t considered the amount of land young women own in Thailand and again the Isaan region is a good example. Land bought for them by falang, be it directly or by horizontally thinking about Thailand over a number of years in Pattaya. Eventually the male domination of Thai life may shift a little to the women. Money and land will undoubtedly shape that outcome. That’s not a bad thing.

    ‘Another thing is, your average person who does make 170,-THB per day won’t be in a position to either stay in Bangkok’…your point is correct in some way about the UDD rally but there are still one hell of a lot of poor rural folk in Bangkok as well. In the North and North East a lot of free buses have been laid on to ferry the rural supporters down to Bangkok. Many of the middle class ones have to return to wherever to attend their businesses.

    Abhisit does appear to be handling the confrontation calmly but he might be better off tackling it rather than hoping boredom will peter it out. Have a good day on your island in the sun.

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Mike good morning to you. I finished work yesterday afternoon (Friday) and return Monday morning, it’s like having a real job for once. Plenty of beer, blogging and TV football coming up for me.

    The area you live in is obviously more affluent than most parts of Isaan but yours does still seem to have all the same familiar problems. I’m a little surprised by that but then again bad money management is a worldwide fever. Here in the UK most of us have big credit debts but they are manageable ones.

    I not totally clued up on Thaksin’s village loan scheme but I’m sure some of the money obtained was used to supplement monthly repayments on HP motor purchases. When the money ran dry some people couldn’t pay and the repossession people made hay. I know it happened to a few people in Wilai’s district because wagging Thai tongues love that kind of thing.

    The One70 Challenge (named after Twenty20 cricket), I was hoping you might take it up for a day. I think it would make a different kind of blog post, quite an interesting one. I’m shocked there is no public transport to and from your village but your bike and catapult would suffice. You’d have to cut your cigarettes down to one pack and a Thai brand at that. The bottle of beer would have to be replaced by a can and then you’d have about 103 baht over for the day. Of course you’d need to eat and probably do without a newspaper. The problems would start living on the money longer term. A hole in your shorts, broken shoelace, tyre puncture etc. You’d probably have to smoke Thai rolling tobacco and drink lao khao.

    Best wishes from a jubilant and excited HD on a Saturday morning with a budget of about 1500 baht for the day. No wine on that budget but no whine either.

  9. Talen says:

    Martyn, No, I couldn’t work all day for 51 eggs but then again I am in a different situation. Yes, They make very little money in rural Thailand but they also don’t depend on money as much as you or I would. They are self sufficient because they must be.

    The generally don’t need to upgrade an appliance or electronic gadget because they have something the West did away with long ago…repairmen. TV repair shops, computer repair, stereo repair. They generally take very good care of their belongings and where we would throw something away and buy new they fix it. Maybe there is a lesson in that for us.

    Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan are right on the Mekong with Laos so they definitely have a worker advantage come harvest time. I think the immigrant workers get 100-150 baht a day…not sure though.

    I know how the whole pickup scheme works for the Thai’s at least in the villages I have been in. Only 2 maybe 3 people will have a new car or pickup ( mostly pickups ) They become the taxi for everyone in the village and everyone chips in to help with gas and payments.

    But I have to say That Songkran in Nakhon Phanom has me stymied. The main drag and the street that runs parallel become a long loop that literally a few thousand pickups roll along all day on the last day partying and throwing water. I know I filled up Pookie’s gas tank that day and we burned through at least a half a tank.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Bringing Thailand Into Focus =-.

  10. Talen says:

    Mike brought up a good point as well with the cell phones, every Thai has one. But seeing as they are all local calls they make for the most part they can get by with as little as probably 50-100 baht a month.

    Another thing is the the 7/11’s in rural Thailand. They aren’t a cheap alternative and yet you always see Thai’s in there buying chips, cokes, ice cream and western sandwiches.

    The one 7/11 in Nakhon Phanom I go to isn’t an average one…it’s packed all day long as it’s near the Indochine market…what floored me though were the amount of Thai’s buying ham and cheese or egg and sausage sandwiches and having them toasted for lunch. They cost 40 baht if I remember right. You can get a nice meal at the Indochine market for 20 -30 baht.

