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I hear what your saying OP, but your not exactly right.

Issan people are poor. fact.

The farmers that I know are underpayed. fact.

If any falang want to put a bit of their cash into helping others in villages, then good on em I say...why should it bother you?...its not your money theyre spending.

You gotta relax a bit mate

Rest that ankle..

Issan people are happy . FACT!

Thai farmers are paid the equivelent to their work, FACT!

If any farang want to spend there money helping villages in Essan. Please come & live here first before you decide where to squander your or kind people;s donations.

I live here in Essan. Can I ask you where you live if you don't mind?

Relieve me of my misconceptions.....your a jerk.

I know many people in our village who have a verry good income, in particular from rubber trees in my neck of the woods. I have a good few myself as well as pineaples, herbs & many other fruits, spices, herbs & veg.

Can I also ask if you don't mind where you got the idea that Essan is such a poor place?

If you don't live here & ever take the time to come here I'd be happy to show you around & relieve you of your misconceptions

My wife and I have a house between Chumphae and See Chompuu.

So before YOU jump to conclusions, and try and tell me what you think I dont know, think again.

Releive me of my misconceptions?? Your not the only 1 living up there mate.

Ok, how much is a big bag of rice compared to a days pay for a farm worker? Its nothing in my home country to buy 20kg bag.

How much is a pack of cigarettes in Thailand? how many locals who smoke buy packets? not many to expensive at 60baht a pak.

1kg of beef?, 1kg of pork,? the lists go on.

look, they arent poor like some countries, no ones dying of starvation or dysantry...I agree 100%

My point is if anyone wants to blow their cash on whatever up there then good on em. Its not my or your money so who cares.

Edited by krisb
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I can't say I've read the whole thread, but the gist seems to be that Isan people are happy, and not rock-bottom poor. I agree... one sees no starvation or malnutrition here, and nobody seems to go hungry or thirsty. But I think you're living in a fool's paradise. The outside world is encroaching on Isan; you can't stop it, and you'd better prepare to meet it.

What Isan needs is not handouts, but improved farming methods, better teaching in the schools, and some hope for the young people to better themselves. Villages are not self-contained units like they used to be; the chain of authority from pu-yai-ban to heads of families to the children has broken down, and the young people look elsewhere for their futures. In the village I live in, many young people are just layabouts, doing the occasional day's work for whisky money, and sponging on their families for the rest. Maybe they'll join the Redshirts if enough cash is offered.

Before I came to Isan four years ago, I lived for 15 years in Chiangmai, and for 10 years of that I ran a small NGO. We gave scholarships to needy kids, and visited their families before agreeing to donate to them. The money came from a legacy in Singapore; I was paid a salary in Singapore, but every baht which reached Chiangmai went to the kids, except expenses, which took up about 0.5%. Yes, that's right, 0.5%. I think we might have done better to open our own school, but we funked the bureaucracy involved. We were fully independent, not affiliated to any other organisation.

Having said that, I agree with a lot of the adverse comments on NGOs, and I could add to the horror stories! Many missionaries are in it for the money; but there are others who generally believe in what they're doing, spend their own money on it, and live very humble lives. Don't throw the gems out with the rubbish!

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Well I am off the net for a few days, off to the Issan farang farmers meeting, but just a passing comment. Seen some good done here by individuals, brother brought the play ground for the local village kindergarten. Friends bring clothes, and school stuff when they come, I supplied a TV and video and some DVDs of sesame street to the kindergarten. Does it really make a difference, don't think so. Makes me feel good and the kids have a party. Wife money allowing feeds and buys ice cream for the primary school on her birthday, a little party. There are people through out Thailand doing little bits here and there, who are making a bigger difference combined, than an NGO with millions of dollars do. Jim

Dear James. I was upset by your OP Header to start with, bagging good hearted people that try and help the poor. you then made a comparison that as I have no shoes I guess that makes me poor(FW). You also said no one stops them building bigger houses, what with. Poverty doen,t pay. Free Health and Milk was mentioned. As we pay for what we get I know the 30baht Scheme doesn,t help if you need Cancer Treatment and the free Milk I,m sure will benifit Kids, but they don,t give it out Willy Nilly to the Poor. Maybe the Thais you wrote of won,t work , but nearly all I know work 6days a week and still can,t make ends meet. Ever tried cutting Cane, maybe they need some rest after doing it for 5 months at a time. You said you live near/in Forest, well most of Issan isn.t Forest and one cannot go out and shoot for food.

