"There's a sucker born every minute." PT Barnum - circus flimflammer.
One reason for the current economic debacle is the natural propensity of people wanting something for nothing i.e. greed. The middle-class of America were dissatisfied with their lot in life and sought to live like millionaires on credit and leveraged mortgages. Most got their just desserts, which was a good soaking.
Som num nah means 'serves you right' in Thai, but some people never learn that if something sound too good to be true than it has to be too good to be true as revealed by this entry from this 2007 Thai blog from www.teakdoor.com
Read the following and weep or laugh.
I just shook my head.
One morning while walking toward Pantip plaza a well dressed Thai fellow sitting in the shade on Petchaburi rd. compliments my hat and wonders were I'm from from.
It's too early for Pantip to be open(not quite 10) so I sit next to him on the long marble sill of this building and chat a little. It's pretty hot out and offers to buy a coke in a nearby air conditioned restaurant. I tell him I'm from Alaska and he proceeds to tell me how his sister is going to Anchorage for a visit and would like for me to meet her. I agree since I had time to kill and figured it would be nice to meet another Thai family. So we hop in a cab and go to a house in a nice middle class Thai neighborhood off Ratchada. There I meet an uncle and an aunt. Some food appears on the table and we have something to eat.
I get to talking with the uncle and he's a card dealer at a Poipet casino. He starts telling about some kind of variation to the blackjack game and say's he'd let me win once sometime. I'm immediately a little suspicious about anything to do with gambling and weird deals having played Las Vegas quite a bit. But I'm willing to listen.
We're still waiting for the sister to arrive and he offers to show me how his blackjack game works. He's a pretty slick card shark with a slick oily Elvis hairstyle. Next thing he's talking about some high-roller from Singapore who's on him way over and he wants the brother to play a few hands to win some money off him.
The Singapore guy shows up with the sister and very quickly a bit wad of US cash is on the table and the brother and sister are sitting on either side of me. Now I never expressed interest in playing and had gone along with the gag so far just to be polite. But it was starting to look like I was the one being played there. Then a hand comes where the Singapore guy raises the bet and "brother" needed an additional 1000 baht to cover it. They look to me to help like I was part of it.
I'm a little boxed in with "brother" and "sister" to either side. So I make the mistake of pulling out 1000 baht to "help". There's over $1000.00 USD in the pot and I suddenly see where all this was going. The cigarette smoke from the uncle was already making me nauseous.
I claim to be sick and get up and go outside for some air. The sister comes out to talk with me. The "sister" story didn't compute she was too young to be vacationing in Alaska. Then the brother comes out and starts talking about how his mother was sick and needed blood. He asks me what blood type I was! WTF! The scene was becoming too bizarre. I decide to bolt then and there. He accompanies me in a taxi to the nearly MRT makes apologies for his "uncle" and want's to meet later. I tell him I was going be very busy for the next few days.
At least he didn't get fooled by a ka-toey, but as HL Mencken said, "No one ever got poor by overestimating the gullibility of the American Public."
So I suspect this writer will get taken again.
Som num nah indeed.