I cannot agree more with the Cynic's comments about Thais, the tourist industry and state of the country. I used to LOVE Thailand, but after 3-4 years of having a house and apartment, using Thailand as a base for Asian travel, I am fed up with the
place. And I mean REALLY fed up.
I surprise and disgrace myself by saying this: I hate Thais, I hate Thailand, I hate the country, politics, lies, ignorance, attitude, DRIVING HERE, the list goes on and on. I now write from the UK where I've been for a few months on business (Thai girlfriend here with me, too) and am flying back to Bangkok on Monday. ALREADY I am getting annoyed by thinking of the reception I'll get, starting at the F*ing airport!! Don't get me wrong, I know (most) of the scams and can take care of myself. It's just the constantly repetitive drudgery of having to deal with the lies, deceit, lousy uncaring service, constantly moving goal-posts, arrogance, etc.
By contrast, during our stay in the UK we (my Thai girlfriend included) have received nothing less than respect, openness, a friendly attitude and good service wherever we have travelled. And of course the roads: no tail-gating, passing / driving on the wrong side, drivers that GIVE WAY, a friendly acknowledgement, politeness, etc. (Some will say cities are not like that, I'm just honestly relating my recent experiences.)
Another plus: prices here – taking into account the quality of what you get in return – are not too bad at all! For all its faults, this is a country, people and system I can believe in. Not so Thailand. Life there, the system (and the environment!!) cannot be sustained like that! For those wide eyed foreigners who might disagree I'd remind you of the Cynic's words that the average Thai subsists on 5,000 – 6,000 baht a month. Try getting happy on that! Or provide for a family, handle falling ill, etc. And as I write, I read that Thaksin has taken secret delivery of a 1.1 billion corporate jet.
I'm lucky in that I can live and go wherever I wish. I recently sold my house in Thailand NOT because I didn't love it (a gorgeous place: pool, quiet area, etc) built by a FOREIGNER who (HAD TO!) (ASK ANYONE WHY!!) personally supervise every
stage of construction; I sold because 1) I felt too exposed to all the crap I'd constantly hear about, read about and personally witness, and 2) try getting work done! Broken promises, late, untrained, unprofessional, disorganised and dirty,
and 3) just not wishing to be associated with a country that is going so downhill so fast.
You don't want to hear any more, my apologies for ranting like this. The sickening fact is that I once enjoyed Thailand so much. That was of course when my eyes were welded shut and I 'saw' what I wanted to see. Sure, nowhere is perfect, one should expect to have cultural / personal differences / difficulties if living in any foreign country. But hey, and I know I'm not the only one here, Thailand seems to have that one truly great ability: to irritate, annoy and let you down.
I am thinking as I write: I wish I could meet a few Thais here . . I'd F*ing love to pay them back and treat them as they treat us. My God, what has living in Thailand done to me?
My decision is to keep the apartment for occasional one month stays. Just lock the door and go, no maintenance etc. I'll be off soon to Aussie and New Zealand and will check out houses there. If not, there are plenty of more places in the world. Anywhere . . . but NOT Thailand. Just call me Cynic2.
Full marks for speaking your mind. I wrote a column a few months back about a number of people I know – and importantly, respect, who had decided to leave Thailand. There reasons were numerous, but it would be fair to say that they pretty much mirrored yours.
I maintain that Thailand is a great place for a holiday. A great place for a foreigner to live? Only if you are on to a good number. If not, do a year or two and return to your homeland.
Obviously one's lifestyle choices may mean that Thailand is a superior place to live when compared to the West. But yeah, it is highly stressful living, that's for sure.