Why, why, why ???

Though I have lived in Thailand forever and a day, I am still rather new to this whole village thing. There continue to be things that beg the question, Why? Please keep in mind that these are questions pertaining to my own peculiar village experience and are in no way intended to be all encompassing or relevant to all villages.

Why are the dividers between rice paddies here so small and irregular? Why is an area, which is so obviously one village, divided into two villages? Why would anyone continue to farm rice when it is so obviously unprofitable? Why would anyone return to live in the village after moving to the city for work and higher wages? Why doesn’t anybody want to have a house phone or landline? Why do parents refuse to discipline their children and then berate teachers when they are forced to do what their parents will not? Why do they insist on having a temple in every village even when the young men don’t want to be monks or novices?

Why do they burn everything that is flammable and some things that aren’t? Why do they cutdown or kill anything and everything that can be eaten or sold? Why do they make every effort to appear wealthy when they are so obviously not? Why are their dogs so loyal when they are so mistreated and ill fed? Why do the girls continue to have babies in their teens? Why do they leave said babies with their parents or grandparents to be raised as villagers? Why are babies afraid of me and cry in my presence? Why are village girls attracted to the most obnoxious village boys? Why are there so many funerals? Why are there so many weddings? Why did I choose to live here? Why did my wife choose to marry me? Why is my wife willing to forgo producing offspring?

Why are the foreigners one sees in these parts such a ragtag looking bunch? Why do people borrow from unscrupulous money lenders charging exorbitant rates? Why do men go into debt to leave home and work in squalid conditions in foreign countries? Why do some women willingly enter into the oldest profession to provide for their often ungrateful families? Why do people drink so much? Why do they drive with such reckless abandon? Why are they so superstitious? Why do they know so little about the religion they profess to follow? Why are they so afraid of anything new? Why do they smile so much and appear so happy?

Though I have found my own answers to most of these questions and many others, sometimes the question is more evocative than the answer. So, one final question to sum things up. Why did you think I was going to answer these questions for you?