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The week that was in Thailand news: Thailand reopens! But forget the new normal, this is the old version

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An improvement from last's weeks. Did you have a couple beers at the pub to relax your writing a bit? Or haven't they opened yet?

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16 hours ago, bluesofa said:

That sounds a great adventure.

In the mid 1980s a girlfriend and I had an idea to do UK>Singapore by train, but via the good ol' USSR.

That would have taken six weeks and cost 6,000 UKP each even then.

Needless to say it stayed a dream.

In 1988 my girlfriend and i traveled from Hong Kong 3 mth through China mostly by train, then 7 days by train to Berlin via Moscow paid 120 usd, bus to Amsterdam, bus to Victoria bus station slept through most of that one, guess the bus went on the ferry. Fell asleep standing up at a bus stop, got on the bus home, slept on that, woke up and asked a guy if id passed my stop, yes you have, alighted the bus and realized it was Af'er English the actor. oops went of topic a bit. :coffee1:

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Never doubt the power of an amulet, or a ladyboy. Or a ladyboy with an amulet. Happy times will return to us. Be well and enjoy the sun! 

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On 5/31/2020 at 8:32 AM, Samui Bodoh said:

An interesting read as always, cheers!

 

In my 'Week That Was', I noticed ever more line-ups for food hand-outs on my island. Yes, I follow the guidance on 'social distancing' and 'isolating in place', but have needed to get on my bike to break the boredom/cabin fever daily. The lines for hand-outs, already long, frequent and concerning a month ago, have doubled in both size and frequency. One part of me is happy that locals are stepping up to help, but the other side sees that the need is growing, not waning. What will it be like in another month? Two months? Four months? Will the economic fall-out be worse than the virus?

 

I struggled for a while on how I might help. I have experience working with international organizations/charities, and anyone who does that picks up basic knowledge of Food Security, Food Distribution and related matters, so I was wary of unorganized efforts to assist. Further, despite their traditional roles in food assistance in Thailand, I was (and still am) wary of the Temples for donations as I have never gotten my head around the idea of 'making merit' by fixating on money; if there is a God, I always assumed that SHE would want you to be a good person and didn't measure quality of a life by a bankbook and/or monetary donation. Moreover, I had (frankly weird) experiences with monks from the temple near my house trying to sell me costume jewelry, and that didn't help. Finally, I noticed some locals banded together to create regular hand-outs at set times and did give them some cash, but they had enough and weren't in my neighbourhood, so that wasn't quite right either.

 

A woman I know on the main road set out a donation box AND undertook responsibility for managing it, so I have been making my contributions there. She accepts food donations from both Thais and foreigners, but regulates the flow of food into the box across the day and early evening so that many different people can access it. Further, and on my suggestion, she asked donors to make smaller but regular donations on specific days of the week, and they have agreed; I do twice a week and focus on heaps of vegetables (with a few cookies thrown in for the kids). Yes, non-perishable food stuffs are always good, but we both know that the people taking donations are going home and cooking them, so veggies are okay too. 

 

That is how I am helping. However, if you are donating to Temples, dropping food off at the donation boxes, 'adopting' a family or two, or some other type of aid and you are happy with the results, please (please!) continue it; there is genuine need out there and it isn't always visible. 

 

While it is great that some restrictions are being loosened, the simple fact is that thousands and thousands and thousands are unemployed/underemployed due to the loss of tourism and their suffering will continue for months, if not longer. Imagine what you would feel if you needed to go line up for food every day (How do you feel lining up at Immigration one day a year?). The frustration. The waiting. The uncertainty. Having a hungry child with you. The heat and sun. The orders from the police. The knowledge that you went to bed hungry last night, and that you and your family might go to bed hungry tonight. And finally, the knowledge that this will continue in the immediate future with no end in sight. I'd be on the verge of going postal. 

 

When a society undergoes massive economic dislocation and (especially!) hunger, all previous truths are suspect. Thailand is slowly developing a new paradigm, but it is not clear whether it will be malignant or benign; I am hoping for the latter.

 

 

 

How do you [or one] access who is a 'new normal' needy and those that are the 'old normal' greedy?

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10 hours ago, newbruisers23 said:

An improvement from last's weeks. Did you have a couple beers at the pub to relax your writing a bit? Or haven't they opened yet?

I'm not a drinker. My only vice is Scrabble, that relaxes what is left of my brain.

 

Thanks for reading and glad this week was more to your liking.

 

Rooster

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47 minutes ago, Caspersfriend said:

How do you [or one] access who is a 'new normal' needy and those that are the 'old normal' greedy?

Hi @Caspersfriend

 

The very short answer is you can't always know and sometimes the 'old normal' greedy is going to take some of it; It is just the way of things. As long as it is kept to a minimum and isn't... Er... Ahem... 'institutionalized' skimming as we so often see in Thailand, I don't worry about it.

 

As I noted in my post, I worked internationally with organizations that raised money, and your question is the one that I was asked most frequently and the one that I asked myself most frequently. That answer (above) isn't very satisfying, but it is realistic. Simply put, the lengths that you would have to go to in ensuring total, 100% compliance by only the 'new normal' needy isn't worth the effort; you'd waste much more than you would save.

 

I think (repeat: think) that the woman I am doing this with is a smart cookie; she is Thai, in her thirties, runs her own business, is 1,000 times sneakier and more devious than I (I mean that in the good way), and understands Thais and Thai culture better than I. I trust her to keep an eye on things. Further, she doesn't just dump everything in the box in the morning and forget about it; she sees who is taking what and how much. Finally, I think that if she sees someone 'hogging' the food, she'll just cut them off at the knees; ever been at the wrong end of a very angry Thai woman (Shudder!!!)? :cheesy::cheesy:

 

If you are looking to donate and not sure where or to whom, ask a cross-section of your Thai friends for a recommendation. I mean this in the nicest possible way, but after 30 years in Asia, I have learned that Asians in general are extraordinary gossips, and if you have a cross-section of your Thai friends recommending the same thing, it is almost certainly good.

 

Finally, if one of the 'old normal' greedy person(s) gets some of the food rather than the 'new normal' needy person, so be it. I know that most of what I have donated is getting to the right place(s), and that is what is important to me.

 

Hope this helps

 

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that means throwing money about like there no tomorrow ,,yeehaaaa

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