Thailand’s Killing Fields

The family rice farm in Nakome Phanome

Ok, that might have been a bit over the top or melodramatic but considering I shoveled shit on the family farm in Nakom Phanome yesterday in some serious heat I think it’s a fitting name for the rice fields here.

The Family Home in Nakom PhanomeTwo weeks ago Mama’s sister asked Pookie if falang could help out getting the rice fields ready as Uncle was a little short handed…and of course she said I could. I didn’t mind, so I was up at 6am and headed to the family farm 10 minutes outside of town.

Now shoveling shit is a bit of a misnomer because there were no shovels involved just hoes and baskets and a lot of back.  We basically moved the shit from the stable to the rice fields depositing a couple of piles in each section. Thai’s will wear long sleeved shirts while working and they offered the same to me but it just doesn’t work for the falang…but a good straw hat and constantly pouring water over my head kept me cool and also made everyone laugh.

We worked for 4 hours and then took a break for eating, showering and sleeping as it was very hot.  During this time The weaving of the basketsthe family hang out under the house because it’s much cooler there. While the men did the work the ladies wove baskets and chatted all day. A few hours later we went back and finished up with the last few loads of buffalo shit and called it a day. We aren’t finished but we made a good dent in it.

It’s funny, here I am helping the family out but a couple of the female family members kept saying ” falang pee baa” which I know to mean ” falang crazy”. When I asked Pookie why the family kept calling me crazy here is the answer I got…” Falang shovel shit…falang pee baaa because why falang shovel shit?” The gist of it all is falangs have money so don’t need to shovel shit and any falang that has money and still shovels shit is crazy. I’m beginning to believe they are right.

The fields didn’t kill me today but I’m told they will have another shot at me tomorrow…Falang pee baa!

The rice storage Pookie relaxing under the house Getting the tractor ready

Break time for computer games Relaxing before heading back to the fields The shoveling of the shit

The shoveling of the shit 2 From the stable looking into the fields The tractor

Young brother manuvering the tractor The stable Uncle and young brother man handling the tractor

Still weaving baskets And yet another one finished Fa took it easy all day

sig1 Thailands Killing Fields

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Comment by MalcolmNo Gravatar
2009-04-19 10:56:47

Talen, It looks and sounds like the honey do list turned into the honey bucket list , ha ha and thats not over the TOP ha ha . the reason they called you Ba is because they (the Thais) can’t belive that we do anything when at home in our country , but sit around all day and drink beer and pick the money off the money trees that grow in all of our farms , so for us to do something called work we are call ba , what they really thought would happen is that when they said they needed help , what they really meant was for you to pay a few of the relatives to help uncle and then you buy them all beers at the end of a half a day’s work. They were scocked to see you actually work, the same looks and laughs I get when I pull my weeds , cut the grass or wash my truck myself they wonder why I don’t pay someone to do it for me, after all I’m rich rich. .It’s the same as when they say they want to borrow some money , what they are really saying is will you give me some of your money , you can pick more when you get home . Borrow is not the same word as we know it to be we think loan they think give , because you will never see a penny of your money repaid.
Any way, I am proud of you for working so hard and I’m sure you other Thai half is proud too ,maybe? Malcolm

Malcolms last blog post..BACK TO THE REAL WORLD (at least here in Whang Pho)

Comment by MartynNo Gravatar
2009-04-19 19:19:41

Get down to the local shopping mall, grab a dress, stockings, high heels and a copy of Indian Basket Weaving (paperback) by Navajo School of Indian Basketry $9.95, then you can sit chatting to the women all day. That’s what I’d do anyway. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. Top banana.

Martyns last blog post..Let’s Work Together

Comment by MikeNo Gravatar
2009-04-19 21:27:40

Talen great post, shovelling shit in Thailand!

Mind you I have done the same collecting cow shit from the field behind my home for the garden.(why don’t they have shovels and a wheelbarrow?)

Now I understand what my neighbour said, but short of getting “Taksin”(her bull as in bullshit)to come and do it in the garden I will have to remain farang pee baa!

Mikes last blog post..Week in Review (5)

Comment by Martin In BulgariaNo Gravatar
2009-04-20 04:23:59

Nice one Talen, shit shoveling is good for the soul (not sole – lol) and you can’t buy that!

Martin In Bulgarias last blog post..Car Insurance Rip Off For Brits in Bulgaria

Comment by NixonNo Gravatar
2009-04-20 23:04:02

The gist of it all is falangs have money so don’t need to shovel shit and any falang that has money and still shovels shit is crazy.

haha, Careful, you’re going to shatter the illusion of the farang having a money bend and getting grapes fed to him by nubile young women back in farang-land. Truth is, I bet most westerners would rather be shoveling shit than taking crap from a know-it-all boss 60 hours out of the week. Well, the grass is always greener.

Nixons last blog post..Creepy Craig’s List Killer Is Ruining the Internet for Everybody

Comment by CatherineNo Gravatar
2009-04-21 01:43:31

Talen, what a fine post!

And wow. I feel for you. Because it’s not on the day that the back of everything starts aching, it’s the day after and the day after that.

From what I’ve read, when Thais go to a Western country they are surprised to find farangs doing menial labor. Even the not so poor.

Catherines last blog post..Thai Language Phrase Books: A Mega Review

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-04-21 10:31:41

Yes, the honey do list definitely turned into the bucket list….and of course after a hard day of work I supplied the beer for the karaoke party that night.

I can believe Thai’s are surprised when they go to a western country because here they all think I live in a palace of gold…I heard pee baa less today but the looks from other Thai’s while riding on the tractor to the other fields was priceless. I thought one man was going to wreck his truck.

And Mike I don’t know why they don’t have proper shovels and wheel barrows but if they did the job would have been wayyyy done by now!

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