Tales From The Hill Village Part 5
The price of corn has dropped to 3.8 baht per Kilo. I suspect at this price that the other farmers and I are all losing money at that price. We picked 10 rai of corn and only got 27,000 baht, after labour costs, diesel fuel, fertiliser, and tractor maintenance. It’s going to be tough in the village this year and you can expect an influx of girls to Bangkok and Pattaya to restore the family finances. The guaranteed price of rice is also discontinued in the next couple of months, more pain for the village thankfully not for me as we don't grow rice.
My father in law is driving me nuts. He sits around all day smoking free cigarettes from the shop, giving cigarettes and drinks to his friends and eating food paid for by me. Thankfully the wife is getting fed up with him as well and we have stopped selling cigarettes as I was not making any money on them. We just sell the roll your own ones as he doesn't smoke them.
His love life is a wonder to behold. He is divorced from his wife (my mother in law). He had a mia noi who is now his partner. Then he also has another mia noi living near Phichit. He is helping this one to build her own house. She is in her 30's and a very fat lump. I've never met her so don't know anything else about her.
How does my father in law fund his latest mia noi? He lives off me with my wife giving him money whenever he wants it (until recently). Whenever he earns money which is by taking commission on people selling land, he takes his 5%. I suppose you could call him an estate agent but as Thais don't buy and sell houses as they are so cheap in the village, often made of corrugated iron or sometimes wood, or even brick built if the daughter has married a farang as they are so crude and cheap, he sells land to wealthy Bangkokians. However the commissions he makes on this he never pays us anything for all the food and drink he and his friends consume. He gives it all to the mia noi to build her house. At the moment both his partner and my wife give him minimal money. I am just hoping he goes off and lives with the mia noi. Thankfully she lives far enough away that when he does we will hopefully never see him again. However I think he is probably ending up for a fall as the wife informs me that his has happened before and the mia noi gave him the heave ho. So the conclusion from all this is that Thais get taken for a ride with Thai women as well as farang so we shouldn't feel too bad about it. I am livid about it as my father in law has a mia noi and I am in effect paying for his philandering but not getting any benefits!
A couple of months ago I got stopped by the police doing 130 km/h in a 90 limit. The wife negotiates with the policeman and it was a 100 baht fine and nothing on the driving licence. I got stopped by the police a couple of weeks ago on the same stretch of road (talk about stupid farang). I was doing 115 km/hr in a 90 limit. This time a 400 baht fine. My wife offered tea money but it was refused as the Police Commander was sitting at the desk writing down details of the culprits. Yesterday I was driving the wife's car and we were stopped again (not speeding this time). The tax disc was out of date, the fine for that was negotiated down by the wife to 200 baht. The Policeman asked her why she was with a farang and she responded that he doesn't get drunk, doesn't have a mia noi and is the father of my children. I think she forgot to mention money as the other reason.
We are changing what we grow because of the fall in the price of corn. We are planting mulberry bushes and then when they have grown enough we are going to raise silkworms and then sell the silk. The price is guaranteed, assuming the quality of the silk is up to scratch. We have planted 65 rai of mulberry bushes and we are going to start building the shed next week to house the silkworm.
We went to the Queen Sirikit Centre for silkworms in Loei and were shown around the facility and partook of Mulberry tea, a very nice tea I might add. At this facility they raise both white and yellow silkworms.
My father in law is negotiating a land deal where he is in for a commission of 10 million baht as apparently a large Thai company wants to build a factory here. My wife hears through the Thai grapevine that he is planning to buy a farm with his mia noi and that he is planning to go without giving any money to the wife or his partner. He has fallen out with me and has threatened to punch me in the face because I have been complaining about him helping himself to everything from the shop, giving free drinks to his mates and living off me. He then falls out with the wife as he accused her of being disrespectful when she asked him for a document. However, he still continues to live in the shop accommodation, using my electricity, rice, drinks, toiletries etc. I have my father in law's gun locked away in my house at the moment and the wife has told me not to give it to him. He is also totally ignoring me and doesn't even look at me. Rudeness of the first order. Once I realised he was ignoring me I just do the same and don't even register his presence. 2 can play at that game. I am used to it as the wife does it sometimes so doesn't bother me.
