Who Is The Old Man At The Bar In Cheers Teerak- My Mom Is Sick And I Need Money

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Teerak- My Mom Is Sick And I Need Money

Introduction

“Teerak, my mother is sick and I need money”. For those who don’t know, “teerak” is the Thai equivalent of “darling”, used with “faan”, a neutral word like boyfriend and girlfriend. It’s no big secret that there is a lot of prostitution in Thailand, although the numbers are exaggerated by the media. There are many stories of clever girls who manage five or six partners at once and develop new ways to make money. “Teerak, my mother is sick and I need money” is a catchphrase that Farang residents in Thailand use to describe such girls.

It may not be familiar with family culture. The Thai family is the foundation of society in ways that many Westerners struggle to understand. In short, the family looks out for each other. If you marry into a Thai family then you have to take care of that family. In practice, however, many Thai women expect their Farang boyfriend to also support the family. Therefore, a man’s “wealth” is very important in choosing a partner. To some this is seen as very degrading, almost tantamount to prostitution. This is very simple. Thai culture is not western culture: for better or for worse, it is different.

Start date: March 25, 2006

My old faan (very old) calls me. As usual I don’t answer. If I answered every phone call I get I would be on the phone 30 hours a day. Then I see that I have an sms from him. “My mother is dying.” Well, that sounds serious. I call him and two hours later I am in Phatumtani Hospital, about an hour from the center of Bangkok.

It is a government hospital and I heard bad things about these institutions. But it was clean, the patients were sick but not badly treated, the staff seemed professional and the care was excellent. In the Thai way I like and admire all the families of the patients are in one place. Everything is chaotic but everything in Thailand is chaotic, and that’s good.

Our opponents are very old and very young. He must be in his 80s and dying. It’s not a big deal. It’s just time. His whole family is there, he works in shifts. His grandson, who I think is 35+, is on his shift now. You can see right away that maintenance is not his thing! However, she is washing him, chasing after him, leaning his head on the pillow, holding his hand, lying on the floor of his bed. All this shows love and respect for his grandfather. It is a sad and inspiring time.

I see this with almost every patient and family. A terminally ill cancer patient is being cared for by his sister. A very old woman is being cared for and fed by her ex-husband. Little kids running around. Crowding in the best way possible. We have a lot to learn from the Thai people.

Neung, my ex, cried all the way in the taxi. When we arrived, his mother was not well. It looks like he has an aneurysm. He is unconscious and the nurses say to get him ready. His sister Ying has come from Chiang Mai and is there. So the girls do what the Thais do and I have a long day. They bathe their mothers, talk to them, hold their hands, and cry a lot (of course!). I play a little game, buy food, buy drinks, etc. And we are waiting for the doctor. He reached the ground and began his journey but soon disappeared. Someone is dying on the floor. He came back a few hours later. He gets very close to us this time before his phone rings and he turns it off again. An hour later it reached us.

The nurses do some of the worst things to Neung’s mother, but for the right reasons. The doctor takes his time. He is small but he is fit. The causes of this disease are unknown. In fact, they are saying that we will have to wait a few days to see what happens.

Neung starts asking me how he can go to be with his mother while she is working, how he can pay for a taxi and so on. Gradually we get to the point of “teerak, my mother is sick and I need money”. Before I have a chance to make the expected “donation”, his aunt arrives in Chiang Mai, stays for a while, obviously wondering who the hell this is, and then leaves giving Neung money to take care of the money.

And little by little everyone is happy. Neung has the “balls” to call an insurance agent about a life policy….”teerak, I have to think about funeral expenses….”. Please note!

Neighbors come and neighbors go. Phones are “hot”. It’s good to see people caring. I wish it would be like that when it’s time for me to go.

I’ve been wandering around the hospital all day. And it’s fun. I’m the only one there. No one speaks English. A small 7-year-old boy looks at me and says, eyes and fear, “falang” (Thais cannot pronounce the consonant “r”, so “farang” comes out as “falang”). The girls in the 7/11 shop look at me and laugh…then ask me if I like Pattaya and they can go with me! I’m only an hour away from Bangkok and yet it feels like I’m in another country.

I could have done without all of this. I had to delay my flight back to Switzerland, my home country. I’m tired. I have work to do. And obviously I would like Neung’s mother to be better. However, I would not miss the event. It showed me good things about this country. It also affirmed family values. It showed respect. I’m glad I was there. I don’t think Neung’s mother will recover but I think her daughter is getting used to it. We hadn’t spoken in months. Maybe this wasn’t a good reason to talk anymore, but it was good to do so.

Part 2 follows. Original article on [http://www.blog.artthailand.net/?p=14]

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