Readers' Submissions

Change Is In The Air

  • Written by Casanundra
  • September 22nd, 2006
  • 32 min read



I like the wind… it brings a refreshing breeze…

It also brings debris…

It brings new smells…

It brings Mary Poppins…

It brings new fodder and money into Thailand…

I like the different seasons…

They bring a homely warm feeling to the stomach…

They make me all nostalgic

They bring a chill to the face…

They bring new smells to the nostrils…

They are the sign of a new beginning or of an old ending…

It also brings change…

Change is good…

Change can be bad…

Change is something to grasp…

Change can be something to be scared off…

Change is what life is all about…

Change helps to blow the crap and bad smells somewhere else…

Change is coming to Thailand… I can feel it in my bones.

There are many things going on in Thailand that if you are the sort of person who likes to be a scare monger (rather than a sex monger) then it is easy to find things to use to try and frighten people away here. Let me cite a few examples that we have heard of recently; the increasing unrest in the south, the upswing of deaths of foreign nationals, the bombs going off in the banks or with the Prime Minister trying to convince us that someone is trying to blow him up (yeah right), the political turmoil and uncertainty, the John Kerr case, the tightening of the visa rules, the immigration and labour office clampdowns, the rising costs in material and labour for new builds in the housing markets as well as the increased focus on limiting the use of nominee shares to bypass certain land ownership laws and last but not least, the ever present double standards that one encounters here as a foreigner… and these are naming but a few. But really, are things getting that bad out there in bonking Bangers that we all should be packing our bags and getting out?

Personally I think not, but if you believe everything you are hearing out on the street and in the expat communities, well it seems that we all should be packing our bags and heading off to Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia and hell, I have even heard someone mention Myanmar too… basically anywhere but here in Thailand.

But you know, all of this scare mongering and rumour control that is going around reminds me of the tactics that major blue chip companies used to pull back home (they probably still do) when they were looking to cut costs or get rid of the bad eggs who had been festering for so long in the company by announcing rumours of impending doom and cutbacks. Let me explain how this works so that you can form an analogy to how it may be similarly working in Thailand. A senior nobody at the top of the shit tree would let slip a rumour or three that there are going to be job losses and before you know it, the rumour mill spreads around stating possible redundancy numbers that could vary from just poor little old Mrs teapot the dinner lady getting the sack right through to major job losses, plant closures and revamping of business models. Now, what tends to happen is that everyone with a bit of sense or talent starts to fear the worst and pings their CV off left right and centre making their own exit plans and no sooner is it said and done that these same talented folk with their skills, knowledge and expertise are up and gone never to return again. In the mean time management not being totally aware that the brain drain of their best talent is occurring, are upstairs rubbing their hands gleefully waiting to see how many people will finally disappear through normal attrition and disgruntlement as they look to see how much they can save from not having to payout redundancy payments.

After a few weeks or months, the management finally get around to announcing the ‘real’ figure for cutbacks and woe and behold the ‘real’ number is way below the rumour mill number that they let circulate and as such, all those who are left suddenly let out a collective sigh of relief because it is not going to be as bad as they thought and as the final few unfortunates get bulleted using such rationales as the ‘last in, first out’, everyone who is left is happy, grateful to have survived and as such puts the extra effort in to avoid being the next on the target list in say 12 months time. Unfortunately, it is also usually at this point that the Management in their ivory towers suddenly start realising that their core talent has all somehow fled the scene and are having a party elsewhere and that they are somehow worse off now than they where before they started the rumour mill.

In many ways, I cannot help but think that the higher uppers in the Thai hi-so tree of Thailand’s are doing pretty much the same thing except that they are probably not sophisticated or smart enough to do it as a rumour or to play the mind games the big blue chips organisations like to do, and that in all honesty, they believe that what they are doing is ‘right and proper’ in their closed Thai mindset. What will probably happen in reality is that instead of getting rid of all the bad apples and undesirables from the country, the talent and better guys will probably get up and move along instead in very much the same way as described in my analogy above.

I can hear the Thais now all gleefully standing at the airport bowing and waiving as they watch everyone leave with a gleeful shout of ‘Thank you, good riddance, don’t forget to pay your 500 baht as you leave, korp koon kaaaa!’

