I don’t think Thailand is classed as a third world country because it clearly isn’t, the unemployment is low and there is a lot of development and money within the country; it is however very under developed outside of the thriving towns and cities. I’m sad and for some reason like to see how people live, it’s interesting. It’s humbling to see people with much less than you yet they are just as happy.
Walk about and Get Lost
If you want to see a place for all it is worth, just walk in a direction and end up somewhere you probably wouldn’t expect to. You might see something different. You might see nothing. From my experience, you find tin clad places selling things, fixing stuff and cooking all sorts.
In the city there are loads slums and tin sheds which comes to no surprise, but it is when you see some precariously placed houses you start to question what the housing situation really is like. Going on the trains is a perfect way to see the houses, some tucked under bridges like hermit houses and others even dare to build their houses suspended above the sewage on posts. Either way, some Thai people live in crazy places but I admire the beauty of the self built, make-do attitude of the houses and some tell interesting stories.
I took a load of pics of houses and things out the train window en route back from the Maeklong market and it gets you thinking, what actually makes these people happy. It clearly isn’t material possessions.
So many people in the UK today are happy saving up for something nice and expensive or getting a nice house deposit, somehow everything involves money. When you look at people that do not have a lot of money, they still seem content with their lives; where as western standards dictate they should be miserable. It’s as if money is a catalyst for happiness. In Thailand and i’m sure many other places it is clearly a different lifestyle and something that can be learned because money equals happiness right?
What Makes Thai people Happy?
I think it starts off with belief; if you believe that money is what you need in life then that must be what you need to be happy right? Buddhism has a different angle on happiness and it seems like it is is the mechanism for keeping Thai people rightfully happy. So the first ‘noble truth’ is that suffering will happen, it is definitive and realistic rather than pessimistic which is what western people so often default to, we just expect things to be negative. Buddhists however are different, they look at how they can avoid the problems in order to become happy. So seeing all of these tin huts should not about how poor they are, just how content they are in life, after all happiness is relative.
This post ended up being something other than bigging up some cool houses built in crazy places but i’ve had a lot to think about and it really is humbling to see these places and something that broadens your expectations. There are so many creative houses that I have seen and just not had the opportunity to photograph because of location. Either way, home made huts are cool as hell, I want to visit more in the future.