Poor. What does that mean?

Poor. What does that mean?

Our neighbors were getting their drinking water delivery. Out of nowhere Mattaeus comes out with “they are poor because they can’t drink tap water”.

 

*Ding ding ding, learning opportunity*

 

Me: “What does poor mean?”

Mattaeus: “Mum it means they don’t have an oven and they sleep on the floor. They don’t have blankets and they don’t really have a good kitchen.”

Markus: “Because the place is old, doesn’t matter. It’s not poor. It’s just different. That’s all.”

*10 points to the small Asian child*

 

So over some hot noodles and processed pork meat balls, we started to talk about different ways of living and because something isn’t the same as us, it doesn’t mean they are less or worse off than us.

 

Local market in San Kamphaeng. They shut down a few km of road every Saturday and you can buy everything and anything here!!

Local market in San Kamphaeng. They shut down a few km of road every Saturday and you can buy everything and anything here!!

 

Just to give you an idea this wonderful family live in a one bedroom home with a lounge, bathroom and kitchen. Their kitchen consist of a bench, sink and gas stove which I think is great! It’s not cluttered with appliances, one too many chopping boards and Tupperware containers to last a life time. They sleep on the floor as a family and sit on a woven mat to watch T.V at night. There is no such thing as a couch, lazy boys, thermomixer or even cupboards full of food. They cook fresh food DAILY for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why don’t they have blankets? Because it’s bloody 30+ degrees at night here.

 

Welcome to our hood!! This is the entrance to a place we have called home for the past few weeks. Bo Sang!!

Welcome to our hood!! This is the entrance to a place we have called home for the past few weeks. Bo Sang!!

 

What is the definition of poor anyway? So many times I have heard that word been thrown around. “Sorry can’t go for dinner tonight I’m poor” or “I can’t go clubbing this week I’m poor”. Gerhard and I grew up in good old South Auckland. Gerhard is from Manurewa and myself from Otara. I wouldn’t define South Auckland as poor but a low social economic area. We grew up with a roof over our heads, food on the table, a great education and clothes on our back. However, we can say we have grown up around people who have struggled to feed their families, clothe their children and keep a roof over their heads. To us poor means not having the essentials like food, shelter and access to clean water.

Living in a materialistic society in our experience can see people judging others based on the car they drive, the job they have, the area they live in and the clothes they wear. I think this shows as a society we define happiness or success by the amount of “stuff” we own and not the quality of life we are living.

 

Beautiful hand painted umbrellas. We actually met two lovely ladies from here, Punis and Wari. At first they were trying to hustle me into staying at their guest house and renting a scooter. It eventually turned into them inviting us to a Songkran festival celebrated locally and also told us to come to the early morning market near her house!

Beautiful hand painted umbrellas. We actually met two lovely ladies from here, Punis and Wari. At first they were trying to hustle me into staying at their guest house and renting a scooter. It eventually turned into them inviting us to a Songkran festival celebrated locally and also told us to come to the early morning market near her house!

 

This is our local food court which is just down the road. On this day we had 3 freshly squeezed orange juice and two meals for less than $4. Plus we had left overs to take home. Staying far our of town has its perks. It cheap!!

This is our local food court which is just down the road. On this day we had 3 freshly squeezed orange juice and two meals for less than $4. Plus we had left overs to take home. Staying far our of town has its perks. It cheap!!

 

We want our kids to notice the differences, understand the differences but also understand we are all the same. We all sleep, eat, laugh, worry, get excited, cry, piss, shit, love and want to be loved.

 Yes its easy to fear what we don’t understand and can uncomfortable at times. We don’t want to sit and watch from afar, point and make assumptions. We want to speak to people, listen and try to understand because once we start to take away the idea of “us” and “them” we can learn about each other.

We would love to hear what other people think! Do you have any stories to share or have an opinion on this subject?

 

#Hakunamatata

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Vanessa

8 Comments

  • Your name

    That is absolutely priceless what an amazing story you will have.
    You will have to write a book xx keep up the great work

    April 5, 2016 at 10:32 PM
    • Vanessa

      Thanks!! Yeah its been crazy so far and only 7 weeks into our trip. If we wrote a book it would never get published. Too many swear words and saying things that aren’t politically correct haha

      April 6, 2016 at 12:23 AM
  • Your name

    Hey there Voights (crackas), have been enjoying the posts!! Hope all is well, certainly looks Iike it has been. Take care!!

    April 7, 2016 at 9:22 PM
    • Vanessa

      Thanks!!! It’s crack ass cracker to you. No idea who this is but thanks!! Much love

      April 7, 2016 at 10:22 PM
      • Robbo

        It’s Robbo, you crack ass!

        April 8, 2016 at 3:58 PM
        • Vanessa

          As soon as I read the message out loud gerhard said it was you hahahaha spell our last name properly kient

          April 8, 2016 at 4:15 PM
  • Kirsten Chan (nee Andersen)

    Love your outlook on life!

    May 4, 2016 at 9:14 PM
    • Vanessa

      Can’t stress over what we can’t control 🙂

      May 7, 2016 at 10:56 PM

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