No Regrets At All
It started for me and my brother sometime at the beginning of 2000 when we first visited Thailand as bachelors and ventured out to Koh Samui after spending a few nights in Bangkok and straight away discovering in a small side cul-de-sac down Sukhumvit Soi 5 just past the Amari Hotel where we entered heaven for only THB 1.000 and at the time an amazing value for money. The heat was overwhelming and the girls on Samui were not very pretty and conversation in English was nothing like we had expected but we went back over the next 5 years a few times a year but primarily spent most of the time in Bangkok and Phuket and mostly in Patong. We enjoyed many a wild night down Bangla Road and especially in the Rock Hard and Smokey Joe’s upstairs from the Rock Hard. We must have worn out the staircase. The girls in the Rock Hard were lovely and some very stunning. We were just living in a dream or so it seemed but I remember Ricky the floor manager there asking me “when do you know that a Thai girl is not lying to you?” and the reply was “When she has her mouth shut!” Something that I became cautious of over the years to follow.
In 2006 I had the opportunity to travel out to Thailand on a more permanent basis in a consultancy (work) role for a large company who were involved in building a plant in Rayong (MaTaPhut). This time I was with the “handbrake” read wife and we enjoyed the life in a low cost country on an expat based income. We decided to take residence in Bangkok and not on the Eastern Sea-board so I travelled up and down and effectively we lived a life of luxury in a most beautiful apartment oasis in Ekamai. We enjoyed nice weekend breaks in 5-star resorts and discovered how great the cuisine was in the metropole of Bangkok. One thing that continually bugged me was the continuous sound of the word “farang” which to me was almost racist like standing in a store in Europe and hearing the “N” word or the “J” word and I got to dislike it.
In 2007 we went back to Europe on conclusion of my contract but we decided to return again in 2010 on a more permanent semi-retirement basis. We had sold up in Holland and decided to give a long term Thai adventure a go and very soon I picked up a contract as added bonus again on an expat basis so we were raking in the cash and up until 2015 we spent our time just living it up. I went out a few times with the “handbrake” and showed her the likes of Nana and Soi Cowboy (Long Gun) and let her in on the tactics and moves of the free-lancers in the Biergarten, Bangkok Beat and the Hard Rock down at Siam and a few others – she was impressed and fascinated with it all and so was I much long before this point but all of a sudden the quarter dropped and I became totally blasé to it all.
We survived three (3) military coup d’état situations as well (2006-2010-2014) fantastic and unique experiences!
The Thai in general I started to find were very racist behind their famous smiles and very xenophobic not to mention the number of times we were lied to and deceived and cheated on. The education system there just sucks and their command of English is just downright pathetic compared to say Singapore or Malaysia unless one was educated outside of the Kingdom. I had a reasonable command of Thai but at times when looking for a particular word but receiving no response in English. The light was on but on-one was at home. I just got sick of hearing and sometimes having to speak this pigeon English!
Anyway at the end of 2015 we decided to call it a day primarily as at this time I was getting close on 70 and we were finding more and more hurdles with regards to healthcare insurance whereas back in Europe it is practically free. We bit the bullet and packed our bags.
Regrets for leaving? No, none whatsoever as things are much more streamlined, efficient and organised in Europe and maybe big-brother is watching our many moves but you take this for granted. Surely as Bangkok was becoming much too overpriced and for us in comparison to Europe way too expensive and so the move is justified. The hygiene (Bangkok is a filthy city) and the lying and the cheating / deceit and illogical ways of the local mindset is not something one needs – so do we miss this – hell no – no regrets at all and they are certainly not catching up on me!
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