Dont let the trolls bother you slime.

It sounds like he (op) has cut plenty cane and rice for half a year then has no work the other half and knows its easy living on 250baht a day. Thats plenty huh?

What do you live on the other 6 months of no work?...oh I forgot its ok, least your happy and get free milk at school until year 6 when parents cant afford to send you anymore.

Lots of Issan is poor. My wife will tell you what its really like, couldnt afford shoes for school, rain on your head at night beacuse the grass roof leaks. have to leave school to go work to help family.

I think the OP is jealous because he cant "do good" and these do gooders make him look like a scrooge.

Edited by krisb
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Ok, how much is a big bag of rice compared to a days pay for a farm worker? Its nothing in my home country to buy 20kg bag.

How much is a pack of cigarettes in Thailand? how many locals who smoke buy packets? not many to expensive at 60baht a pak.

1kg of beef?, 1kg of pork,? the lists go on.

I don't know anyone in our village who buys rice .... grow your own or trade with neighbors.

Tobacco ...... same ...... smoke till you drop, rice whiskey ..... same .... guys drunk every night.

Why would anyone buy something they can have for (nearly) free?

1kg of pork or beef, nobody really eats that quantity of meat except for weddings and funerals. (Beef, hardly anyone eats it as Buddha doesn't like you eating beef)

For someone that supposedly lives in a rural area, you have some strange ideas about what people buy!

Edited by TommoPhysicist
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Remember that NGO just means non-governmental organisation. There are many Thai NGOs, such as the Rural Doctors Society, that try to do good things in Isaan but have no resemblance whatsoever to what is being portrayed here. As I mentioned earlier I haven't seen much activity in Isaan from international charities spending western money or even from missionaries (though I know the latter do exist).

Incidentally whatever makes people think the 30 baht scheme (which we may have to call by that name again since the co-payment came back in September) doesn't treat cancer. It may be true that some individual hospital physicians don't treat certain Isaan patients with the disease, but where that happens it does not please the scheme's funding organisation, the National Health Security Office. In fact the NHSO has helped fund and establish a number of centres of excellence for cancer care, where there were none before, mainly to treat 30 baht beneficiaries. One was established in Ubon.

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Well I am off the net for a few days, off to the Issan farang farmers meeting, but just a passing comment. Seen some good done here by individuals, brother brought the play ground for the local village kindergarten. Friends bring clothes, and school stuff when they come, I supplied a TV and video and some DVDs of sesame street to the kindergarten. Does it really make a difference, don't think so. Makes me feel good and the kids have a party. Wife money allowing feeds and buys ice cream for the primary school on her birthday, a little party. There are people through out Thailand doing little bits here and there, who are making a bigger difference combined, than an NGO with millions of dollars do. Jim

Dear James. I was upset by your OP Header to start with, bagging good hearted people that try and help the poor. you then made a comparison that as I have no shoes I guess that makes me poor(FW). You also said no one stops them building bigger houses, what with. Poverty doen,t pay. Free Health and Milk was mentioned. As we pay for what we get I know the 30baht Scheme doesn,t help if you need Cancer Treatment and the free Milk I,m sure will benifit Kids, but they don,t give it out Willy Nilly to the Poor. Maybe the Thais you wrote of won,t work , but nearly all I know work 6days a week and still can,t make ends meet. Ever tried cutting Cane, maybe they need some rest after doing it for 5 months at a time. You said you live near/in Forest, well most of Issan isn.t Forest and one cannot go out and shoot for food.

Dont let the trolls bother you slime.

It sounds like he (op) has cut plenty cane and rice for half a year then has no work the other half and knows its easy living on 250baht a day. Thats plenty huh?

What do you live on the other 6 months of no work?...oh I forgot its ok, least your happy and get free milk at school until year 6 when parents cant afford to send you anymore.

Lots of Issan is poor. My wife will tell you what its really like, couldnt afford shoes for school, rain on your head at night beacuse the grass roof leaks. have to leave school to go work to help family.

I think the OP is jealous because he cant "do good" and these do gooders make him look like a scrooge.

It is important to not mistake lack of currency with poverty.

People are not poor just because they don't have money.

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People are not poor just because they don't have money.

Unless they are judged by western standards, and I am left to wonder sometimes how many posters on this forum understand the difference between quality of life and quantity of bank account.

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People are not poor just because they don't have money.

Unless they are judged by western standards, and I am left to wonder sometimes how many posters on this forum understand the difference between quality of life and quantity of bank account.

