A Contrast to City Life

In the introduction, we mentioned that life in Thai towns, cities, and resorts would be much more familiar to any Westerner than life in a Thai village. There are banks, shops that sell jewelry and watches, Seven-Eleven stores, Baskin-Robbins.  There are shopping centers, giant discount stores, and movie theaters, highways and super-highways.  People can eat at noodle stands or they can choose a fine Thai or French or Japanese or any other international restaurant instead.  Thereís also Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and KFC. Doctors treat the sick at large hospitals. Cities and towns, not villages, are sites for universities, colleges, and high schools.

Towns and cities are the places that host large colorful festivals or interesting tourist markets. They are locations for conferences, exhibits, special events of all kinds. More Thais in those places speak English, making it easier for Westerners to get a taxi or find a hotel.                                                                What Westerners miss by exposure limited to towns, cities, and resorts is the chance to see a very different side of Thai life.

    Village Life in a  Snapshot

Fewer Thai people in villages speak English. Most families have a TV.  Some have a computer. Most have phones. Refrigerators are very small. Families own little furniture and fewer window screens. Most people eat, sleep, work, and watch TV on the floor. Some homes have inside toilets and showers, others donít. Mosquitoe nets drape over hard pallets or mattresses where families sleep at night. There are no closets.  Clothes lay folded in a corner, on hangers held up by rope attached to nails along a wall, or on free-standing wire racks. Ceiling mounted neon lights flicker dimly at night.  Cracks between clapboards that cover houses let in house lizards that eat mosquitoes. They scamper across ceilings singing their familiar clicking songs. Floor fans offer some relief from heat in the summer, but the coolest place is under the house...or, like little Nam and her cousin, in water!  So, villages here can be quite different from towns and cities in Thailand or in America.

Some things, however, are not different. Family members care and support each other.  People work hard. They run into problems and find solutions.  They are healthy most of the time, sick sometimes.  Accidents happen. Families like to celebrate. They worship together. Students study.  Friends joke around.

Village Daily Life

The following sections are about work, schools, worship, transportation and dwellings in Thai villages, especially ours.  By way of comparison, you can also see how different or alike these are from the way of life in Thai towns and cities.

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