Gutsy grandmas sell vegetables at Pattaya temple to survive pandemic

Peng Saithum (left), 89, and Tavin Pasuk (seated right), 70, sell their vegetables inside the front gate at Chaimongkol Royal Temple in South Pattaya.

Thai people are very close to their families and they are taught from childhood to respect and honour their elders especially their parents above all else. During their entire lives, the offspring pledge that when their parents get old, they will take care of them and they would never have to work or suffer hardships as they had done all their lives to give their children the best life that they possibly could.

Thais believe this represents the highest form of love and gratitude that offspring can give to their parents.

Yet during these most distressing times when hundreds of thousands of the working generation have lost their jobs and are struggling just to get enough food for their families, two elderly Pattaya ladies who are past their working age, thought that they could not just sit still and watch their children suffer on their own. So, they decided that they would contribute their energies to lighten the burden of their offspring by helping to earn a little income.

Though there’s a large market across the street, the two brave elderly women set up their own vegetable shop right inside the gates of Wat Chai Mongkol temple on South Pattaya Road.

70-year-old Grandma Tavin Pasuk from Huay Yai says she and Peng sell vegetables because they don’t want to burden their children.

Surin native Peng Saithum, 89, and Tavin Pasuk, 70, who hails from Huay Yai, source their vegetables from their gardens or pick them wild at the Mabprachan Reservoir. Some also come from suppliers.

The grandmothers said they started sales so they would not be a burden on their families during these tough economic times. By selling inside Chaimongkol Temple grounds, where Peng’s daughter works, they also don’t have to pay rent for a stall at the Wat Chai Market across the street.

Both Peng and Tavin said they’re aren’t going anywhere and encourage young people to keep fighting and be patient during the Covid-19 crisis.

Surin native Peng Saithum’s daughter is employed at the temple.

The vegetables come from their gardens, or by picking them wild at the Mabprachan Reservoir, and some also come from suppliers.