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Holed up | Thaiger

SRISAKET: When the stresses of life and the pressure to be polite become too much, the idea of retreating into a little place to get away from it all can be quite tempting. This is exactly what one man in Srisaket province has done – for the past 20 years. While out visiting his charges in the province’s Nam Kliang District, Srisaket Vice-Governor Phirasak Hinmuangkao was told about a man in the district who lived in a hole in his relatives’ garden. Villagers led V/Gov Phirasak to the house of siblings Phai Jaijaeng, 82, and Khai Jaijaeng, 73. Outside the house, V/Gov Phirasak was shown an almost three-meter-deep pit where K. Phai and K. Khai’s younger brother, 70-year-old Suan, have lived for the past 20 years. K. Phai said that about 20 years ago, his younger brother had begun acting strangely and refused to talk to him. Shortly after, K. Suan dug a hole with an entrance only 50 centimeters by 50cm and then retreated into it, refusing to leave or even to come out to take a bath. When K. Phai asked his brother why he was acting so strange, K. Suan replied that he liked it in the hole and told his brother not to bother him. Every two or three days K. Suan would come out to eat, but only at nighttime as he didn’t like the sun, K. Phai said. After each meal, K. Suan would rush back to his hole, K. Phai said. If close friends came to visit, K. Suan would sometimes come to the mouth of the hole to chat with them for a while before retreating back into the darkness. K. Suan’s only piece of clothing, K. Phai explained, was a pair of old underpants which he wore at all times. K. Phai said that his brother wasn’t hurting anyone, so he decided not to interfere with him and to let him stay in his hole. V/Gov Phirasak gave some money and some medicine to K. Phai to look after his younger brother, who refused to come out of his hole to accept the gift himself. He then instructed the local authority, Tong Pit Tambon Administration Organization, to watch over K. Suan and to try not to let anyone disturb him.


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