I wonder how many weeks it would be before they start to realise that it may not be working when all of a sudden people start asking questions of ‘where did all the tourists go?’, ‘why are the revenues in our buffalo bank down?’, ‘What happened to all the native English teachers?” to finally ‘What happened to all those stupid foreign investors bringing in money to our beloved and most desirable country?”

I wonder how long it will be before the bubble bursts?
While we are on the subject of stupid foreigners investing, I actually found out the other day that if you are a foreigner who is married and who has a work permit, a proper visa and can show some paperwork to support your salary, contract of employment and so forth, that you can actually get a mortgage here. Yes, that’s right! You can get a real, bonifide pukka 100% valid mortgage from Thailand. There are some rules you need to satisfy but overall the news was great as it meant that ‘you’ as a foreigner could actually purchase a property at a lower risk than sinking all of your own money into the property upfront… or so the marketing blurb will lead you to believe. So off the wife went to get some information on my behalf. She made it clear that she was married to a foreigner; she also made it clear that the mortgage was for me and that it would be in my name or at least joint names. So she came back with the entire blurb in Thai about how to apply for the loan and what the rates and payment terms would be and a list of documents we needed to produce to complete the application.

Great! I had everything they were asking for on file and the numbers the wife had written down and had been quoted, both on Kassikorn official bank paper and SCB headed paper stated that I could get a mortgage for 80%, that I could pay over 20 years and the rate would be MLR-2% which made it a rate of 5.25% ‘fixed’, which came out at about 17,200 baht per month with a clause that after 5 years I could pay off the balance with a lump sum if I wanted. Super! Great! Smashing!

It seemed ideal… but I guess I should have known better!

So off we popped to the local Kassikorn bank manager and we noticed as we entered the bank that a huge sign was on display proudly stating that the bank was offering discounts for first time mortgages. We entered and as I and the wife walked in and sat down in front of the loans manager, we were met with an impassive not so friendly face. ‘Uh oh!’ I thought, but we started to discuss the application anyway. We produced the figures that his bank had produced for us and submitted all of the paperwork required along with the application. He seemed happier, and I was happy, the missus was excited and we thought, ‘Great! We are on our way to getting a house in Thailand with Thai money with an outlay of only 20% from me – No risk, no problem’.

Then it happened…

As the manager was checking the numbers on our application as well as checking and was reading my offshore bank account statement (something I had to produce for proof of funds etc… ) he leaned down and from a drawer produced a whole new set of figures and quotes and with a slight of the hand, unclipped the ones that we had provided earlier, and deftly replaced them with this new version that he just dug out. Naturally I wanted to check what he had just done with my original documents and after a tussle of him saying they weren’t important and could I just ‘sign here; I managed to finally prise the numbers from out of him. What did I find do you think? Well, woe and behold and much to my surprise, the figures where now stating a rate of MLR +2% making the interest rate 9.25% and the maximum repayment period had now gone from 20 years to just only 8 years. The monthly total had also leaped to 38,000 baht and what’s more, the minimum deposit had changed from 20% to 50%. I was aghast at the effrontery of the man. Needless to say I pulled him up on it and his reply was simple: “You are Farang”.

I went red in the face, I growled and the wife leaned left ways away from me and between gritted teeth I hissed and demanded to know what the hell he meant by that.

“You are Farang” he repeated.

He then went on to say that the ‘original’ numbers where for Thai’s only and that as a Farang I had to pay double… ‘Bank of Thailand’ Rules he stated. I explained in the most passive of voices that I work here, that I get paid a Thai (not a foreign) salary, that I pay Thai taxes, that I am married to a Thai, that in all sense and purposes that I may as well be a bloody Thai here… and well it did not make one jot of difference. So I asked him a simple question. Did the money cost more to lend to a foreigner than it did to a Thai. ‘Err! No!’ was the answer but ‘you are a Farang and these are the bank rates and rules for a foreigner’. So I asked if my wife could apply instead and he refused to entertain the idea because now he had got it into his head that I would be involved at some point and therefore refused to let her as a Thai have the Thai rates. The wife tried to point out that as a Thai, he was denying another Thai the ability to own land in ‘Thai’ land but he still wasn’t to be swayed. He then asked:

‘Would you like to continue with the mortgage?’