    I think the majority of Thai’s can do quite well with a small amount of baht where we would only be able to take care of the necessities such as a little food and water. But, like I said before, I don’t think any of us could do too well living on a middle class Thai’s salary for a month. A middle class Thai in Bangkok isn’t making much and the costs are much steeper in the big city.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Bringing Thailand Into Focus =-.

  11. Hoo Don says:

    Talen – Answering both your comments with this one I’ll get started and thanks for some massive input.

    Thai rural people are very self sufficient, many blog posts have proven that. I guess the self sufficiency comes from years of having little money and is passed on from generation to generation. Nowadays it’s an habitual way of life. You are right about the repairman, there always seems to be someone in the village or next one who can fix or remedy whatever. It is something we have cast to one side because we update, break, update, break. We’d save a lot of money if we did things the Thai way.

    I reckon you’re spot on with the immigrant wage structure. I wonder if it causes resentment amongst the locals, stealing their work and lowering the wage scale. Over to you on that one.

    On Songkran and other big days such as the Naga Festival at Phon Phisai, Wilai and a load of the villagers jump into the backs of pick ups and head off. It’s the only way they can do it and it must be great fun. A real bonding occasion. I’ve been in the back of a truck on the last day of Songkran and boy did I get wet.

    Wilai spends about 100 – 200 baht a month on her mobile which is in line with what you say. Her mother who is set in the old Thai ways spends under 50 baht per month on hers. It seems everybody does have a mobile and I’ve noticed most of the school kids have them too. I’ve seen the odd expensive phone in Wi’s village but most are the bare basic ones. These days mobiles would appear to be an absolute must have accessory.

    7-Eleven’s, I class them as a townie kind of thing as you don’t get them in the villages, at least not in any of the many I’ve been in. The people who use them are a bit more flush I’d guess than the average country folk. I’ve eaten the sandwiches plenty of times myself, I sometimes take them on my coach ride back to Suvarnabhumi. I really like the burgers they do in 7-Eleven as well. Great value and it sounds bad but I breakfast on them sometimes when I’m in the city.

    Nong Khai has a large Indo-China market and we go there at least a couple of times every holiday. The fish restaurants are great and the view looking out to the Mekong and Laos is stunning.

    I think town and city people do okay for a living but I’d say the village people get by in as you put it a self sufficient way. A large part of many of them’s income comes via their bank virtue of their grown up children working in Bangkok or ‘wherever.’ They live off the land and not McDonald’s, ee-eye, ee-eye oh. Me, I’d struggle on the average persons money, but I reckon I could have a sweet village life on about 25,000 baht a month which is below what most ex pats spend every month. I guess that makes my figure wrong. Ee-eye, ee-eye oh.

    Best wishes and a big thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  12. Talen says:

    Martyn, This really is an excellent post that has brought about some great discussion. It really made me think of the disparities between provinces such as Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom. The contrast between these two cities is great and yet Nakhon Phanom really has a lot more to offer. But the main force in Nakhon Phanom is the rural Thai’s…bigger city but the province is mostly farm land.

    I’m writing a post about it that I will link back to yours. Because now I really do have questions as to how some rural Thai communities do it. Someone has to support the multiple car dealerships ( at least 2 in Nakhon Phanom ) and the many cell phone, appliance, and electronic shops. And yet the people I see in these shops are the ones who live in the villages and the outskirts of town who clearly make in the region of 200 baht a day.

    With the main exports from the region being fish, flowers and rice it seems hard to be able to support this many businesses with many people making very little.

    As a side note I went through my latest pics of Nakhon Phanom with new eyes and I was really shocked at the amount of new cars and trucks.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Bringing Thailand Into Focus =-.

  13. Camille says:

    Talen,

    Thais get really easy credit to buy new things, like cars but they also get very easily credit cards, have you ever tried toi get a credit card in Thailand? Not easy as a Westerner, unless you’re well loaded. I had to freeze 40.000,-THB out of which I can only use 32.000,-THB as credit, the remaining 8K are a nice interest for the bank, mointh after month……… It’s actually not even a credit card but rather a debit card.
    .-= Camille´s last blog ..Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 28th March, 2010 [del.icio.us] =-.