2 months later:
The price of corn has risen to 7 baht per kilo. I'm still making a loss, but less of a loss. Everyone is losing money on corn. Everyone is switching from growing corn to growing passion fruit where the price is still very good. Expect there to be a shortage of Thai corn this year. Part of the reason for the corn price collapse is that Thailand has allowed the import of cheaper corn from neighbouring ASEAN countries. However, this is affecting farmers’ income.
Som nom nah, the father in law's 10 million baht commission has not happened. He has now become friendly with me and the wife again. However the wife hasn't forgotten totally and she still doesn't give him any more money. I wonder where he gets his money from. The wife says he borrows from people in the village. He still lives off me in terms of food and everyday living. I have mixed feelings….I like it he didn't get his money however it is still costing me money to support him. I hate this Thai attitude that daughters are duty bound to look after their father. A few weeks later he asked for his gun back and I have now given it back to him so am now not breaking the law anymore which is a big relief. My question to Sunbelt Legal has resolved itself plus the FIL doesn't want to kill me at the moment. Moral : never buy a gun for your father in law.
A Thai man fell off a motorbike and died a week ago, no helmet like everybody else in the village – he rode around without a helmet. No need to feel sorry for him as he had recently been released from a 15-year stretch in prison for murder. Apparently there was a love triangle and he killed his love rival and was sent to prison. The lady in the love triangle went on to marry someone else. The spooky thing is he died at the same spot where he killed his love rival. The wife says that the rival’s ghost caused the man to crash and die. Moral : never kill anybody as their ghost will get revenge.
We met a Thai lady in a neighbouring village who had a new baby, only 2 months old and her husband has died. I asked the wife what happened to the husband as apparently he was stung to death by a few bees. He was out working, picking corn when it happened. It’s strange really as you rarely see bees around here. I haven't got a clue what fertilises the plants – I suspect other flying insects. However, after hearing this story I shall be keeping a lookout for violent bees. Quite an attractive lady, she can speak English as she has worked in Pattaya in the past. There was mention of her wanting a farang for her next husband so I imagine she will be making the trip down once the baby is old enough to be looked after by the grandparents. Moral : Beware bees in the corn field.
We had the annual prize giving for the largest amount of money per rai made from silkworm and were invited even though we haven't started looking after silkworm yet. A lot of dignitaries came along and I was more or less ignored. When I told the gentleman from Loei that I had a degree, wow, out came the mobile phones wanting my number. The farmer who won had earnt 300,000 baht from 10 rai of mulberry bushes in 1 year which was a fantastic achievement.
There is another Thai man that is following the example of my father in law (they are best friends) and has a mia noi. He is as tight as anything but apparently is bringing this mia noi to live with him. His present wife hails from Burma and they have only done a Buddhist wedding ceremony, not the legal stuff. We met her at their house when her husband was out and she was complaining how she never gives her any money – and being in her late 40s had no money and cannot go anywhere as the husband gives her very little money and as she is not legally married would not get anything in a divorce. Moral: Never marry a Thai man; they are living in the past. The wife says that they see that all the farang have girlfriends and they want the same.
Today I heard that a farang had died in the village. He had been suffering from cancer and had been on his last legs for some time. We hadn't ever met; I didn't want to meet him particularly as I would have then been in a difficult situation about his partner's philandering so I had decided not to make his acquaintance. His 'partner', so my wife tells me, also has a Thai husband as well. She did have a car, land and loads of gold. All has had to be sold because she has a serious gambling habit. Recently she had gone down to Pattaya to find another farang boyfriend, presumably partner wouldn't give her any more money. She is a bit of a 'hard case', has also done time for drugs. Do NOT marry this woman!