At this point I was too speechless to answer and although I should have expected this sort of thing to happen it still took me by surprise that they could be so bare faced and ignorant and arrogant and well… in the end I just got up and walked out and left the wife sitting there to explain to him in her polite face saving Thai way that ‘no I bloody well wouldn’t be continuing with the mortgage’ and there ended that little adventure with the Bank. The bloody stupid thing is, these lemons have no idea how people like me are just continuing to say ‘stuff it’ and to keeping all of our money offshore and what just happened re-enforced things for me on so many levels about how silly life can be here. I phoned up the SCB bank afterwards and after pointing out certain aspects to them, like ‘I was a foreigner’, they too for some odd reason, decided to change their quote too and reaffirmed that the rate from them was also going to MLR +2% with a 50% minimum contribution from me. So now I have finally given up on the idea and will never ever in a zillion years bring in my overseas money to Thailand. So much for encouraging investments in Thailand then!

My wife also came home the other day after hearing about the latest visa clampdown with stories abound about how some of her customers are fretting about the ‘already happening’ down turn in business that they are already seeing in the ‘Farang’ quarters due to this announcement. “Woe is me, where have all the customers gone” they are wailing…

In addition to that, no less than three girls turned up at her desk to ask about how it would affect our marriage, asking just what it is ‘her husband’ (me) is doing about it. Well the answer was nothing because as she pointed out to them, her husband has a work permit already and even if he didn’t he would have a marriage visa and even if he didn’t have that he would have a 1 year non immigration O’ Visa with 90 reporting and visa runs and at worst, if he didn’t have that then the chances are that in all probability he wouldn’t have bothered coming here in the first place and therefore making the whole question academic…

All of these girls also have foreign boyfriends and everyone of them was scared that their foreign boyfriends were either considering getting out of Thailand or as in one case, was actually proposing marriage as a strategy to ‘keep in Thailand’ for which she refused saying that she wanted him to marry her for love and not for a visa. Ha! Ha! Sensible girl!

I now tell everyone, especially those educated Thai’s who are prepared to listen, that they should start looking up and to counting the number of planes that are flying over and around Thailand as they drop off the tourists and investors in the bordering countries instead. I also tell them that I know at least 10 guys with a minimum of 10 million baht in their piggy banks who would love to stay here and invest but at present are all refusing to bring their money specifically into Thailand. I then tell them that they only need to add another 90 people to this list of 10 to start seeing some serious money being withheld from Thailand and when you then make this into 1000 people (which is not a lot in the big scheme of things) that they can start losing count of the zeros in the numbers being discussed. It’s not hard to see that these educated Thais are actually getting worried about the latest things that are happening in government circles and what we are seeing may be just the tip of the iceberg… who knows… or perhaps I am just rumour milling and scare mongering along with the rest of them.

Personally though I myself cannot understand what the hell all the fuss is about with regards the visa issues. You see I take the view that if you want to be in Thailand, and I mean seriously want to stay here, then bloody well get yourself a visa… Period! I mean come on guys, ask yourself this one simple question, do you want to be here or don’t you? Make up your mind! If you want to stay then stay and get yourself a visa and stop fannying around on visa runs. If you are unsure about your future in Thailand or just plain happy to keep your options open with one foot in the door, well then good for you because the door has just been opened that little further and don’t be surprised when a Thai boot up the arse comes along on its way to help you through it that little bit quicker. For me there is no argument about not having a valid visa. Ok you have to put yourself at the mercy of the hormonal whims of the Thai’s but in all reality that is no big a deal. Ask yourself this, if a Thai managed to turn up on the shores of England or the USA without the correct paperwork (that’s assuming they even get one in the fickle British / USA Embassy in the first place) or at least without a valid ‘My life is in danger please give me asylum’ kind of excuse, you can bet your bottom dollar or pound that they would not get past immigration come love nor money and will find themselves back on a flight without any breakfast. So what exactly is it that everyone is complaining about with the new proposed visa rules again here…