  14. Talen says:

    Camille, I know how easy Thai’s get credit but eventually the piper has to be paid. New pickups, cell phones, and all the other little things add up.

    Martyn, The post should go live late tomorrow…
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Thailand in the News Week Ending 3/27/10 =-.

  15. Hoo Don says:

    Talen the post is providing a lot of interesting feedback and debate, hopefully there’s a lot more to come. I’ll pass on knowing how Nakhon Phanom’s car dealerships are fed by what you say appears to be a lack of real earning power. I’d guess at the good old HP once more because some of their repayment terms stretch a long time and with a good deposit the monthly payments are heavily reduced. And having a pick up opens all kind of avenues towards earning money.

    I’ll look forward to reading your post and will as always appreciate the link.

  16. Catherine says:

    ‘One70 Baht Challenge’

    I already know how I’d do on that challenge: badly. I mean, I watch what I pay for wine (white please, I’ll pass on your red), but it’s still quite a chunk each month. So 170 on a weekend wouldn’t cover even a part of it.

    I don’t know a great deal about the true Thai poor. But like others mentioned, I do know of Thais making little, talking longer on their mobile phones than I will budget for.

    But I saw similar in western countries too.

    Rickety shacks in Alabama with starving kids dotted around, satellite dishes towering over their roof tops. And don’t get me started on where I fear my UK council taxes went…

    PS: I’ve deleted so much in this comment, I could have easily finalised a post of my own. Twice over 🙂
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Learn Thai with Bon: First YouTube, now Blogger and Skype =-.

  17. Hoo Don says:

    Camille I’m shocked that you have to place 40,000 THB in a bank to get 32,000 of credit. The system is seriously flawed but I suppose it is handy on your travels.

    Talen I will view your post when it hits the net, I’m looking forward to it.

  18. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine you shouldn’t have deleted anything as your comments are always most interesting.

    For the ‘One70 Baht Challenge’ wine would be out and lao khao in, have you ever tried it. Like you I would fail, probably around lunchtime. For one day only I could do it no problem but over a week no chance. I like my beer and cigarettes too much.

    There are quite a few satellite dishes in Wi’s village but the poorer souls don’t seem to have them. Mind you I think most villagers are happy with their ration of TV soaps on terrestrial TV. After that it’s lights out. Wilai who retires a little later than the norm likes to watch the red shirts channel while I don’t care too much about TV, unless it’s sport.

    From Alabama roof tops to UK council taxes in one paragraph. Sweet.

  19. Catherine says:

    Hi Martyn, I was getting into a political rant so I thought it best that I desist.

    I enjoy history most of all, and while the subject of politics cannot be ignored along the way, I prefer my politicians safely in the ground before I give them air time.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Learn Thai with Bon: First YouTube, now Blogger and Skype =-.

  20. Camille says:

    Talen,

    That’s the problem, the piper will have to get paid indeed.

    We’re not talking bottles of Thai Whiskey now, is it?
    .-= Camille´s last blog ..Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 30th March, 2010 [del.icio.us] =-.

  21. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine, rant all you want as I’m sure it would be a well constructed one.

    I am interested in old time Thailand and how life was then but I have struggled to find anything much on the subject. I’d love to read about life there 250 years ago. It would be fascinating.

  22. john says:

    my brother in law as gone down to Bangkok and i dont blame him they work dam hard and taksin gave them something along with the odd bribe of-course
    let the vote decide what happens full-stop our how can anybody have faith in the future
    ps hoo-don i dont know about 250 years ago but my mother in law remembers walking to udon thani from ban dung to sell buffalo 50 years ago
    .-= john´s last blog ..call thailand and udon thani on the cheap =-.

  23. Hoo Don says:

    John that’s one hell of a long walk with only buffalo to keep you company. I hope she got a good rate for them. The roads must have been terrible in those days.

    I agree with you John, let the country vote. We know which party will be the winner.

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