Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
Dodger
Posts: 1259
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 297 times

Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by Dodger » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:28 pm

I just passed the one year mark on my retirement here in LaLa Land, and, all things considered, I’m pretty comfortable with my decision to call Thailand home.

The things I appreciate most about life here are related to the weather, cost-of-living, and sex, not necessarily in that order. The fact that I don’t have to suffer through any more Chicago winters, in-and-by-itself, makes it all worth it. I’ve always loved Summer time, and every day over here feels like I’m on vacation. The overall cost-of-living is so much less than the States that I can live a much higher quality life for less money, and stay healthier in the process. Being out in the sunlight, eating healthier food (much of which is grown organically), and getting more physical exercise, are all things I’m very grateful for.

Last, but definitely not least, is the fact that I can enjoy the freedom of living my life as a gay person without any major social barriers or personal reservations. Being gay in America isn’t a problem anymore, but partnering with a guy who is half your age is another story. Actually, it’s not another story, it’s a fantasy. I’ve been attracted to younger Asian guys for as long as I can remember, and I still rank Thailand # 1 in this category. This, by far, is the number one reason I chose Thailand for retirement.

The things I least appreciate are the way that Thais drive motor vehicles, the restaurants, and as much as it pains me to say this, the ignorance displayed by many of the Thai people in general. My father told me something when I was young that I’ll never forget: “You can always tell a person’s true character by the way they drive”. The Thais are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most inconsiderate, aggressive, and dangerous lunatics on the road in the world, and they have a trophy sitting on a mantle somewhere to prove it.

Overall, I’m not thrilled with the restaurants either. I know that the majority of farang say the availability of great restaurants, especially in places like Pattaya, is wonderful, but I find the majority to be mediocre at best. As far as I’m concerned, when they closed Zum Simple (German restaurant) that used to be on the corner of Pattaya Thai and Second Road, and White Night in Sunee Plaza, the really good restaurants in Pattaya are few and far between. I can handle Thai food once in a while, but it doesn’t really burst my bubble.

My first 3 years in Thailand were business related and I interacted primarily with Thai professionals. I must have told hundreds of people back in the States over the years how genuinely nice the Thai people were, emphasizing their thoughtful, outgoing, courteous, and humble personalities. Interacting with working class Thais (I hate the terms Upper and Lower classes) many who are uneducated coming from the rural farm lands, creates a whole new set of challenges. Many of the Thai people that I come into contact with are inconsiderate, untrustworthy, and lack any sense of personal integrity. They often mask their self-centered personalities behind those infamous Thai Smiles, only as a means of getting something form you. I’m friendly with so many of them, but only allow myself to get close to the one I’m sleeping with.

All-in all. Things have worked out pretty well. I spend my time enjoying the things I enjoy, avoiding the things I don’t, and always look for opportunities to find new ways to have fun. I miss a good Chicago pizza with a passion, but being 10,000 miles away from Donald Trump is a fair trade.

User avatar
Finnseventy
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:05 am
Location: Ireland
Has thanked: 6 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by Finnseventy » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:33 am

Thanks for that. As someone who is considering retiring to Thailand and having recently bought a condo in Jomtien I found your assessment both positive and interesting.
I have some concerns about the rising baht eroding the value of my pension but otherwise hope to retire there in a few years time.
Good to hear the views of a recent arrival.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 16468
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 757 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:29 am

Finnseventy wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:33 am
I have some concerns about the rising baht eroding the value of my pension but otherwise hope to retire there in a few years time.
Next time you are in Thailand, if you don't already have a Thai bank account, make sure to open one. You will not be able to get the retirement visa without one.

Also make sure to get your retirement visa within Thailand so that you'll have the O visa, not the O-A

User avatar
Undaunted
Posts: 1967
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:47 am
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 280 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by Undaunted » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:38 am

I’ve know Dodger for quite some time and I enjoy reading his observations I will add some of my own as a long time resident of Pattaya.

The Thai people that I interact with on a regular basis are considerate and fairly straight forward but avoid confrontation on any level.
I agree that there are few outstanding restaurants in Pattaya however, Bangkok has many wonderful restaurants.
Even with the rising baht basics in Thailand are still relatively cheap.
There are three seasons hot, hotter and hottest which are compounded by the ever present humidity.
I am thrilled that I sold my condo and now rent as property becomes a burden should you decide to leave.
Over my many years here and many different governments the present government is the least accommodating to foreigners with the exception of the Chinese.
Though the gay scene has changed so dramatically over the years it still offers more than any place I know.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 16468
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 757 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:19 am

I should have mentioned that the easiest bank where farang can still open a Thai bank account is K-Bank - Kasikorn Bank.