You know, I see so many people living here on a monthly cycle of visa runs (I don’t know how they do it and some have been doing it for 2 years or more) that I just cannot help but think that perhaps they aren’t really that serious about settling down in Thailand and are living with a constant exit plan up their trouser leg instead. One thing I do know though is that should the proposed visa clamp down regulations actually occur and that there is indeed a renewed focus on teachers credentials for example, that one school I am aware of will be frantically looking for some new teachers in a hurry because not one jack lot of them has a work permit or even a visa beyond the normal 30 day tourist one to be teaching there. In fact, one insider there told me recently that the ‘official’ word from the school authorities after hearing of the John Kerr case was something along the lines of ‘it’s ok, we know you all are good guys and trust you as teachers and you have nothing to worry about. We will not be asking for police records nor do we expect immigration and the labour office to be checking up on you at all’… The sad fact of the case is that this particular school doesn’t employ the teachers direct but relies on a somewhat unreliable agency at best and I can bet that should immigration turn up checking about Visas and such like that not only will you see 5 teachers pegging it out the back door in a hurry, but the school will also be pointing a big collective Thai finger of responsibility back towards the foreign teachers and the agency who employs them with the management at the school denying all responsibility. One thing is for sure, no shit will be sticking to their frying pan. But maybe all of this will be good for the English teaching profession here in Thailand and the remaining sensible and serious foreigners, who are indeed staying here properly, will have the lottery on the best jobs and may finally get a pay rise… . either that or a huge super influx of Pilipino teachers will be sucked into the vacuum at half the price instead.

One thing is for sure though, is that where ever I go now I hear people talking about the changes that are happening. Some of us are saying it’s a good thing, while others are complaining bitterly. One Managing Director I know who has been here for 10 years or so is rubbing his hands with glee because he seriously believes an economic downturn will be the result of this mad exodus and he is just waiting to cash in.

To enhance these rumours further, I have been receiving a lot of e-mails of late and have heard a few rumours going around that maybe Thailand is beginning to lose its magic and that its time to go. Most of these messages have come from the old hands, the ones who have been here for a significant number of man years, they have seen it all, they have done a lot of this and a little of that and they are the ones who are now making their money printing the t-shirts back home… and who knows maybe what they are saying is right, but then again, maybe what they are rumour milling isn’t how the new boys are seeing things who all seem to think that the old boys are leaving because they simply cannot handle change after being set in their ways for so long here in Thailand whereas the younger generation coming in only know what they see today.

Some of the e-mails I have received were from well informed guys, while others are from pig ignorant Thais, some have been witty, some have been shitty (yes you know who you are), some have become my friend while some just drive me around the bend… but what has intrigued me the most, is that many have stated categorically that they no longer want Thailand to be their host, they are out of it, they are off with a rant, stomp and a final farewell toast. In all cases I have received not only foresights but also hind sights. I have heard about historical sites, pornographic sites, blind sights, big shites, and forthcoming fights. I have heard them all and one thing is for sure, I am becoming to sense a change in the air while many head for the door. But what are the changes in the air that I have been hearing that is making them leave and why do I find myself saying more and more these days to the old hands “Where are you going?”

I was discussing the subject of a change being in the air to several old boys and several new boys the other day whilst we where tasting some locally brewed northern vino and although we all agreed that things are afoot here in Thailand, we all also had our own reasons for saying why. The old boys of the group who started life here in Bangers as sex mongers and who were all dabbling now and then (albeit whilst married too) where all complaining about how the industry in Bangkok had lost its magic, about how commercialised and hard nosed the bar girls had become and how they just wanted to leave. This same crowd where all also claiming that they where doing it for their kids future, but I couldn’t help wonder if this was just a convenient excuse. Perhaps Thailand will simply just become a place to fly over, to drive around or to simply sail around on our way to somewhere else. In fact one cannot help but think that Thailand will become a stopping off place for the lonely souls as they do indeed pop in on their way elsewhere, to thwack a beautiful woman over the head in their western caveman barbarian way, to then picking her up by her top knot and to dragging her back to a more civilised world. I can hear the ‘ugs, urg’s, uhs’ and the chest beating from here, oooh look there goes Tarzan yodelling his way through the elephant ridden jungle now.

Certainly though, if the clampdown continues and the rules for visibility of funds for nominee shares in setting up a company continue, then Thailand will slowly be driving itself into the economic ground anyway and people, their money and any foreign investors will just head off towards Vietnam and Malaysia to embrace the golden handshakes and more enlightened opportunities that exist there instead. It is already happening. I attended a seminar this week about the OECD double taxation rules for Thailand (yeah I know it sounds boring but bear with me… ) and one of the things that intrigued me the most was the rules pertaining to how or when a company or person forms a permanent establishment (PE) for tax purposes here. It also discussed issues about and how Thailand charges ‘services’ and ‘knowledge’ as a royalty and by doing so that a company should be paying a withholding tax at 3% for the privilege. Think about that for a moment and let the implications sink in if you can. Other issues where discussed about how to plan for tax and where the tax point should be for double taxation between two countries and so forth and how Thailand is now beginning to wake up and will over the next two years (perhaps quicker… ) be getting smarter on its receiving tax revenues. Two easy targets and solutions were also tabled at the conference on this point. Number 1 is that Thailand under the governance of the OECD double taxation system will now be moving towards a forum whereby pertinent tax information between your country and Thailand will be shared in an increased focus on getting the right taxes paid by both you as an individual and or as you being a company (PE for tax purposes) here. Number 2, was that a message of foreigners will most certainly become a favourite target for renewed tax revenue focus and the reason given for this was very simple indeed. You see, as foreigners, we don’t have any voting rights and as such if they squeezed harder on us for taxes then it doesn’t really affect their staying in office because we cannot vote them out (so the theory goes).

