Bit of a strange statement don’t you think?… Well for many younger farangs it could appear that this senior poster has got lost somewhere on a transporter. Thai’s might thing that I’ve lost some of the grey matter in those advancing years, but be kind give me a chance to explain things.
I’m a child of the 1960’s & 70’s, or a silver surfer, I grew up in between the baby boomers and Generation X. I’m past the austerity of the post war generation, but still grew up when there were caravan and prefabs as homes. Motorways were still in there infancy, many essential industries were owned by the government, We had BEA and BOAC as our national carrier, British Rail ran our trains, we had mines, a excellent postal service, trade unions, strikes, power cuts and a 3 day working week…. but grim it was not.
We had a great vibrant music industry, where you had to know how to play an instrument or actually could sing, and we purchased records, 7″ for singles and 12″ for albums. No such thing as downloads, just radio stations with the odd one like radio Caroline or radio Luxembourg playing over night. With Caroline you could always notice when the seas were rough….. ( if you don’t know ask an old farang).
So to the time warp and Thailand,…. we had corner shops, greengrocers, hardware shops, launderettes, chippy’s, even bakers, these would be on most estates, even council ones. We could walk the streets without much concern after dark, the local pubs in the middle of nowhere were open after 11pm, and the local old bill would pop in for refreshment too at some time after midnight. We had milk men on milk floats and whilst I’ve not seen them here, you do have countless motorbikes and sidecars coming round selling a variety of wares. Today it takes me a long time to do a short shop around my village/moobaan, I know many people and many know me, its just like it was for my father 40 years ago.
Life in general was at a slower pace, people had time for a chat, you would know your neighbours, and your parents would know everyone in a 5 mile vicinity. Crime was at a relative low level, partly due to we actually had respect for others and their belongings and as I said everyone knew everyone. The biggest fear as a kid was misbehaving and our parents finding out. We respected our teachers, and parents evening was 100% turnout. We did not argue with teachers, as many used rulers and or canes, some were deadly accurate with blackboard rubbers upto50ft, and then there was a second helping at home as well. In short respect was learned at an early age and correctional methods used as required.
Mobile phones were the Red call boxes ( Tardis? they were Blue and were Police boxes… did anyone ever see inside? ) almost on every street, for 2p you could call locally for about 5 minutes and 10p ( a weeks pocket money ) long distance for 20 minutes. On holidays we left the house at day light, out all day, fed without question by friends parents, or countless Aunts ( not related) home at dusk and not a heartbeat missed by parents. We fell off almost everything, bikes, trees, scooters, walls, go-karts, you name it we fell off it….. no tears other than of laughter, we had clothes often held together by patches, trousers more ragged than today’s down and out have.
On Sunday’s sometime we were to be found in the back of the car in a pub car park… bag of crisps and a cola…. Sunday dinner was a special day, all the family together and a feast to be enjoyed. There was never loads of money to go round, but we had time for each other, we all mucked in together, we shared all that we had.
Whilst a major difference today is the vast amounts of cars and traffic, I have seen here more retro cars still running and each sends the memory cells pictures of the past. Out of the cities, life is quieter and so much like it was back all those years ago.
In short I do feel part of the community, and I’m sure I get a better deal here than I would back home, which might offer me a cheap haircut or a discounted rail ticket to be taken between 1am and 2am on February 29th…. I worry for my old home, its really on the slide, to much greed, drastic cuts on service and becoming a country of haves and have nots, a bloody nose not learned from last years Brit exit…. I fear the future for those who who are old and those in need. Even in Thailand in its ham fisted way is doing more and more for its people, than the worlds 6th biggest economy, with now its debt at record levels and nurses using food banks…. really nurses using food banks…. is there no shame from the government?
Its a no brainer whilst I’m here, in fact I could be almost anywhere now which offers a better lifestyle, whilst my family might not come here, they will all leave the UK, rats abandoning a sinking ship?…. Well…. rats created it as it is today…. I am welcomed in many new places to live and help create a new wealth…. Thailand is not yet at that point, it offers a short term solution, and when it finally accepts that is has to take a more positive view to farangs to take the next upward step, its a stopping off point on life’s journey, a pleasant one in most cases, but not the final destination.
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