‘We’ve recently started to rent a house in a small village close to a bigger town. There’s quite some stuff that needs to be fixed and changed so the house is open all the time. The house owner is a teacher in a school in the next village. All the kids from our village and a few other villages are going to the school where she’s teaching. She has been a teacher in this school for almost 30 years, so everybody in the area knows her.
I had a talk with her recently about the security of the house. We travel quite a bit and in some areas of Isaan there’s a lot of theft. She confirmed to me that in the villages this is a problem as well. ‘A lot of youth is addicted to drugs and they steel a lot’ she explained. But she continued: ‘Don’t worry about your house. I’ve talked to everybody in the village and told them you’re like a son for me. I told them that they should be nice to you so they will. They know it’s my house and they won’t come and steal anything from you’. ‘You think so?’ I asked. ‘Sure’ she replied ‘I’ve been the teacher of all the youth who are addicted to drugs now. I’ve played an important part in their lives as their teacher. They owe me something. It will never come up in their minds to wrong me. That’s how our society works here.’
The future will prove whether it really works like this, but there’s a lot more respect for teachers and older people here in Thailand, then in many other areas of the world. That’s a positive thing of the Thai society.