Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Bricks And Water

We're currently in the rainy season in Thailand, making everyone vulnerable to sudden torrents of rain at anytime of the day or night. This makes me think twice before leaving the house in my tourist best clothes, some form of protection from a potential downfall is advised.

With many Thai houses being semi-open plan, by which I mean that livings rooms, hall ways and communal areas tend to have only two walls to ensure the flow of air to keep the house cool, rain can cause quite a din unless you're in the sanctity of four walls usually a bedroom). For example, watching TV, having a conversation across a room and even just trying to think become much harder.

Spare a thought then for the new neighbours.

Well, I say neighbours but they are quite unconventional having moved into the guard tower at the housing development next door - a family of 7, I estimate.

The father of the family got a job guarding the entrance to the development (which is hardly a criminal hotbed) and has decided to move his family into the brick cabin 'office' and then build a makeshift house around it using any materials available.

The result is a semi-shanty/brick house for the family, which is apparently an upgrade on their last home. I have no idea how they wash/shower and their kitchen is in the 'garden' aka surrounding glass, the 'house' seems incredibly susceptible to the elements.

No-one seems to mind the new arrivals but for me it is a sad tale of the poverty and sheer desperation that is here for all to see in Thailand. In this relatively affluent neighbour a shanty house is home to a family of 3 generations - it find it hard to believe that it is a safe and clean place to live but they seem happy.

The poverty here is literally next door and it does make you think.

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