Rumor has it that the
City of Chiang Mai has an abundance of money these days, and
have decided to redo the sidewalks surrounding moat of this
ancient city. Quite a large project!
The earth must be
prepared first to even out the lumps before pouring the
concrete. This work is done most often by women.
They cover themselves from head to toe to avoid sun exposure
which tans their skin. Having a 'fair' complexion is quite highly
prized here in Asia.
The concrete is
poured. Men direct the machinery, and the women direct the
Women take on these
jobs because they pay about 200 baht a day (about $6 USD) and
are considered high paying jobs here in Thailand.
Doing this work has
the same 'nose to the ground, back to the sky' position as
working in the rice fields.
With everyone covered
from head to toe, the only way you can tell the women from the
men are from the headgear they wear. The two workers in the
middle are men.
Women wear the wide
floppy brimmed hats to keep the sun at bay. Ankle deep in
freshly poured concrete, one women inadvertently walked out of
her boot! The 'boss man' is the one on the far left, having a
chuckle with his crew.
The ladies are
directing the pour of the cement. One hat is sometimes not
enough to ward off the sun. They will wear two, plus a
headscarf. Remember now, it is near 100 degrees outside and the
humidity is in the high 90 percent! The woman in the background
is smoothing the texture of the cement with a long wooden
spatula type tool.
Taking a short break,
the girls chat, waiting for the cement truck to give another load.
Back to work they
spread the fresh concrete. While there I witnessed three loads
The men are holding
the funnel in place while the women direct the pouring. The
makeshift funnel at the end is corrugated metal with two-by-fours
nailed to it for handles. The weight of the cement broke this
device twice while I was watching.
Smoothing out the
cement with long rakes, being careful not to step backwards, or
into the moat they go!
These women worked
very hard, were proud of their jobs and always kept their Thai