Thoroughly agree with these words.
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Ok, how much is a big bag of rice compared to a days pay for a farm worker? Its nothing in my home country to buy 20kg bag.

How much is a pack of cigarettes in Thailand? how many locals who smoke buy packets? not many to expensive at 60baht a pak.

1kg of beef?, 1kg of pork,? the lists go on.

I don't know anyone in our village who buys rice .... grow your own or trade with neighbors.

Tobacco ...... same ...... smoke till you drop, rice whiskey ..... same .... guys drunk every night.

Why would anyone buy something they can have for (nearly) free?

1kg of pork or beef, nobody really eats that quantity of meat except for weddings and funerals. (Beef, hardly anyone eats it as Buddha doesn't like you eating beef)

For someone that supposedly lives in a rural area, you have some strange ideas about what people buy!

OK, reason they dont eat that quantity of meat is cause they cant afford more.

Beef is to expensive. Not because buddha says dont eat it. Where did you get that from?...India?

Tailor made cigarettes are to expensive at 60baht a packet. So they mostly buy rollies.

Not everyone trades rice, what if you dont have enough land to grow? Trade with your neighbours with what?....why do they sell rice in shops if its traded between neighbours and not bought?

Like I said, no ones dying of starvation, dysantry etc.

Its not that poor. But it is poor....any way you wanna dress it up.

Now I will keep you here no longer, let you get back to trading with your neighbours.

Edited by krisb
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Easy statements to make when you can up and leave sticks whenever you like, when you have confidence your nearest and dearest can be treated for illness etc.

Many are happy as you put it, particulary the older generation.But then again there is also a lot of apathy and acceptance going on.

Migration ( younger population) from the eastern provinces to cities is huge in Thailand, why ?

Education,health care, oppurtunitys are the normal driving factors.

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Easy statements to make when you can up and leave sticks whenever you like, when you have confidence your nearest and dearest can be treated for illness etc.

Many are happy as you put it, particulary the older generation.But then again there is also a lot of apathy and acceptance going on.

Migration ( younger population) from the eastern provinces to cities is huge in Thailand, why ?

Education,health care, oppurtunitys are the normal driving factors.

Thats right. well said.

Many westerners here dont know what its like to work for 200 or 250baht a day, Then have to survive on that money...not easy.

Anyhow the topic has swayed, the threads about do gooders,..I still say if they wanna spnd their cash on what they choose so be it

People are not poor just because they don't have money.

Unless they are judged by western standards, and I am left to wonder sometimes how many posters on this forum understand the difference between quality of life and quantity of bank account.

Thoroughly agree with these words.

If you cant afford food, shelter ,healthcare? What quality of life is there?
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Ok, how much is a big bag of rice compared to a days pay for a farm worker? Its nothing in my home country to buy 20kg bag.

How much is a pack of cigarettes in Thailand? how many locals who smoke buy packets? not many to expensive at 60baht a pak.

1kg of beef?, 1kg of pork,? the lists go on.

I don't know anyone in our village who buys rice .... grow your own or trade with neighbors.

Tobacco ...... same ...... smoke till you drop, rice whiskey ..... same .... guys drunk every night.

Why would anyone buy something they can have for (nearly) free?

1kg of pork or beef, nobody really eats that quantity of meat except for weddings and funerals. (Beef, hardly anyone eats it as Buddha doesn't like you eating beef)

For someone that supposedly lives in a rural area, you have some strange ideas about what people buy!

OK, reason they dont eat that quantity of meat is cause they cant afford more.

Beef is to expensive. Not because buddha says dont eat it. Where did you get that from?...India?

Tailor made cigarettes are to expensive at 60baht a packet. So they mostly buy rollies.

Not everyone trades rice, what if you dont have enough land to grow? Trade with your neighbours with what?....why do they sell rice in shops if its traded between neighbours and not bought?

Like I said, no ones dying of starvation, dysantry etc.

Its not that poor. But it is poor....any way you wanna dress it up.

Now I will keep you here no longer, let you get back to trading with your neighbours.

Ok you are obviously in need of a little education and correction so here goes.

The reason many Thais don't eat beef is firstly through their worship of the Chinese godess Jawmae guan-im whose father vowed to return as a cow as atonement to his sins in life so people followed her descision not to eat beef. Secondly King Chulalongkorn Rama 5, throned in 1868, A boy king of 15yrs and very much revered in Thailand decided not to eat animals that worked the land. Cows, buffalos and elephants. My wife is like my personal wikipedia! She does'nt eat beef but can sure afford to.

