i know i’ve mentioned our mâe bâan’s desire to earn a bit more money. times are tough and she’s the major bread winner for her household – with 2 kids and a husband, i’m sure it’s difficult to make ends meet. we’ve done our best to help. we pay her a decent wage and pay her husband to keep up the yard. we also give monetary gifts at christmas and birthdays. and we’re not really sure what else we can do.
last week she came to us and asked for 4 weeks pay in advance. she’s done this before and it makes me nervous. because if she needs all that money right now, what will they live on for the next 4 weeks?? the reason she needed money was because she was joining the many, many, many vendors that lined up with food to sale during loy khratong.
we went to her food stall everyday and purchased the lôok chín she’d made. lôok chín are meatballs. made from all types of meat – chicken, pork, fish, etc… then they are deep fried. everytime we went by her stall there was no one buying – only us. every night i did a bit of an eyeball comparison to measure how much had been sold. and i was getting the sinking feeling that the answer was not much. when we saw how late the festivities were going we gave her two paid days off. wednesday was the first day this week she was supposed to work, but she wasn’t feeling well so her husband came. he brought with him all the beverages (cokes and bottled water) they had purchased to sell at their stall and asked if we would by them. which we did. but he also brought several bags of lôok chín. we offered to pay for them, but he wouldn’t let us. and now i’m feeling worried for them.
i’m certain they lost money on this venture and they’ve got 3 more weeks before they are due any money from us. what will they do? and what is our responsibility? where does the guilt i’m feeling come from?