Well, first off I wanted to go on and give a big holler to SAM who went an wrote a fine piece on how us folk live here up in the North. But god damn (scuse my blasphemous cussin'), he went and left no way a contactin him. I reckon the fella didn't want too many knowin what holler he was from. Sho nuff livin here in Isaan (we say that Iz Ssaaaaaan hereabouts) can be tryin at times. We ain't got no 'shine, but I reckon Lao Kao bein near enough. We all live on farms and the only thing we drive is a pickup (big shortage of shotgun racks for them windows but), an just about all and sundry in the village be kin, not that deep South kinda kin but I reckon your as smart enough to figure what I'm sayin'.
All jokes aside, SAM's sub was spot on and who said your life ends because you choose to live in Isaan? That is some judgemental BS right there. To be fair to Ishiro though, I believe he was trying to say that it wasn't for him personally, which I can understand, but he went a bit far with "All I can say to all those who do manage to live in country environments in Thailand is this: Although I believe you when you say you are satisfied with life – and perhaps that you even believe you are happy – I am far from convinced, from my own perspective, that anyone can be happy living in isolation with no stimulus other than being woken by the Head Man at 5.30 am cranking up the PA system – and where the main event of the week is the occasional trip into town to pick up supplies. I could not live like that. Even drinking with Papa every afternoon would hardly be enough stimulation for me."
I don't believe I am happy. I know I am! And where does no stimulus come from or living in isolation? Believe it or not, we still got friends and phones and books and phonographs and interests and most of us even got that new fangled interweb non-sense. Some I heard have these things called a TV and DVD, so go figure. So to say we live in Isaan because of a lack of options or the other "assumptions" people make about those living in Isaan are nigh on ignorant.
Now I can only speak for myself but I am guessing that SAM, Bangkok Barry, Hua Hin Harry and others that choose to live up this way are men of considerable means and could, if they chose to, live anywhere in the world! Little lone anywhere in Thailand. I have said it before that life in Isaan definitely is not for everybody, but it's quiet, it's peaceful, the people are friendly and the rest of Thailand, or the world for that matter, is never too far away. Even up on the Laos border I can be in Bangkok in under 2 hours if I wanted to be, Pattaya about 3 and a half, which considering it takes me near 15 hours to get to work, it doesn't really seem that much. The point being who says I want to?
Like SAM though I do miss the sea being near, but if you choose wisely like Hua Hin Harry you can enjoy the best of both worlds permanently. Sure, it may be different but if I wanted what I know I could live in Pattaya, or Bangkok or Sydney.
Isaan is a great place to live, bloody hot this time of year but for mine it is also the most beautiful. All the rice is starting to go in, everything is green and lush and it truly is pretty. Looking at miles and miles of rice paddy may not be everyone's version of picturesque but it certainly is something different.
I was a city boy born and bred and it is a novelty for me to experience life up here. It also cleared up a lot of misconceptions about what it is to live in Isaan. I have covered this in other subs and to be honest as I have said I won't be here forever but I could quite easily if that was my choice. The flipside being after being here for a while now who is to say that if I left I wouldn't want to come straight back?
Like all things in life, to each his own and find what pleasure you can in the things you enjoy. Mostly though, don't be too judgemental and refrain from trying to put a multitude of individuals with their own thoughts, means and reasons all into the same little box. When you look into the mirror you see an image, but that image isn't you. So sometimes it is better, unless you completely comprehend the full reasoning, explanation and circumstances behind somebody's station in life, to leave well enough alone, and get along mindin your own business. As it says in the good book in the Gospel of Matthew "Judge not, that ye be not judged" and so forth.