Still Crazy After All These Years
Just a few thoughts about your paragraph re: Thailand's future, not enough for a submission, just a mail. Firstly who are the two long term writers on the verge of leaving? Union Hill perhaps due to his employment woes? Chiang Mai (Pattaya) Kelly, finding the pace of life Sin City too ‘in your face’ perhaps? Marc Holt, surely not?
For myself, I will just try and tough it out, after 15 years there sure as hell is no way I could go back to live in the cold and drab United Kingdom, nothing there for a 48 year old guy with a small chunk of money and no property. I lost all that before I came over here to LOS. Friends always ask me under what circumstances I would return, and I say either extreme wealth or extreme poverty! The first is frankly merely a fantasy and the second is only a ‘car crash’ away. The visa rules currently don’t bother me as for as long as I remain on this job I get a two year at a time multi entry Non-Immigrant and a work permit so I don’t have to worry about any unwarranted knocking on my door from the authorities. I have considered changing jobs to another country, but remaining with Thailand as home base, but so far only Algeria and Azerbaijan have been in the offing. I hope to move further up the alphabet this year! However, this decision is based more on a financial basis and the tangled web that is my current love life than any worries for Thailand’s future direction. Also you have to consider the quality of live most of us have here, good food, (mostly) friendly people, weather etc. compared to freezing your balls off in -30 Deg. C. in a man camp in the Russian Caucuses.
Talking of my tangled love life, I have been married for twelve years now, and have a nine year old son whom I love dearly, a wife who has somewhat changed from the lovely sweet girl I married, becoming physically cold after the birth of our son, and has not shared a bed with me since! I alluded to this in the one and only submission to your site a few years ago – Thai Dolca Vita, so now I find myself in a situation where I have a beautiful, sweet twenty one year old mia noi, my second time in this situation. Incidentally both ‘mias’ are non bargirls who have never been anywhere near the pay for play scene. I hate that BG / non BG expression but anyway it’s the truth and in both their cases I was the first ‘falang’ they knew. In the case of the mia noi she was a 19 year old virgin, one hundred per cent, at least a heterosexual virgin. She was however the sex toy of a Russian lesbian for two years, as I found out, so I was her first man, but she is no stranger to sex toys and dressing up, or indeed handcuffs!
I spend me days commuting between my house in Rayong where my wife and son reside as he is being educated at the Assumption School in Rayong, so I am there for him at weekends and Wednesday nights. The rest of the week I am at my house in Pattaya, normally entertaining the other one! Incidentally, both properties are in the wife’s name, as are both cars, but being legally married I know that I would not be completely ‘shirtless’ if it all went pear shaped. The family occasionally come to Pattaya for weekends or holidays so I have to do some fancy rescheduling (and housework) at times. The wife actually know about the other one. She came to Pattaya on an unscheduled visit one day and discovered a pink negligee on my bed, and as it was neither my size or colour I was caught bang to rights. Discussions were held, but she knows no actual details. This was actually around five months ago, and at first the atmosphere in the Rayong house was a bit like South Lebanon, an uneasy truce interrupted by sporadic outburst of (verbal) violence. But she seems a bit more conducive towards the situation now, after all she is well looked after financially.
I have considered applying for Permanent Residency. I currently fit the criteria for a business application, but the red tape seems daunting and when I went to my local Immigration Office (Maptaphut) they almost actively discouraged me from bothering, assuring me that they would happily renew a Retirement Visa for the princely yearly sum of 1,900 baht per year without any hassles. In fact my wife knew three of the officers there!
I am not concerned about bombs in Pattaya. We have lived with these rumours for years now about Walking Street and the Royal Garden Plaza car park, and so far nothing has happened. You can’t be intimidated by such threats or your life would be worthless if you were too scared to leave your house. Anyway, should a bomb go off in Walking Street where is the political mileage to be gained by blowing up a few hookers, pedophiles and perverts? Hell, some people may even be grateful for it!
The Foreign Business Act is also currently of no personal concern of mine, I prefer to play the role of salary man to running my own business. I feel that living here and having a successful business run knowingly by a farang leads only to jealousy from
the locals and runs the risk of the retribution so popular in the Thai newspapers. Always the Benz and drive by motorcycle assassins, including gory photographs on the front pages, and always attributed to a ‘business conflict’.
So there it is, my take on the current situation, SNAFU as they say, situation normal, all fxxxxd up, TIT etc, all the clichés, for now life just goes on and personally I remain unaffected by the chaos around me. And long may it remain so. After all, isn’t the excitement and chaos part of what we love about our lives here in the Land of (occasional) Smiles!
So true, the chaos is all part of Thailand's "charm"!