Disneyland for Grandad
At 76, I figure I am old enough to be someone’s grandfather. At 56, I relocated from the southwestern US (Santa Fe, NM) retiring as early as I had hoped I could.
A friend had recommended Patong Beach on the island of Phuket and I spent a few years there in the whole new realty of being an American over 40 and still able to find sex other than on some video or fantasy from my earlier years.
It was fantastic and with beautiful attractive women who weighed less than half of my weight. Friendly, entrepreneurs. It was easy to start to delude myself that women had somehow universally decided I was finally hot stuff. It was a completely different operating system! I was a customer, and it was great fun.
We could buy Indian gels one squeezed under the tongue for Kamagra (Viagra) or Cialis in a variety of flavors, pineapple was my favorite or banana. If you didn’t buy it in the bar you could buy it at pharmacies along with Valium or many other things like HGH and testosterone. But, that’s another story to be considered with doctors’ advice.
Like many lonely old foreigners (Farangs, they called us for their French visitors a century before) I thought I could grab that girlfriend effect so many seek). It was not financial ruin, although it could have been. One tries not to have a regular after a while and some varying intensity dramas.
I heard of Stickman’s site pretty close to the start of my journeys and started reading it, having not much else to do besides flipping a few condos. I read it every day as there were always fresh submissions back then from which I got some both sobering perspectives and amusements, I am thinking of the hysterically humorous Dana and weekly “Thai thoughts and anecdotes“ which I think he did a few hundred. Wanting to contribute, I started sending in my own submissions and it took a few years to get accepted by Stick as proofreading was not my strongest quality. And he was an English teacher who did not object to letting the writer know they needed improvement.
Intoxicated by the abundance of beautiful women who would stay all night and go on little “holidays “ with me to gorgeous places like Phi Phi island, and Krabi, and that JW Marriott (one could swim to other rooms or the bar) at Khao Lak. Stunning white sand beaches!
I bought a Honda Wave motorbike (and a couple for girls too). Just a fantastic time I had with girls telling me I was handsome. I didn’t care if they meant it as long as they delivered.
Come the Tsunami, December 26, 2004. I had experiences the likes of which I had never seen. A month or so later after having flown back to the US, I returned to Thailand but decided to move to Pattaya. It is in a bay and a Tsunami is highly unlikely there.
My luck was that foreigners calling the Thai realtors had told themselves thereby already closing the deal by thinking there would be great real-estate deals. Truth is I doubled my money on two small places in two years. Great luck!
Well, the girls were also beautiful in Pattaya by the sea, a little browner as they come from the north-eastern provinces / Essan and were a bit more Laotian in color, but still fantastic. if I wanted the more Chinese look, Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai were an inexpensive flight to the north.
I have to say I have never regretted retiring early and not with big money as I have had two fantastic decades in South-East Asia. Would recommend it all again to any man isolated and forced into marriage to a similar-aged, possibly angry woman or left lonely in the homeland where the only passion seems to be politics.
In the Patong I am thinking back now of, a moment in the Beach Road Starbucks when a countryman was laughing telling me I was reading a 2-day old newspaper. I just smiled as I didn’t care at all.
As a decade in Thailand came to pass, I started visiting the Philippines as English is spoken and the thirty or more typhoons a year has beaten up the infrastructure and the economy is different than Thailand.
I visited Stickman one afternoon in Bangkok and we walked about nearly everywhere I had ever heard of in that metropolis. Fabulous day with dinner at a fine Indian restaurant. And we talked about everything. That day I decided I would start moving towards the Philippines. Ten years early I had promised Dana I would give it a decade…
Without motivating Thai or Philippine bar owners into some tirades about who has the best bars, I’ll just say the Philippines is best for older Americans in general, in my opinion.
The eleven years in the Philippines has been great as well. Just different and I do like Angeles City as it is like a village, one need not walk very far for anything.
If medical crises arrive, it is like Thailand. Be prepared to negotiate or get to the airport. Some insurance carriers are good. I buy some, but if I can get to the airport, that’s my choice.
Without a doubt I would retire early and do it all again. Just watch how deep you go and what you can handle 🙂
Still Pattaya Gary, but now in the Philippines.
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