I took the choice a few years ago, stick or twist?…. good business, social standing, friends and security. I gave it up and left.. why? well that is personal but it I was unhappy, with many aspects, the UK was changing and as we see today its not the place it once was… the “Grand Old Lady” is not well… there is an under current of something nasty, so with its beating heart being ripped apart by successive governments looking after them selves and ignoring many like the old, the young, those that need assistance, you can see a country fragmenting… Brit-exit a clear indication of a nation becoming more introverted. The then government got it wrong, they either ignored the mood of many people or just did not care, it cost a PM his job, and since its lurched from one problem to another the current PM has also shown a complete lack of understanding….. the gap is becoming wider.
Thus, watching from Thailand, I made the right decision back then. Thailand has much to offer and that is nothing to do with the “sexpat” image, Thailand has so much more to offer than cheap thrills. I can’t say its been easy, in an emerging nation there is a wide range services and quality, you need patience and understanding, plus time to adapt. It’s important to mix with the locals, get yourself involved, learn from them, and on the whole your everyday Thai is very engaging, helpful, friendly, generous and want you to be happy.
Cashing in my chips back home and starting again, I’ve lived in a room which you could not swing a cat in, at home you’d call it a slum, but they never had a swimming pool for residents, several shops in the basement who would serve 24/7 and deliver to your room, there were launderettes which worked, no vandalism , no elevators smelling of piss, no dark zones where you could be ambushed by some toe rag with a knife, for the most part neighbours were quiet… socially is a million miles apart from what is the UK. I would say Thai’s respect for each other is on a much higher level, sure there are issues and problems, but you can walk the streets at night in safety.
Over the years life improved and I’m better off now than what I ever was in the UK, not just in terms of a place to live, but a quality of life. I’m living in a country where there is so much to do and explore, a rich culture, great islands, amazing national parks, 21st century facilities in Bankok to rival anywhere in the world, I can get everything and more here. Some aspects are way below a desired standard, but allow an emerging nation to learn in a few years what took decades in the west.
So what happens if it all goes wrong?……. Well if you are being a bar monster and show little or no respect, then your going to have a wake up call at some point, try lording on someone elses patch trouble will find you out quick. I can only say integration is the key word, listen and learn fit it with society, its a bit like visiting someone elses home, respect it ( even if you don’t understand it). I’m a farang, I will always be a farang, absolutely nothing wrong with that, I like it, I have no responsibility other than to fit in… simple really.
However…. recently I got sick, it started with a fever ( and in the tropics it can be a serious issue). The net result was an extended stay in hospital with a few health problems to resolve. Let me say what every your position, what ever you earn or have to live on, get or have medical insurance, without it your going to be deep in shit … being ill and no money is a monumental problem. Thai’s mostly manage with something or help of family or friends….. we as a rule don’t have that luxury. Now down to treatment and facilities, my Thai partner, got me into a very good Thai hospital, checking in was more time consuming than getting a table at a 3 star Michelin restaurant, plenty of tests and examinations, but in the end I was checked in.
The room was more like a self contained apartment than a hospital, Yes I had the best available and could afford it, but again that is why you have insurance. I had been in the room no longer than 10 minutes when the first set of medical staff were in attendance, medication was applied in every way possible and the road to recovery was underway. There is a growing reputation of quality health care at affordable prices, I can add its well deserved, but like every service, get local advise, some are better than others.. Now I’m back home and will still have a time before I’m 100%, health is not a side issue or something you can put back or ignore, its priority number 1. I have a Thai partner, who has looked after me a thousand times better than my ex-wife would have, her devotion to taking care is on another level, and that is what Thai culture is about, its something us farangs could learn much from.
I had a few visitors from my Thai extended family, there was genuine care and concern for my health, not just because of my considered wealth, but because I was one of their family. My home has been looked after and kept just as if I was there everyday, I was not in a hospital local to them, a journey was close to an hour each way, time consuming and at an additional expense, but they were there giving me care Thai style, and when your feeling really crap, a smiling face, a hug and moral support is a very important factor.