My Thai Family
Lek has returned from her 4-day trip to Nong Khai, and I have to say that during her absence, Neung, her fifteen-year-old son, took care of me admirably. He made my breakfast and cooked my evening meal, and all I had to do was prepare my own lunch. What more could a man ask?
Neung is turning into a very nice teenager – such a change from a couple of years back when we caught him stealing money from me on more than o0ne occasion. Less than six months ago I had a major issue with him when he refused to go to school one day.
But now he does his chores around the house and seems to be growing into a responsible young man. He still has shouting matches with his Mum almost every day: but that is partly cultural, (Issan folk love to shout at each other – they have very short tempers) and partly just his teenage testosterone surging out of control. He tries to assert himself and refuses to take a ‘bollocking’ lying down – he always has his own version of events.
He loves his mother dearly and these spats are soon over and peace returns to the Mobi household. He still teases the hell out of his little sister, and that inevitably creates friction between mother and son.
His sister is equally to blame – squealing with delight one minute as they rough-house with each other, and then screaming and crying the next. Neung is a big, strapping 63-kilo lump of Thai teenage-hood and I doubt if Song is a third of that.
But he is full of energy and smiles. He has a great sense of humour and is always laughing. He goes into a deep sulk when his mother has a go at him, but within an hour, he is smiling again.
He has now finished his secondary education and has ‘graduated’ with pretty good grades. I think he is pretty bright – possibly brighter than his sister – just my impression, but who knows, she is only 7.
The other week, he easily passed an entrance test for a local technical college and next week he will go with his mum to sort out his place at the college. He will be learning computer skills – for which he is well suited. He seems to be very quick on the uptake and in many respects he already knows much more about computers than I do.
God only know how much this is going to cost – but what can I do? I have to try and do my best for him.
If I’m not very much mistaken, Neung’s sister, Song, is going to be quite a looker. She is darker skinned that Neung (after her father) and she is already showing signs of being very pretty – and she knows it! She is always looking at herself in a mirror, and dressing up and asking me if she is pretty. Then she stands next to her mother and asks me who is prettier – her or her mother?
She is always looking at herself in a mirror, and dressing up and asking me if she is pretty. Then she stands next to her mother and asks me who is prettier – her or her mother?
My replies are always diplomatic: “Both of you are as pretty as each other…”
Her teachers also know she is pretty. I can tell because Song is always singled out for special treatment and recently she was the head cheerleader in a recent parade, where the teachers had obviously chosen the prettiest girls.
Unfortunately, Thai culture places great emphasis on beauty and encourages pretty girls to flaunt their beauty. Society tends to over-indulge them which often results in attractive girls becoming self-absorbed, lazy, superficial and narcissistic. So we’ll have to watch it.
Still Trading for the Future
On the writing front – things are proceeding quite well. I seem to have got myself well in with the Futures Trading team that I wrote about in an earlier blog, and they are promising me regular work – provided that their business venture succeeds and their room continues to attract new members.
I seem to have taken over the marketing function. I have been writing sales letters for them which are sent out regularly as email mail-shots, and from next week, they want me to take over the technical handling of the bulk email. Yet another computer skill for me to learn.
I have built up a really good rapport with one of the head traders and he likes working with me he trusts me to get the job done without a hassle.
It is still early days and I am not counting my chickens, but if this works out well, it could go some way to providing me with the extra income I desperately need to take care of my family.
The weather is turning – for the better – for now.
We seem to have had a slight reversal in the weather, and the temperature has dropped a few degrees from the high 30s of a couple of weeks back. There have been a few thunderstorms, a few cloudy days, and in between, the sun hasn’t been quite as intense as it was in early March.
Long may it continue, but we are heading well into the hot season now, so it is unlikely.