Pros and Cons moving to Thailand
My first trip to Thailand was 1977, and I was only 16. At that time I had an addiction to Africa and had read a lot of books about the early explorers, Stanley and Livingstone. I booked a safari to Tanzania. Unfortunately the trip was cancelled, too few participants. So the lady in my travel agency suggested Thailand, and I went to Bangkok, Grace Hotel and the downstairs disco was the biggest brothel in Thailand at that time. I didn’t participate in the game and the strongest drink I had was iced tea. I was just looking. A working girl, 19 years old, became my guide in Bangkok. She brought me back to her family’s house boat in a klong and asked me if I want to f@#$ her there. I told her thanks, but no thanks.
But anyway, I was struck with Thailand fewer. 3 years later after serving in the army I was back for 3 weeks, 1 week in Bangkok and 2 weeks in Pattaya. Pattaya at this time was a small village, only a few bars and discos. My room mate was a doctor of gynecology, 46 years old and in my eyes a very, very old man. He told me that if I want to take a lady of the night and make love, no problem, he would sleep well in the next bed.
I found a lovely Thai lady and we spent a hot night and I almost felt in love. I told my room mate, Mr. Doctor, that this lady is pretty, lovely, can I bring her here tonight too. Mr. Doctor told me, NO. If you want to f@#$ around in our room it need to be a different lady every night. To bring the same lady back each night is poor imagination. Now 30 years later I understand the wisdom of his words!
I followed my doctor's advice and the rest of the holiday I had a different lady every night. And he told me, don’t forget the condom or I will cut your neck. By the way, Mr. Doctor was a decent man, didn’t participate in the game, just enjoyed a massage from time to time and was “true” to his young wife in Farangland.
Back to the topic.
Thailand fewer is like malaria – when you get it there is no cure. Sometimes it burns and sometimes there are no symptoms. Now, after more than 30 years with this disease I can look back. What I write next is only my personal ideas. Moving to Thailand or not? A very personal matter, there is no correct answer to this question.
In Thailand I could open a restaurant, as I can make good European food. Or sell / rent houses to tourist. But the season is only 5 – 6 months and competition is tough. A lot of tea money to pay. Impossible to find good staff.
In Farangland I have a Masters Degree (nothing worth in Thailand for a 50+ man), conduct lectures and do the accounting for companies, easily making 5,000 Euro a month. In a few years I will have my auditor exam and can charge 80 – 100 Euro an hour. It’s hard to make a new career in Farangland when one is 50+ but it’s possible and I have my plan. If I’m healthy, I will still work when I’m 70. To be an auditor is not physically hard.
In Thailand it’s easy to find a woman, for the night or more. I have never been a professional punter, very seldom bar fined girls, in fact I never go to gogo bars. It’s so easy to find a girl, a shop woman, a bank accountant, dentist, teacher… Just smile, invite her for dinner… and next morning you wake up in the same bed. “Never marry a bar girl, you can buy the girl out of the bar but you can’t never buy the bar out of the girl”. What I found out in my life is that dentists and teachers also have sick water buffalos back in their villages. There's no big difference to a bar girl.
Back in my home country, Farangland, I met a girl, not really a girl, she is 40. We have been together more than a year. She is 12 years younger than me. It’s so easy to pick up a girl in Farangland too, no big difference to Thailand. But what is the difference to a Thai girl… we can communicate. We are both children of the same culture and not always even need words to understand each other. And this love is true, not only about money for grandparents and gold to show friends. In Thailand it’s almost impossible to find a girl that really care for you, in Farangland it’s maybe not easy but possible.
My Thai girlfriend's brother was joking about stupid farangs who buy houses that they can’t own. My Thai girlfriend was laughing very much at that joke… and guess what, 10 minutes later she was seriously asking me to buy a house for her. I can’t resist but I love these words, “This is Thailand”.
In Farangland I own my house and nobody can take it away from me. When I was 40 I got very high fever, Thailand fever and was about to sell my house, take all the money with me and move to Thailand. Luckily I hesitated and didn’t sell. Now all the money would be gone on Chang beer and sick buffalos…
When I stay in Thailand I’m bored to death. Swimming pool, sexy girls, beach and bars. It’s fun for a few months. I like Chang beer too much and would probably end up as an alcoholic if I settled down in Thailand. This is more a rule than exception.
In Farangland I work during weekdays and beer is restricted to Friday evening at the sauna, maybe a few more on Saturday night but almost always under control. In Thailand I drink every day.
When you come to Thailand, usually with a big amount of money, it’s so easy to make friends. You meet them in bars. Yours and their Thai girlfriends also become friends. But sooner or later the problems start. Rumors behind your back and competition who has more gold hanging around the neck making every girl jealous. Sad but true, most farangs moving to Thailand are lost in their minds, not stable in their mental life. Escaping from problems that reside between their ears and not understanding these problems follow them wherever they move. Strong words but true. Sorry sirs, but I know because I was one of you.
In Farangland one has friends from childhood. You know them from the hearth, the bad sides and the good sides. No need for words, lies or explanations.
It took me 20 years of Thailand fever to understand that I don’t understand anything about Thailand. Sometimes I sit at a restaurant to have a nice noodle soup and a Chang beer. At the next table there is a couple, maybe 30 years old, he farang, she Thai. He speaks to her about Western values. She smiles but she don’t really listen. She want to send money to her “Thai boyfriend”, or maybe he is her brother. He needs new tyres for his motorbike and also would like to gamble. Maybe he will get lucky and be rich tonight. Farang man is speaking about future family life and children together. I quickly finish my Chang beer, check bill, and move on to next restaurant where I can sit alone, enjoy being alone. I get a headache from listening to “intercultural communication”.
In Farangland I can communicate without words. And we can read between the lines when we sometimes speak. On Saturday mornings when I put my shoes on my girlfriend asks if I will go to buy beer. I tell her to shut up and we both smile.
I’m 50+, getting old. How do I want to spend the rest of my life? Thai women are very good to take care of you if you are sick. They will take care of you and if you are a smoker and have cancer they will not nag at you. They will light a cigarette for you and make a whisky drink to wet your dry lips. Thai girls can be wonderful. Anyway I would feel lonely spending my last moments in a foreign country.
European woman might be fat, unattractive…but there is anyway a common understanding. I want to spend the rest of my life with my girl from the next village here in Farangland. It’s not teenage love, more of an adult relationship.
This is my very personal conclusion. If you are hit by Thailand fever, go for it! I’m also hit by Thailand fever and there is no cure for it. I will visit Thailand in the future, and do so as long as I live. You will not meet me in a gogo bar. I’m the old man sitting at the beach, enjoying a Chang of Coke. With a mysterious smile in his eye enjoying holidays in his Thailand fever land.
The man who knows he doesn’t understand.