Stickman Readers' Submissions April 13th, 2011

Lost in Thailand?

I really got a kick from reading the sub of the young guy from Oregon who moved up north in LOS and became quickly disparaged with the lifestyle.

So so true the way he lays it out. He must be clever cause it took him only 1 year to figure out that what you see is like a movie set from the wild west, just a facade!

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Being older and a very late starter in all this: falling in love with Thailand – getting kicked out of the routine job – wanting to give up your local residence etc.

I can vouch that everything said there is true : from a male perspective.

For example : you work your butt off in a larger company, albeit for fairly decent money and "security" (itself a facade) for many years. You get bumped out at 52 during the downturn.

Your wife, girlfriend tells you : find a secure job in a big company with prospects (like hers, been doing the same job for 23 years).

Of course the market is dead as a dodo and being 45+ means you are just an old zombie living in the twilight zone!

So after feeling bad for yourself (what went wrong you ask yourself "I WAS INVALUABLE!") for some months (but having quickly found a dull interim job) you start to think: Why have I been making all them well paid MFers richer and,
me just getting squeezed out time and again?

So you figure out how your new job runs, duplicate it in your head, find suppliers in your vacation time, get fired and next day start your own business!

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If you work diligently and treat your customers fairly, you will grow fast e.g. from 0 to 1.3 m EUR annual turnover in 2.5 years in my case.

At the same time you will make more friends in business, some of who may share your own ambitions and likes (for example I found several Swedish guys who want to go for some R+R to BKK!)

If you are lucky you will find Asian business partners who like to entertain (KTV rigmaroles etc.) and you will benefit from that.

Even your spouse may start to look up at you (at least as a financial provider) as the money starts to come in again (Briffault's law in action once again – see sub of the very wise OFB)

So it is doable (and I am far from a brain surgeon as can be). Just have a well tested idea, some funding, and keep your goals fixed and you could be the next young guy from Oregon, or wherever.

As the young man said : Thailand is a big movie set, with lots of extras (part-time actors in the movie business).

You can play your part, but don't begin to believe your part in the movie is real (unless it is the farting as in Blazing Saddles).

I would suppose that if you are very clever, you could possibly make money in or from Thailand (e.g. exporting foodstuffs etc) but it's not easy. There was a book written on this subject "Start up and stay up in Thailand" giving
several examples of success stories.

First and foremost, you have to stop feeling sorry for yourself and let go of the past (George Clooney "In The Air"). That is damned difficult to do as society is constantly programming you via colleagues, work, the media etc to
fit in and be a good fitting cog on the gearwheel. That is frankly all BS and just there so the boss of Coke, ATT etc. can squeeze more and more money out of you either as dumb consumer or an employee – pawn.

So follow the young man's advice. If it can work for an old bugger like me, it most likely can for you.

Stay safe and have fun subsidizing the Isaan economy!

The Frenchman


Seems to be lots of good advice there…

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