Beef in Thailand approx. 140B/kg. Beef in UK approx. £6 (300B)/kg

Not sure what cigs you smoke but 60Bpkt is peng mak mak! I pay 320B/ carton SMS. Could get much cheaper brands but they suit me fine & are no better or worse than the cigs I buy in UK at £6.50/ packet. More than 10 times more expensive!

Thais eat on average 136kg rice/person/year. We just bought a BIG sack (over 100kg) sticky rice variety in next village. 700Baht. In the last year rice cost has more than doubled in UK. Mainly due to shipping costs. From 57p/kg to £1.35/kg. Uk imports approx 400,000tons/year. Do your sums!

Hope you enjoyed my wee rant as much as I did yours.

Nice to have a wee rant sometimes.

Have a lovely day

Edited by Scotswahay
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Ok, how much is a big bag of rice compared to a days pay for a farm worker? Its nothing in my home country to buy 20kg bag.

How much is a pack of cigarettes in Thailand? how many locals who smoke buy packets? not many to expensive at 60baht a pak.

1kg of beef?, 1kg of pork,? the lists go on.

I don't know anyone in our village who buys rice .... grow your own or trade with neighbors.

Tobacco ...... same ...... smoke till you drop, rice whiskey ..... same .... guys drunk every night.

Why would anyone buy something they can have for (nearly) free?

1kg of pork or beef, nobody really eats that quantity of meat except for weddings and funerals. (Beef, hardly anyone eats it as Buddha doesn't like you eating beef)

For someone that supposedly lives in a rural area, you have some strange ideas about what people buy!

OK, reason they dont eat that quantity of meat is cause they cant afford more.

Beef is to expensive. Not because buddha says dont eat it. Where did you get that from?...India?

Tailor made cigarettes are to expensive at 60baht a packet. So they mostly buy rollies.

Not everyone trades rice, what if you dont have enough land to grow? Trade with your neighbours with what?....why do they sell rice in shops if its traded between neighbours and not bought?

Like I said, no ones dying of starvation, dysantry etc.

Its not that poor. But it is poor....any way you wanna dress it up.

Now I will keep you here no longer, let you get back to trading with your neighbours.

Ok you are obviously in need of a little education and correction so here goes.

The reason many Thais don't eat beef is firstly through their worship of the Chinese godess Jawmae guan-im whose father vowed to return as a cow as atonement to his sins in life so people followed her descision not to eat beef. Secondly King Chulalongkorn Rama 5, throned in 1868, A boy king of 15yrs and very much revered in Thailand decided not to eat animals that worked the land. Cows, buffalos and elephants. My wife is like my personal wikipedia! She does'nt eat beef but can sure afford to.

Beef in Thailand approx. 140B/kg. Beef in UK approx. £6 (300B)/kg

Not sure what cigs you smoke but 60Bpkt is peng mak mak! I pay 320B/ carton SMS. Could get much cheaper brands but they suit me fine & are no better or worse than the cigs I buy in UK at £6.50/ packet. More than 10 times more expensive!

Thais eat on average 136kg rice/person/year. We just bought a BIG sack (over 100kg) sticky rice variety in next village. 700Baht. In the last year rice cost has more than doubled in UK. Mainly due to shipping costs. From 57p/kg to £1.35/kg. Uk imports approx 400,000tons/year. Do your sums!

Hope you enjoyed my wee rant as much as I did yours.

Nice to have a wee rant sometimes.

Have a lovely day

Fair enough!

In Australia I can buy 100kg of good rice for $50. Now as a tradesman I earn around $350 a day.

In Thailand an average village wage would be say 250baht? Now that rice is 700baht.

I dont have to work 3 days to buy rice. Does that mean Thai rice is much more expensive? no.

BTW, I dont see many in the village smoking tailor made smokes still.

Edited by krisb
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In Thailand an average village wage would be say 250baht? Now that rice is 700baht.

I dont have to work 3 days to buy rice. Does that mean Thai rice is much more expensive? no.

BTW, I dont see many in the village smoking tailor made smokes still.

The average cost of rice is 3 Baht per Thai person per day.

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Where the Hell is that Shop, I,m Thinking of a Ute Run and perchance I could fill up with Rice, as my Local Shop sells it for considerably more. More like Tesco,s prices. At that price I guess the little Stones in the Rice are allowed for in the Weight, or else its a Diddle.

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