It all pretty much got complicated, but after attending this seminar, I couldn’t help but wonder when it will be when the authorities will begin to focus on this aspect of tax planning and status for those who reside in Thailand, and by this, I mean for all foreigners who continue to stay here in Thailand regardless of their visa status. Let me put it this way. If you are one of those who continue to reside here on a tourist visa and cannot show how you have been funding yourself it won’t be too long in the future when the revenue department will be turning its eyes your way to decide if any tax is due. Just for the record, to be considered a resident of Thailand for tax purposes, you have to reside here for 180 days or more and that’s regardless of what visa you hold, however as an alien all offshore funds are not taxable until you bring them in as revenue to the country. Imagine if they started asking tax questions on your departure after showing them a continuous tourist run for the past two years to LOS… luckily the officers in the Thai revenue department don’t have a clue as yet how to proceed and so you are all safe for now but it is a matter of time before they do eventually get their act together here and judging by how many tax auditors and tax judges where sitting in the conference, it won’t be too far away either.

In the mean time, guys are continuing to leave Thailand in large numbers. I was walking up near the British Embassy the other day and two things attracted my attention. The first was a guy and his wife. For some odd reason I allowed myself to make eye contact and that was enough. He decided to stop me in my tracks and proceeded to tell me in a rant about how ‘fed up’ he was with Thailand. The money grabbing, the demands, the racism, the double standard, the whole nine yards… He was skint, he had no more money, he was tired of it all and he was off with his wife in tow. His parting words where, “I have to get us away from her money grabbing, thieving family”. His wife just smiled a crooked ‘my shit don’t stink smile’ and as I wished him luck, I couldn’t help but notice as he wondered off up towards Ploenchit somewhere, that the weathered signs of ‘marriage visa / translation services’ that one gets to see at every corner near the embassy were also waving goodbye above their heads as they wandered on by. I also couldn’t help wonder when it would dawn on him that as he got back to England that these demands for money would probably increase twofold as she settles in stating how she now wants a bigger piece of his pie, or to how his phone bills will suddenly start racking up as she makes the inevitable ‘I’m lonely’ calls back home.

I also wonder how long it will dawn on him that she may start pinning her feet to the nearest car roof as she trades her wares for extra cash with ‘handsome Dave the Bricky’ that gave her the eye down at the old stags head pub one Saturday night. I was also wondering as I continued my saunter on down the road about when the original frustrations of working for toss pot bosses who managed to survive the corporate cull and who where now promoted into positions of authority would start overworking him, under paying him along with unreasonable grief for his daily pay.

I also wondered when the reality of being back in England, where the proverbial bar girl and her money grabbing family would materialise in the form of Tony Blair and his money grabbing, tax demanding, immigration refugee friendly, Euro adverse, American led puppet politically correct conservative government masquerading as the labour party funding government were waiting in ambush. I wonder how long it will be before he is back here saying ‘Thailand how I have missed thee!”

Maybe I am a born sceptic!

