A former member of The Well messaged me today. Here is the translation:
“Hey Dad, I need your advice on something. Can you help me?
“Hello my daughter. What can I help you with?”
“I’m going to mortgage some land, Dad. But they’re giving me a really low price.”
“Why do you have to mortgage?”
“I had it appraised at the land office. They assessed it at ฿196,000. I need it for my younger sibling’s wedding. My parents are old. They don’t have the means. So I have to take the deed and mortgage it. I’m really stressed, Dad. Tell me something.”
Thai pronouns are not always gender specific. My first assumption was that she was talking about a younger sister.
“How much do you have to pay?”
“130000. I have to take care of my younger sib’s. The girl’s parents are asking for a lot. If not he has to go to jail.”
Ah, it’s a younger brother, so obviously either a date rape situation or a minor.
“That’s a lot.”
“I took it to finance, but they gave me very little.”
“Why do you owe this?”
“Give it to their daughter, Dad. Dad, what should I do? Maybe I’ll have to sell the land. It’s so much money.”
“Speaking directly, I am not 100% Thai. By my culture I’d let him go to jail.”
“It’s not like that here. Mom and Dad don’t abandon their children.”
“I understand that well. But it makes it difficult for me to give you advice.”
“Yes Dad. I think I will sell [the land]. It will be very good.”
“It looks like your brother did something not good at all, right?”
“Oh no. It’s tradition. He had sex with the woman. We have to set the wedding date.”
“How old is the woman?”
“And how old is your brother?”
Thai culture/law lets families handle things like this between themselves, and it is often solved with a direct payment, family to family.
“Ow. Is she pregnant?”
“Normally I wouldn’t trust a man who had sex with a kid. If my own son did like that I would have him go to prison, really. Sorry for speaking straight. I love you, daughter.”