In third week, the time Thai labourers had to share and discuss information was limited. As a consequence, The writer and researching team have tried to survey an industrial area in Taichung which is called “Taichung Xie He community”. This area is located near Tunghai university where the community has a large number of Thai labourers, approximately 2000 by the estimate of a local Thai labourer.

There are many factories around this area, and the large numbers can be traced to the provision of accommodation for ASEAN labourers by companies or agencies. However, as a result those same companies also apply a condition of salary deduction as payment for the services. 

It was surprising to our team that there are so many ASEAN labourers in this area and that this environment is so dramatically different from outside. There is a Asean restaurant, shop, barber, karaoke, and lottery store, that it might be separate to many community zones such as Vietnamese, Indonesian and Thai. The first impression of this area, is that it might be in the self interest of the factory political agenda to compile all migrant labourers within close proximity. In addition, through an ownership of living provisions – perhaps through the nature of capitalism – the owner of factories dis-empowers the workers and can set all systems of wage rate. As a result, it becomes far easier to control migrant labourers and to restructure their lives to the nature of the factory’s demand.

However, what is being neglected here is the recognition of the worker as a human-being and not simply tools or fuel in which to propel the industrial system in this country.

When searching for information we generally find, as newly met visitors, we're greeted with happiness. They offer a welcoming embrace and we share time and join in activities as they return to their own space or community. This creates a face that seems content and even celebratory, but this is the relief time, the hours they spend freeing themselves from heavy work and limitations of living. After time in their company, a window is opened and there comes a point where the true conditions of this life come to the surface. Anecdotes, information, conversations – a true dialogue begins. 

This is the first Thai man who the writer interviewed, discussion focused on leisure time in Taichung. Firstly, the writer was using general questions such as “Where are you come from?”, “What do you do here?”, and “What is your point of working here?” Generally, their answers are that “I come from the North East of Thailand”, “I am working in the metal factory”, and “the main reason for working here is money”. After the conversation, the writer spent time, and drank Thai beer with this the interviewee. It was important to establish and acknowledge this time as relaxed situation. Then the writer began to ask him about, what are Thai worker doing on their rest periods? Before replying, a flourish of facial movements shifted his expression, indicating a greater seriousness or consideration. 

Then he said, “Normally, it depends on their individual tastes. I think most of them like to go to have some activities in ASEAN SQUARE such as karaoke, drinking, shopping, and some of them working.”

The writer said, “Really?”

He said, “Yes, they go to find a part time job in that building such as washing dishes, pushing food cart, and lifting things. I think it is their personal favourites.”

The writer follows with, “And you?”

He said, “Personally, I don’t like to go because I have overtime(OT) working. For me, the monthly salary is 20,008 that is not enough. Do you know? My salary is deducted by many things such as labour and health insurance, 2000 NTD for a room and many kinds of tax.”

The writer said, “So how much do you really have left each a month?”

He said, “It's not stable, it depends on OT working. I cannot tell the exactly amount.” 

Some labourers have many OT hours but their money can still be deducted by something such as tax refund. For instance, some factories have to give tax back 18% but they just give 6%, and there is no reason for workers. However, it depends on each factory. If the owner of factory is good, labourers get lucky. If a small factory as a family business, everything depends on the satisfaction of owner.

While in discussion, the subject would stretch beyond the subject of rest periods. There were wider concerns and worries. It was clear the process offered a welcome release. 

That same night, the writer met a group of thai labourers who were drinking Thai beer and watching the Euro football match. When they asked the writer to join them, the situation allowed everyone to become acquainted. With this casual and open situation in place, it was time to find out how these teenager Labourers were differed from the man prior.

At the start, the writer got as same information as the last. There was a repetition of how it was only about the money, primarily to look after families. Then they began to explain their leisure time in another way. 

They said, “Generally, we like to drink Thai beer in front of the local supermarket in this area, and sometimes we like to play football, go fishing and sometimes gamble on our day off.”

One of them said the day of rest “Is like our home town.” where as during work days “we just have 5 minutes for breaking time that is just for smoking.”

An additional and perhaps surprising mention, is that some didn’t know of ASEAN square. This is the result of the fact that they are teenagers, and have many activities around their accommodation area to gravitate to. They also revealed that they have a Thai labourers football competition every month, and are proud of their wins.

What this information suggests, is that the range of age is another factor in the assessment of contentment. This group have found ways to seek happiness whatever they do. 

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