The second one that caught my attention along this same road was from some young 20 year old cough cough ‘English’ Albanian who allegedly was rape drugged, left hanging around in the soi with a sore arse for two days only to wake up, penniless and with no alleged ‘British’ passport. His story of “I just happened to pop into some bar complex called Nana for a quick coke when I just happened to lose track of the days… ” just didn’t really wash with me and his shifty eyes and heavily accented ‘I’m no terrorist’ accent didn’t really do it for me. He was outside literally begging for help in a less than polite manner and dropping huge hints for donations and advice from anyone who would listen, especially from us born and bred English guys as to what he could do. I stopped and told him that perhaps he should just walk straight into the British Embassy and demand ‘his rights’ as a once successful asylum seeking ‘British citizen’ to simply cite that dangerous bar girls where out to get him and that a plane ticket home along with free board and lodgings and a salary borne by the very accommodating English tax payer was in order… and while he was at it, maybe a house in the suburbs of Sheffield was also in order. “What a great idea!” he proclaimed and so off he went into the embassy to do exactly that. I wished I had stayed around to see the outcome but I suspect a clip around the ear and a kick in the arse was in order… although, knowing Britain as it has become, it wouldn’t have surprised me if they gave him what ever he asked for, whereas if it had been me, I would probably have been told to find my own way back home and to stop asking for free handouts after paying my N.I. stamp duty and taxes at 40% for the past 20 years. How silly of me for having such a thought eh!

But let me ask, if you do decide to leave Thailand, would you really want to go back to England, the USA, elsewhere in the west and back to all that crap again?

People have been telling me that Thailand could be getting dangerous any day soon due to the political violence and the uncertainty of the situation over the politics here but I don’t get that feeling here. I sometimes ask my Thai colleagues if a military coup is ‘really’ just around the corner because there are rumours of one coming but most of these educated Thai’s seem to say that they doubt it and even if one did come along that it would probably only last a few days. Personally from what I have seen and heard is that I don’t think Thailand could allow a military regime to come back again, well not certainly while an influential and most highly respected monarch is around. Most certainly the educated Thai’s are all aghast at the idea of a coup.

Ok, you may ask, but what about the bomb that was aimed at getting the current care taker of Thailand? Was it really a hoax or just a sympathy vote to win the hearts and minds from the soft middle class do gooders and religious missionaries? Well if popular belief is to be believed, it was a hoax. In fact while we are on the subject of things that go bang, when are the southern insurgents and rebels going to attack Pattaya, Phuket or even Bangkok? I am extremely surprised that nothing has happened yet on this front and something is well overdue and maybe this expectant boom at a bank near you is the main thing that is making the Thailand expat veterans nervous. What I ask? You mean the increased terrorism in the USA, Europe and the home grown militants in England coupled with the racial tension and flood of immigrants into OZ from East Timor is less dangerous than Thailand?

Let me ask, but ‘have you been sniffing glue again?’

I met an interesting guy from England the other day and we where discussing where we were both from. He stated that he was from Sheffield and I mentioned that I was originally from Liverpool. I also told him that my first degree was from Sheffield and that as such we had some common ground to talk about as I knew his home town. As we discussed the delights of Sheffield, we ended up with a discussion that ended up with stories that contained abject fear, stabbings, running fights in the street and general chaos caused by a now over developed city that had maybe one or two migrants in it from the more interesting places of north Africa. We ended with the view that perhaps Rommel was born in the wrong era and should have done his North African campaign on behalf of the Brits instead in the 21st century against certain undesirables. One thing was for sure, he was glad to be out of England.

So what if we do decide to leave Thailand, what are our options? I read with interest the other day about Stick stating something along the lines that a friend of his took 6 months to get an interview after returning home because he had Thailand stamped on his CV and that maybe it was a cause for ‘concern’ from prospective employers about what he had actually been doing in Sin city. So me being me, I had to check out this phenomenon and so uploaded my CV onto the main job sites around the UK to see what interest I could spark in my professional sphere. Within 48 hours I received 20 odd emails and 5 phone calls asking me when it was that I could be available for a telephone interview. A further 72 hours later and I had 3 job offers on the table all subject to a final face to face interview asking me when it was I could be back in England to start. What surprised me the most was that all of these jobs had in fact increased my Pre-Thailand salary by 10k to 15k and yet I haven’t done anything spectacularly different since I got here to warrant such an increase in my salary. In fact, it got me wondering about how bad the situation maybe getting in England as the interviewers kept asking me ‘why on earth was I thinking about going back’ to which I replied ‘that I wasn’t and that I was just looking out of curiosity’, but I suspect England is losing talent hand over fist right now and are getting desperate otherwise why else would they come offering me a job. Ha!

So am I going to stay or am I going to go? Well for now, I am happy here and have just received another one year extension to my work permit and visa so I guess this question will be asked again in 1 years time, but for now, hunting season is about to begin and the speciality for the menu this year is foreign visa’s… let the shooting and running begin.

Stickman's thoughts:

Oh yes, change is very much in the air in Thailand at the moment!