Reply To Newarrior
Some very interesting questions in your submission. My response in brief;
1 For Stick and all those WHO DID FIND A GOOD WOMAN: HOW THE HECK DID YOU DO IT???!! If Thai are all supposed to be so damned dishonest how did you find a good one?
* I found my “good woman” on Thai Love Links. From about forty candidates I short listed down to three and then flew to Thailand to interview them. All three were well educated and worked in government positions. The first one interviewed very well horizontally, but lied and stole from me. The second one was a dud horizontally and mentioned her need for money too many times. The third would not interview horizontally and never mentioned money, she is now my wife.
2 What keeps you in Thailand?
* My wife.
3 What is the typical profile of a "successful" expat i.e. age, race, education, job, mental and physical make up, etc.,. etc.?
* Not sure that I am typical; Age 58, Australian, retired Telecommunications Engineer, always been self employed, mentally stable (there has been some debate on this), physically recovering from a long term “terminal” illness.
4 How does one go about finding long term stability in Thailand?
* Make sure you have some money and/or assets behind you that are not located in Thailand, and be careful the company that you keep. Keep a low profile.
5 How does one find good friends there?
* Good friends find you, but they are few and far between. You meet them when you least expect to.
6 How does one find good health, dental and mental health care?
* Luckily my wife works in the health industry, the rest was easy for me.
7 How does one create financial security?
* Although it’s possible, I think it’s difficult to create financial security in Thailand. Best to have it before you come here.
8 How do you retire there?
* Easily, if you are financially secure, otherwise I am not sure that you would want to retire in Thailand.
9 How do you stay in the country without getting kicked out?
* Behave yourself, show respect where due, and be careful who you befriend. Keep a low profile. Obtain the appropriate Visa.
10 How do you get away from it all? (I live in Los Angeles and I simply drive my car from 15 to 30 minutes and I am in nature).
* Not so easy to do in Thailand, the noise from traffic, dogs, loud sound systems, etc can make one have thoughts about leaving the country. There is always someone watching you in Thailand. Having said that, I have discovered a couple of locations that are liveable.
11 What are the pros and cons of car ownership?
* Personally I can’t think of a good reason to own a car here, but I can think of plenty of reasons not too. My wife owns a car to travel to work, otherwise we rarely use it.
12 Where are the best places to live if you are single AND still need to work AND find a girl?
* I am not knowledgeable enough to answer that, but I would think the bigger the better, Bangkok?
13 How do you deal with all the negatives?
* Not think too much.
14 What sort of careers work best?
* Not sure, perhaps web based so you can relocate quickly if necessary.
15 What about Thailand is better than where you came from? What is worse?
* The weather is better, it’s cheaper to live here, and there is more freedom. But you can get ripped off on a daily basis if you are not careful.
16 What are the general pros and cons of living in Thailand?
* See above.
17 Is it safe to visit any of the countries near Thailand?
* Yes, with the usual caveats.
18 How well do you know the Thai language?
* Very little Thai language ability and unlikely to improve as my time is taken up with more pressing issues. My wife speaks near perfect English and I can get by OK on my own even though I am the only westerner in the village.
19 How do you feel safe there?
* Mostly I feel safe here, but it doesn’t take much to spook me when I am on my own. Once again avoid thinking about all the things that could happen to you. If you know about all the issues and dwell on them you might never come here.
20 How do you find peace of mind there?
* See # 13, and enjoy the good things that Thailand has to offer.
21 How do you get away into nature there?
* I should be in nature when I step out my back door; however there is not much around, it has all been eaten. I have heard some good things about the National Parks but have not experienced them as yet.
22 How do you deal with being in a totally different culture i.e. race, religion, language, climate, continent, position in relation to the equator, bacteria, music, art, philosophy, values, laws, police, government, politics, education, judicial system, military, business practices, ethics, morality, lack of feminism, gender roles, medical care, dental care, health care in general, human rights, animal welfare, safety, laws, legal system, etc., etc.?
* Survival here is very dependent on the acceptance of many things, without questioning why or how. Patience and Tolerance is necessary.
23 Where do you live in Thailand and why?
*In a village north of Bangkok. My wife works nearby, and her family live in close proximity.
24 Do you plan to die there as an old man i.e. close out your life there? Why or why not?
* Good question. NO, when my wife retires we plan to relocate for most of each year, possibly to Australia, or somewhere else that has an equally pristine environment and stable government. It’s increasingly hard to find such a place.
25 What caused you to visit Thailand for the first time and what decisions went into you moving there for good?
* I first visited Thailand in 2007 on a family vacation. My reasons for living here semi permanently are; my wife, the weather, and to a degree my health.
26 Do you feel more or less lonely since moving to Thailand? Why?
* Another good question. I do feel lonely at times mainly due to the lack of westerners in the area, and the absence of a bar scene. About once a fortnight we travel to a nearby city, or Bangkok to do some shopping and spending a couple of hours in a farang strip, having a western meal and talking crap with some travellers. That’s my fix.
27 Do you have more or less of a sense of community since moving to Thailand? Why?
* Yes, but just with the immediate neighbours and my wife’s family and work mates. You never really know what anyone is thinking.
28 How do you make a real connection to your Thai girl since they usually don't speak English and vice versa?
* Not an issue in our situation.
29 How do you deal with a population that is generally poor, uneducated and lacks shame or morals?
*Think how lucky you are, and then help them if the opportunity arises.
30 Aren't you just seen as AN ATM machine to the Thais?
* You are only seen as an ATM machine if you put yourself in that situation. None of the circle of people I associate with have ever asked me for money or tried to rip me off in any way. However if I step outside that circle then I know I am fair game.
31 Do you have good Thai male friends?
32 How do you deal with all the uncertainty? Lack of safety? Poverty? Weird expats? Scams? Dishonesty? Food? Quality of life?
* Sometimes it’s not that bad, but never forget that you are the odd one out here, this is someone else’s country and you are merely a guest. Be vigilant and try not to think too much about what’s going on around you. Avoid weird expats.
33 What makes Thai women better than Western women? Worse?
* Too early for me to offer much of an opinion. Whilst I am a battle weary veteran of life with western women, I have only been on the Thai front line for a couple of years. So far I like; the care factor, honesty, and loyalty; all sadly lacking in the west in my experience.
Thanks for the opportunity to ask myself these questions; hopefully I have given some insight to yourself and other readers.