Readers' Submissions

Relearning The Balance Of Life

  • Written by SAM
  • April 27th, 2013
  • 8 min read



I have found in myself some similar thinking to Caveman and since we don't seem to share many other qualities, I like to share it with you here. Caveman seems to be a bit right-wing ex-military combined with some sort of homophobia. That's okay. Things one doesn't know can scare you even if you are a big muscular guy with military training. Gays or lesbians or ladyboys on the other hand do not scare me in the least even if I am not muscular and have never been in the military service due to my health issues. I have never encountered gays being interested in me…or is it that my figure has gone south that it is not inspiring enough for them? Cavey on the other hand seems to be like a magnet to them with his allegedly trimmed body. Maybe he should consider growing a big beer pot belly? <I can say catergorically that Caveman is not scared of homosexuals, he just doesn't like themStick> Seems to work for me…LOL

Well, the thing what he said about freedom of choice… Yes! I like it here in Thailand since no-one is pushing their own ideas to me or saying that this is the only way one can do things legally. In my own country due to EU and its laws and regulations, the area that one can be exploring one's freedom is greatly diminishing. The Nanny State is rampant and it still doesn't seem to make people happy. In recent surveys, one tenth of the population in my own home country uses depression medication. Happy pills…anyone read 'The Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley? The whole book can be found from http://www.huxley.net/ for free. One should also read his observations and afterthought from 'The Brave New World Revisited' which is more direct and looks the developments in society that we all live in. It was written 1958 but still got a lot of scary observations in it. You can read it from this link http://www.huxley.net/bnw-revisited/

There is nowadays so much regulation. Every field of life is filled with regulations. Be it construction of a house or being allowed to sell food. House building materials have been decided for you and you need a permit even for the smallest of repairs and when having them you have to apply sometimes materials that are sure to cause problems in an old structure – just since the materials used 100+ years ago are not listed on some material regulations / repairs manual. These manuals seem to favor big construction material companies. The plot size for housing is very regulated and even with a very good reason it's difficult to get bigger than some housing commission has decided for you. All in the name of climate change etc. The local markets are not allowed to sell fish direct from fisherman since it has to be circulated through the wholesale company. EU is only for Big Business. Others? Screw them! The list could go on forever but the point here is that our freedom in the West is very limited.

In Thailand you are pretty free if you have the money for it to do almost whatever you desire. And some favors from the opposite sex are available along with cheap beer. These two things seem to be the main attraction to most – I being no exception in the early days. What a relief Land Of Smiles seemed to be after all the hula-hoops one must jump in the West. I say seemed-to-be since when the besotting pink glasses have fallen off it may turn out that you got more than you bargained for. Thailand is easy only as far you can afford it.

Yes there is freedom but freedom comes with a price. You must be able to take responsibility for yourself, your family and partner and your life. In the West we have safety nets but they are almost non-existent here in Asia. This idea and situation seems to be most enjoyed in the early days of our first visit to this part of the World. When we actually realize that freedom comes with responsibilities, most turn to negativity. At that point their money is sometimes been blown away or the loving caring – did I mention she is different? – Thai lady has turned to something else when the money well has dried up. In the end some start complaining and putting the blame on the same things they full-heartedly enjoyed on a sunny day. When the rainy day comes they are not prepared.

In Thailand one is most happy – in my opinion – accepting things the way they are. Trying to implement one's own values or opinions does not work or works very rarely. That doesn't mean that you must give up your own values and wishes. No. You must take a stand and be firm. You must do it. Nobody else will. Oh…and did I say that you can say NO? Doing something that one wouldn't do in his own country should not be done here either. Say NO! when you feel like it. And if you say YES! be prepared to carry your weight. Accepting things as they are does not mean that you must obey others. Grow some balls!

When moving to another country it is all about relearning the balance of life. We are suddenly in a unfamiliar environment with strange faces and odd ways. One must be strong and use his head…and I am not talking about the bellend. The last submission was basically about the unhappiness that we cause complaining and being negative. That amount energy used properly would give a nice boost to our lives used otherwise. I was expecting some responses and I got all positive except one. I quote it here and comment on it. Let's call the guy Barry. So he writes:

– One thing that pisses me off in some of the submissions and comments elsewhere, such as forums and letters to newspapers, is those who repeat the worn-out phrase "if you don't like it here, pack up and go."

Well, would it be better if I asked: Why do you stay here if you don't like it? After all, it's your life and you should enjoy it. I mean, who wants to be unhappy all the time? Or feel that the surroundings don't fit his aims? Thais are all for sanuk (happy, happiness) and when we had some verbal fights with my better half years ago, my mother in law asked why we are together if it is so difficult and NOT sanuk. Well, that was probably the stage in my life that I should not have tried to impose my ways. I was being unreasonable and now after 8 years together it has been getting better and better. I believe more to the effort growing together than instant besotting bliss of love. And knowing each other before making any deep commitments. This is the part where language skills kick in. I can't for my part imagine living with someone that I can't communicate with. It would drive me insane. This is my answer why learning Thai (or any other language) is so invaluable.

– That is the Thai way, being selfish and deserting the family when it doesn't suit (hence the enormous number of girls left with babies and other forms of single parent families that exist in Thailand), instead of knuckling under and dealing with it.

It is not the Thai way any better than it is the English way or the Colombian way. In my country walking out on a marriage/relationship isn't so easy. There are laws. There are very strict laws that demand you to take your responsibility and pay for it. Thais do love – and hate – as we all do. There might be no forward planning since most of them are not very educated and can always resort to leaving the kids in the hands of extended family. I have seen them taking care of their kids, although not always by themselves, but paying for mother or aunt to do so. Of course there are dysfunctional misfits as everywhere else but you can't really say that this would be only limited to Thai society. Most Thais that can afford it, take very good care of their kids. You also say that one has to deal with circumstances. That I do agree on but I don't like it to make me an unhappy person.

– I find many things about Thailand frustrating and would be happier living elsewhere, but you seem to suggest I should just abandon my family and move out if I don't like it. I don't think that way.

Okay dear Barry, where did I suggest you or anyone else to abandon your family? You state that you would be happier elsewhere so it just begs for the question: Why don't you move there WITH your family? I have been looking at the pros and cons living here or in my country and at the moment the favor is for Thailand. You speak of many frustrating things here in LOS. Can you do something about them? If so, why to worry? If not, why to worry since there's nothing YOU can do about them. I consider my choices in favor of all the people in my family. But also, to be able to function myself, I also need some positive attitude and happiness. I like to work through problems and ignore those I can't do anything about. Why would I moan and groan about something that is not directly effecting me or I can't do anything about? I can't vote here and neither I am interested in politics since it's all a big game that I am not a participant. No country is perfect. No man is perfect either. But we can choose to do something about it.

We can relearn to balance our lives.