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Friday, October 26, 2012

A Visit to Pit Lane for the Sakon Nakhon Boat Races 25.1012

collectors are already out
It all starts tomorrow and everyone is getting set up, The Paraded, 2 of the, the races, the fair and light and sound shows, the excitement and the beauty. As the excitement mounts it might be time to look at the back story. I am sure it goes on in the rest of the world, in the rest of Thailand as well, but it is most prevalent in Isaan. Thailand's Nearly English Language Dailies will occasionally run a story about it Loan sharks come gunning, is one. A few years ago one of the versions of Thai Rak Thai (Thai Loves Thai) government claimed to be eradicating the usurious money lending practices, but in truth it is now more common than ever.  For an example of how Thais love Thais and another practice in Thailand simple read Looks like gold, but isn't...The standard issue Isaanite has no access to credit unions and other forms of getting money so they turn to the money lenders.
Many of the vendors, sellers and gamblers at these festivals, with hopes and dreams of riches during the event turn to the to purchase stock and rent marquees and other equipment. For many the riches are only a dream and they spend months, years or the rest of their lives paying the 10 to 20% interest per month on these loans. When people can no longer take the pressure and run away the leave the guarantors behind to pay the money. It is a terrible situation that is rampant in Northeast Thailand.
Go out and enjoy the festivities, but keep in mind the high price many will pay and above all do not forget Thais Love Thais