About What I Have Done
Sawadee na krap stick and readers,
The earlier post titled "What Have I Done?" has inspired me to submit my first post since becoming an avid reader in early 2002.
Let me first start by saying I know several mates, both in Thailand and Farangland, will read this and know exactly who the writer is, and to them I say cheers and I miss everyone of you.
Now to Natetron, I would say if it is eating you up as bad as it was me, then do it (move to Thailand that is). However, follow your own advice and don’t marry this girl. I know it’s possible for a man and a BG to make it, but it's not the norm. Not even for a young 30ish, smart, and nice guy as you seem to be.
If you decide to up and move here, you will most likely find a better one (or I should say one more suited for a relationship after you get settled and know the score). That’s not to say enjoy her company and the fact she most likely has a sponsor in Farangland sending her back money. I am sorry but I had to disagree with the "only work bar 1 week part." It’s possible, but for her to have the kind of money she had and know all the people at the clubs on Ratchada and RCA, as you mentioned, she goes out a lot and spends much more than most Thai girls and the money must be coming from somewhere. By no means, do I intend to take anything away from the good time you experience with her at all, but I would be curious to know what kind of cellphone she has LOL!
What I would like to give my humble advice to you is not really concerned with the Thai Ladies (which are ambrosia!), it is more so with your employment future! This is something to really think about, and I didn’t but quickly began to. You can get stuck in a "dead end" job in Thailand. Thai employers are not generally known for taking care of the farang employee’s long term future!
I quick synopsis of my situation is as follows:
I came to Thailand in January 2002, and like you, was 30 years old and pretty grounded back in the states. Well after 2 weeks of bliss it was time to return and by the time the taxi got to Don Muang I had made up my mind, I was coming back ASAP and not for a holiday. Shit I would have bailed on my return flight if I didn’t have things to tidy up back home.
My business (a bistro) which had not been open a long time was barely making it and my partner and I were constantly fighting. I agreed to sell my shares to him, for a mere fraction of what I could have gotten had I held out and negotiated, I had seriously just had it with the place. I then took myself off payroll at my nightclub (which was my baby) and elected to just get my sporadic dividend check (which had also been decreasing.)
I then moved all my furniture to my parent’s basement and was back in Thailand by the end of February 2002. I got an over priced apartment, as I thought $US400 for an apartment was ridiculously affordable, crazy newbie LOL!
After traveling around a bit, I did what many others do, and got a job teaching and had a great time doing it for the first year. I looked at it as just that, "a fun experience." With that said, I would tell you that if you do decide to teach, be a professional and take it seriously. Many of these kids' families are paying big $$ for this education.
However, unless this is your passion I wouldn’t advise getting stuck doing it for more than a year or two. You mentioned you had experience in the hospitality industry, bust your ass and find a job in that industry. It may be a similar paying job, but it’s better in the long-run, you meet other farangs in the industry and build your CV.
My work background before the Bistro & Nightclub was in sales and I hit the pavement, emails and mailboxes with everything I had and after about 20 to 25 "no's" eventually found a good job selling real estate, I say good depending on the market LOL! It wasn’t really the increased salary that I desired (although, it was nice), but really to get back to working in an industry that would support my qualifications and future. Man those corporate expats and retirees on nice pensions have it made in Thailand LOL!
In this sales job I networked and made contacts in the BKK business community and parlayed that job into a Director of Sales position based in Phuket. Slightly better income, but even better to have a Director of Sales Southern Thailand on my resume. While there I knew many farangs working in the resorts, mostly F&B managers or assistant managers, Chefs, GM, Assistant GM, and a few concierges (sp?), so the jobs "are" there. Don’t take “no” or more commonly "we don’t hire farangs" as an answer, and believe me you will think, “Why am I wasting my time” after you hear it for the 10th time. Just keep at it and build your CV and international experience while enjoying the pleasures of Thailand.
After the tsunami my Thai wife (I met her after getting settled in BKK) moved back to America and I have a job as Director of Sales for a company and I am still in my mid 30's. Basically, I didn’t skip a beat. I took 3 ½ years off, moved to Thailand had a great time, met some life long mates, learned a lot about life, gained international business experience which I lacked, and most importantly met my wife.
***Side Note: it took my wife 7 months for her visa, so I initially came back alone, waited, and saved as much money as possible.*****
Not ONE day goes by without me missing Thailand. Shit I even miss the things I bitched about everyday, (i.e. a certain government official, traffic, double-standards, oppressive heat, etc.) There is something about the country that grabs many of us by the hearts and/or boo boo’s LOL!
The moral of my story would be for Natetron or anyone else thinking about making the move, to do it now and have a great time, but unless your a corporate expat/lifelong teacher you should utilize your experience in the whatever industry (Hotel/Hospitality Industry) and work hard (research mak mak before to move) and do something that will help your CV in the long run. Shit you're 30 or 31 right? chances are overwhelming that you will be back in San Fran (or another place) in the next few years and you wouldn’t want those 2, 3 or 4 years to not contribute to your future.
I am envious of those high paid expats, but for me and my family we must settle for the yearly trip back.
So Chok Dee, and Sawadee pee mai to all.
Thailand can be fun if you get a good job, but one has to be careful of wasting a lot of time, and especially, their peak earning years in Thailand.