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As sea gypsies win their land battle, others use them for marketing

Ahoy Me Hearties! Un-heard of in my history fishing out of Phuket are these February squalls, to my mind, just another pointer to the climatic changes going on around us, and for the most part being ignored. Just another sad chapter in the annals of human obstinacy!

tourism, economics, marine,


Jimmy Stewart

Sunday 12 March 2017, 12:00PM


The Rawai Sea Gypsy market prior to the ‘takeover’.
The Rawai Sea Gypsy market prior to the ‘takeover’.

I remember reading that, although the government was aware of world’s rising sea levels, they would like to assure the people that this would not affect the Gulf of Thailand. Must have been a Trump supporter!

So now to stop me prattling on about the weather, how about the guys who introduced me the Andaman Sea? The Rawai Sea Gypsies.

It seems strange to me that such a valuable asset to Phuket’s tourist industry should be better protected or at the very least compensated for their sub-standard living conditions, especially as so many others profit from there meagre existence.

Yes my friends, the gypsies look to have won the battle against big business even when they did bring in the muscle and the threats. But now the village is being infested by tourists arriving on road-choking buses while the logistics of taking advantage of these mostly Chinese “Greenhorns” means – there is a very sizeable population of Thais, Indians, Chinese just working on emptying the tourist wallets – while the Gypsy Village gets invaded on a daily basis by rubberneckers and these freeloading carpetbaggers who live off the backs of the gypsy’s reputation.

I used to drive my car right through to the back of the village, now non-gypsies are telling me “no cars” while they are selling fish at inflated prices, as people believe they were caught by the gypsies and therefore by buying fish “we are helping them”, while the exact opposite is the case.

The improved infrastructure of the village looks modern enough as you walk in but it’s all facade and f all else.

The gypsies, who had little sanitation or drainage, now find their village overrun by commercial interests and all its disgusting side effects which only compound the previous problems and highlights the inadequacies of the authorities, who historically have been as beneficial to the gypsies as a morale officer on a pirate ship.

Are we to be witnessing the demise of the gypsies as another insidious form of takeover unceremoniously digests them into a corrupt, profit led system they neither need, want nor understand, or is the “department in charge” the same one that said, “The tide will not rise in the Gulf Of Thailand?”

Tight lines

Jimmy

 

 

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