Thursday, March 09, 2006


A few months ago I instituted the doling out of allowances to the kids in our household. To our little eight-year-old, Kin, I gave 100 baht ($2.50). To 12-year-old Phai I gave 300 baht ($7.50). To our boy, 14-year-old Bir, I gave 600 baht ($15).

You should have seen the looks of delight on their faces. I hoped they would be pleased but that exceeded my hopes. It has been the same every Saturday. Their happiness in receiving the money hasn’t diminished a bit. And there hasn’t been the slightest question about the difference in the amounts.

There was an immediate payoff. The first time they got their allowances, the two older kids went off to see a movie. It was only the second movie Phai had seen in her life.

So now I look forward to each coming Saturday. The $20 I give them gives me as much enjoyment as any money I have ever spent.

I mentioned what I was doing to a Thai friend. He stared at me in surprise. I guess the concept is not very common here. Well it ought to be.


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