KHON KAEN: There are plenty of coffee lovers in Thailand, but one itinerant sugarcane cutter from Khon Kaen took caffeine craving to new heights. Banjong Singhakul, 45, found that he could bypass the annoying process of mixing the stuff with hot water by simply munching down mouthfuls of instant coffee granules. Unfortunately, too much of anything is never a good thing, and K. Banjong’s habit killed him – not of heart palpitations, but of asphyxiation. A doctor told Banjong’s wife, Hataikorn, that when the body was examined, a big, black bolus of coagulated coffee was found stuck in K. Banjong’s throat, cutting off his oxygen. Fortunately for his family, K. Banjong had just taken out a one-baht-a-day-insurance policy through the government’s new Ua-athorn (We Care) program and his grieving, hitherto poverty-stricken wife picked up a useful 300,000 baht in benefits to help ease her loss. “I knew he liked coffee, but I never imagined he would eat the granules without mixing them with hot water,” K. Hataikorn said. She added that she would spend most of the money on the purchase of farmland and put the rest aside for the education of their youngest son.
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