I don’t know how they survive without work but they always seem to have enough money to buy cigarettes, beer and petrol for their motorbikes. I have seen some of these kids totally wiped out before lunchtime. They are staggering all over the place and going backwards but manage to climb onto their motorbikes and ride off somewhere. At nighttimes they are always drinking under a hut somewhere and singing Thai songs to a guitar or a CD. Some of these guys are talented at playing the guitar, they play really well and can play some classic English songs.
(some young guys having a beer)
He hasn’t wearing a shirt and only had shorts on, so he ripped up his arm and took skin off his back and leg. It looked pretty nasty but he was on his feet and his friends on other bikes were laughing at him. I had gone to check on him and I suggested he go to the hospital to get his cuts and grazers checked but he simply picked the bike up and started it and turned around and went back to his house where his friends or mum must have patched him up. About 30 minutes later he was roaring down the street again with bandages on his wounds like nothing had happened. Scars from motorbike crashes are sort of like badges of honour here. I cannot believe how many of my young students have big horrible scars from crashes.
I saw one really big fight between some village local boys and some other guys visiting from another village that was close by. Somehow an altercation happened (not hard when Thai guys are drunk) and we heard yelling and saw some older village guys running down the street. I followed and there were about 12 guys facing off. One guy had blood coming from his head and the others were pointing fingers and yelling. One of the local buys picked up a big piece of timber and charged at this one guy and belted him across the chest and shoulder region. All of a sudden there were 10-12 guys into it and fighting with kicks and punches going everywhere. One guy on the ground was having the crap kicked out of him.
You can buy 4 tall bottles of beer from the shop for 100 baht ($3.60 Aust) and the Thai Rice wine is 80 baht (2.85 Aust) for a large bottle and it is really strong and tastes foul and gets the boys really rocking.
It is a worry and sad to see these young guys are like this but I wouldn’t know where to start to try and educate them to the damage they are doing to themselves. I don’t think the government past or present has tried to combat the situation and it would be a massive project to undertake. Too many of these boys end up in pine boxes well before their time.
Maybe one day the Thai government will address the problems of alcohol abuse in villages. The longer it takes to start the more sad young deaths will keep occurring.