I agree with the posts above. I also always recommend living wherever you're planning to live for at least 6 months to a year before committing to anything. That way, you still have an escape route if it turns out living here is not for you.

Also, many board members are happy to help newcomers. Some are willing to personally meet and assist you. If you need any help once you're here, just ask.

werner99
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 1:27 pm
Has thanked: 91 times
Been thanked: 18 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by werner99 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:15 am

Dodger wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:28 pm
Interacting with working class Thais . . . many who are uneducated coming from the rural farm lands, creates a whole new set of challenges. Many of the Thai people that I come into contact with are inconsiderate, untrustworthy, and lack any sense of personal integrity. They often mask their self-centered personalities behind those infamous Thai Smiles, only as a means of getting something form you. I’m friendly with so many of them, but only allow myself to get close to the one I’m sleeping with.
Dodger,

You write extremely well, and I have enjoyed your posts.

However, I strongly and emphatically disagree with your comments above.

During about 25+ trips to Thailand during the past 35 years, I have interacted with many working class Thais in hotels, restaurants, bars, gay venues, and on the streets when I buy snacks from peddlers. I have found them to be considerate, trustworthy, and generally great people.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 16468
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 757 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:56 pm

I disagree with both Dodger and Werner. To me, both are stereotyping. I don't believe anyone here needs me to tell that there are good people and bad people from all walks of life, no matter their education level, social status, where they come from, or what work they do.

a447
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:56 pm
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 141 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by a447 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:46 pm

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:56 pm
I disagree with both Dodger and Werner. To me, both are stereotyping. I don't believe anyone here needs me to tell that there are good people and bad people from all walks of life, no matter their education level, social status, where they come from, or what work they do.
I don't think dodger was "stereotyping" at all. He was writing about guys he had actually "come into contact with" and so was writing from personal experience.

I'd say he has just been unlucky. From my own experience, based solely on guys I've met in real life, I would have to agree with werner.

Dodger
Posts: 1259
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 297 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by Dodger » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:21 pm

a447 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:46 pm
Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:56 pm
I disagree with both Dodger and Werner. To me, both are stereotyping. I don't believe anyone here needs me to tell that there are good people and bad people from all walks of life, no matter their education level, social status, where they come from, or what work they do.
I don't think dodger was "stereotyping" at all. He was writing about guys he had actually "come into contact with" and so was writing from personal experience.
Thank you for your observation, as I was referring to "Many" of the working class Thais - and certainly not "All" of them. I also intended for my remarks to include all Thais in general, and not solely focused on "guys", as, honestly, the majority of guys I've interacted with in the past 20 years have been very hospitable and genuinely nice people.

The mere fact that I am (we are) referred to as "Farang", even by Thais who I have become close with and have known for many years, grates me. I know...I know...this is just an ingrained term that has been used for centuries, which is widely accepted by visiting foreigners, and no offense is intended... but there's something about the use of this term that bothers me. The term, based on my perception, right or wrong, reflects that of an "object", which I feel, again, right or wrong, is the way many farang are viewed by the Thais in general. Any dislike I may have for some of them probably stems from this. Many farang I have known over the years consider the terms "Farang" and "Walking ATM" to be interchangeable, which, in all honesty, isn't far off the mark.

To the average working class Thai we are simply "Farang". We come from another planet. We are all wealthy. We have been the source of a tremendous amount of financial income which has been flowing up to impoverished Isaan for the past 50 years, and then some. We are generous and compassionate aliens. If connected to a Thai family, the role of the Farang is simply "Sponsor" for that very reason. That is my opinion of the perception of us that they hold. Not all, but many. Having said that, there are a lot of sincerely nice Thai people out there, but you just can't take the SMILES for granted.

User avatar
windwalker
Posts: 1409
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:59 am
Has thanked: 217 times
Been thanked: 68 times

Re: Adapting to a Life in Thailand

Post by windwalker » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:44 pm

Dodger wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:21 pm

The mere fact that I am (we are) referred to as "Farang", even by Thais who I have become close with and have known for many years, grates me. I know...I know...this is just an ingrained term that has been used for centuries, which is widely accepted by visiting foreigners, and no offense is intended... but there's something about the use of this term that bothers me.
Why do we farang keep referring to all Thai men as "boys" ? An ingrained term?

Post Reply