Stickman Readers' Submissions January 16th, 2015

Thailand No Way Part 3

Village life

As I left off saying in article 2, “The village life has been good to me {most of the time}.”

He Clinic Bangkok

For those readers who have lived in your village for some time, you will more than likely understand what I am writing. And for those who are just starting out on your new experience I hope my experience helps you. Remember I have only been here just over 3 years so I’m not in away an expert on Thailand.

So here I am now staying at my girlfriend’s house in the village which I paid to have built bigger for all of us – Grandma, mum, two sons, one with wife and baby and nephew with a few overstayers of older brother and a few cousins. Plus myself and girlfriend. Along with Sister living right next door – and I mean right next door – with husband and two kids with their offspring, everyone eats everything in sight, drinks my beer when my back’s turned and asks for handouts. Along with power cuts, water shut downs, dogs roaming and barking, roosters crowing and any other things village life throws at you, life is so great when I come to stay for a relaxing time in the village. NOT.

But in saying that, you must never forget where you come from. I am one of 1 kids, the 2nd last born. Growing up in the 60’s my granddad stayed for some time, my older brothers and sisters had friends around all the time and cousins weren’t far away, all staying at some point. Our house was like a railway station and my mum always made sure she had extra food on the table. I got hand-me downs all the time. We had chooks along with the odd sheep in our backyard and dogs, cats, birds etc. So what’s the difference between my family and a Thai family? Not much I would say!

CBD Bangkok

Most of the things I do for this Thai family comes with a money value attached. I finished the house, bough white ware {fridge, washing machine}, LCD TV, indoor and outdoor furniture, installed hot running water and a western toilet, bought a motorbike, tractor, supply beer, stock up the fridge etc. So at times I feel some of the family don’t appreciate what I have done to improve their living standards.

My girlfriend treats me with the utmost of respect and will do anything to keep that respect and I do the same for her. She always says thank you for the things I do for her, the family and village. And she tells me how much she loves me which was something my ex didn’t do much.

In the early stages of our relationship we would say how much we loved each other, just like a couple of love sick puppies. At first I knew that these were only words with no meaning. But as time has gone on I have realised that the Thais do grow to love us farangs. And we do them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not tight with my money, but I work hard for it and also have commitments in my homeland, so I need to watch the $$$.

So sometimes it’s hard when you return from working away that things have been broken and you are just dumbfounded how that could have happened, only to be told some lame reason why nice things have gone missing, only to find them in the dirt across the farm or never seen again, or there is never any fuel in the bike when you need it. And it goes on and on…

wonderland clinic

But when you think about it, are they any different to us in the western world? And if you really think about it, I’m sure most western people will have their own stories to tell of this situation in their own homeland.

In the western world you pay tax and some of that goes to people who know how to scam the system and shouldn’t have it. In Thailand I give some money to my partner which she in turn gives to her family. I think this is the best system. So is there a difference between our 2 worlds? And why is that in the western world we accept the fact about bludgers on the welfare system or in our families whereas in Thailand we get upset and say Thais are ripping us off! Interesting.

I love the culture of Thailand, the easy lifestyle and cheap living even though it is creeping up. The sights, sounds and smells, both good and bad. The freedom. And at times I have been treated like a superstar with random Thais wanting to be photographed with me. There must be a lot of blind people in Thailand!

In the western world you are just a number with rules and regulations we just don’t understand and our commonsense is being taken away from us. Governments find ways to tax us more and more.

As I have read in a few articles on Stick’s site of a few people moaning and complaining about their village and Thailand in general and along with me thinking those same thoughts sometimes, all I can say is if we don’t like it then LEAVE!

But for myself, after a lot of thinking I now practice what I once read, “ADOPT OR PERISH” and I now embrace Thailand and village life for what it is and it is not for me to try and change. It’s been this way for hundreds of years.

Of course I have got cunning, have addressed my issues and must say it works well, like giving a certain amount of money to my partner and if she decides to give it to family, that’s ok – just don’t ask for more! Buy only beer for me or whoever I’m drinking with at the time. Leave fuel in the bike until I need it and most of all, teaching them to help themselves i.e. put a deposit on stuff and they have to pay the rest off. Or buying vege plants for them to grow etc. You get the picture…

So Thailand and the village life is now my happy place once again.




Now one happy soul

nana plaza