Well, here I am back in Songkhla...just for 3 weeks. Last time I came it was just a year after I'd left and the memories of why I left came flooding back, so how does it compare that little while longer? Firstly I am now at the stage where I have just bought a house, have a mortgage and coming back to live isn't the remotest possibility, but still I have been mentally noting why I loved it here and why I needed to get out.
- Eating out every day multiple times per day with food that would be prohibitively expensive in the UK.
- The simple pleasures of sitting outside a shophouse with a large Singha on plastic chairs.
- The weather facilitating outdoor life pretty much full time (thunderstorms notwithstanding)
- It may have got more expensive from an exchange rate perspective, but still much cheaper in terms of what you get for your money.
- Having just been back to my old workplace for a visit it struck me just how laid back it really is as a working environment, and how teaching is one of the more feel-good jobs I'd ever had.
- Driving...the lack of barriers to getting on the road is lovely...no MOT, minimal road tax, and insurance on a car-by-car not person basis.
- Low, low taxes.
- People I came to know very well, in-laws, colleagues, and friends both English and Thai lovely to see them all, and hang out with them again
Last time I did a thread like this, I got accused of slagging the place off, which I'm not. It's just a comparison. I'm having a top holiday, and I don't rule out moving back later in life, but not now. I'm also not stating this to upset people who love living here. I loved it too, and wouldn't take it back for the world. 6 1/2 years was quite a long time and my perspectives changed. My wife is being given a good chunk of land (30-odd rai) here which gives us the option of retiring here later on...but getting the money together to buy a house requires us to work in an environment which allows us to afford it. That for now is pie in the sky...the little house by the lake, farming chillies.
- Could I have bought a house on land that would REALLY be mine? I guess it would be my daughters inheritence, but my UK house really is shared between my wife and I.
- Looking at the schools, do ANY of them inspire the kind of confidence I have in the state infant school my daughter goes to in the UK? Do I want my daughter to be taught by rote learning? International schooling was never really an option here for us. There just seems to be more options open to my daughter being educated there
- I'm not on a fortune in the UK, but I am not restricted by law in terms of my career development, because of my nationality. In the UK neither is my wife.
- Driving. I said the lack of regulations was nice but if a motorcy doesn't look where they are going and hits you, as a farrang it's your fault by default. The lack of Thai peripheral vision on the roads is pretty scary.
- You, you, farrang, farrang. I don't want an argument about whether this is rude or not but its feeling very old now. Tedious. I don't feel special because of it, but singled out.
- The nerve wrecking feeling each year that your immigration status is in the hands of a bloke who looks like he wants nothing more than have you kicked out the country when a photocopy of some document does not look right.
- The feeling of being cut off from the world. Songkhla is a village mentality and it sucks you in. Getting back to the UK was expensive and mentally exhausting, and not something I want to keep repeating. Re-establishing life there is harder than moving here.
LDMA - Ajarn Forum Admin
Don't get me wrong - I don't want a 'serious' board but I'd like posts to be either genuinely amusing, informative and/ or thought provoking.
Ian McNamara - July 2000
A clash with the management will not serve the purpose of your inner peace and therefore will deprive you from happiness. Thai Language School DOS, 2009
Only the bad person say the bad thing about the good thing.
Anon. Thai DOS
I'd be nice for a week. Too dirty. Too dangerous. Too noisy. Too many drunkards.
I think I could stay in England modestly for about a month. Then my $500,000 savings would dry up.
Very good points, louis.
Totally agree after my 6 weeks on holiday in Thailand.
1) Great place to visit.
3) That's it.
I would consider moving back to Thailand to live if I had "feck off' amount of money.
Funnily I wouldn't consider retiring to Thailand, it's hard on the old.
Papa was a rodeo - Mama was a rock'n'roll band
I could play guitar and rope a steer before I learned to stand
rural kwwailand maybe
plenty of options in bangers if you can adapt to the city but not for everyone i understand
Serial Wolf Bagger
The west has many advantages especially all the 'sensible' ones. In many ways I'm in a very similar situation to you LDMA - The daughter's education is important, we have a new house, new cars blah blah blah
But I feel that its grinding me down - last night the wife said "why are we doing this?" I was shocked by hearing my thoughts coming out of her mouth.
Like you, I console myself that one day we'll go back and we'll be well-placed. But I really miss the vitality and mess of thailand.
Children's education would be a big one but other than that and the cultural life of London, Britain's attractions are pretty minimal.
2000 years of history on every horizon and all we have is london and its feral looters?
and what are they teaching in uk schools these days
maybe when people think in terms of more than either/ or then more fulfilment will be possible
im of the opposite opinion
the UK is a fantastic place to holiday, and i will go back to live there at some stage to see these minimal attractions again, well i do yearly anyway
i imagine as i get older and the welfare state crumbles and the pension age hits 95 i'll need to rethink
Hearing you on day to day drudgery, but made up wi certain qualities of life.Music sceneSeasons...winter ain't much fun...but Xmas season is....permanent hot can be tedious, but a rare glorious summers day is a treat....less is more.Real aleTelly /fast internet...no faster than you get in losThe Peak District in summerStately Homes etcHaving certain rights..home ownershipMy family nearbyThings for my daughter to do...ballet class, skating, keyboard lessons.
"You really want to save the planet?...the next time you see a hybrid car with a childseat... smash the window, remove the childseat and replace it with a box of condoms..." Doug Stanhope
That's a pretty sensible juxtaposition of pros and cons - I think the "education for your own child" points outweigh anything else, in that, and I agree with you that the move OUT of Thailand is probably for the best for your daughter.
Just wondering, though, if you would have had opportunities to settle elsewhere in Europe, where else would you have picked outside of the UK ? (it seems quite a few folks are down on the UK, hence my follow-up question).