• Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Living in Thailand, the positives, and silly price for Take That tickets...

    So, with my departure now imminent I am going to try to ignore all the things that annoy me about Thailand and focus on some of the positive aspects to life here. Yes, there are some. Despite my obvious annoyance with the state of politics here, xenophobic attitude etc etc there are many things that I will miss about life in The Big Mango.

    Food - Thai food is very nice and there's lots to choose from. Being a vegetarian choice is somewhat limited but if you eat meat and enjoy spice then it's a great place for eating and costs are generally low. Ironically my favourite restaurant, apart from various street stalls, is not Thai but French/Taiwanese vegetarian which I've mentioned more than once before, Tamarind Cafe. You can also get food pretty much any time of the day or nigth which is nice too.

    Weather - The heat at this time of the year gets me down and makes me feel lethargic. However, I will miss not having to wear more than one layer and also being able to go to the beach and swim in the sea any day of the year regardless of season. I think this is something I do take for granted but don't take advantage of enough. This weekend was supposed to be a beach trip but for various reasons it got cancelled.

    Bangkok - Yes, I will miss Bangkok. It's chaotic, polluted and has way too much traffic but it grows on you. Amongst all the dirt and the grime there is character. Hard to explain but I don't think I could get bored of Bangkok. It's a wonderful place for walking and cycling and there's always something interesting to see for western eyes, you just have to look.

    Red Tape - Thailand is king of bureaucracy. Everything that involves officialdom takes a long time and is frustrating in the extreme. However, on the other hand you are generally left to your own devices here. Unlike the nanny state that the UK is fast becoming here you can just get one with your life unhindered. People build more or less where they like, build what they like and how like. You want to extend your house, you do it. You want a cowboy builder to do the job on the cheap then it's your lookout. In the UK you can't put a garden shed up without planning approval these days and now the local council tax will take into consideration things like garden sheds and new kitchens (basically if you improve your house you will be taxed more, kind of like a punishment for wanting a better life).

    Another thing that I guess is not unique to Thailand is the mix of nationalities you get to meet. I know very few Brits and mix with even less (I've got nothing against Brits, I am one, I just don't seem to know any). My daughter goes to school with people from about a dozen or more nationalities. Today we'll be taking her to ballet with her German friend and then go out for the day with her family. In the last week she's been to parties of a Spanish, Caribbean and Australian flavour. The list goes on. Back home she'll probably be the most exotic person in her class and one of only a few non 100% Brits at the school. This worries me. I want her to grow up as a citizen of the world not a little Englander or Thai-centric.

    I'll post more as I think of them and try not to read to much into what's in the paper and on the news. I know I'll miss this place despite everything.

    And now for something very silly. Take That concert tickets with a face value of GBP£45 have reached GBP£100,000 on Ebay!! Can you believe this? Who in their right mind would pay that for a concert ticket, and Take That too??? I mean, if it was Led Zep or the Stones I could understand, but Take That?? World gone mad.

    Living in Thailand, the positives, and silly price for Take That tickets...



    Blogger Bart said...

    Interesting. However, Bangkok as a "wonderful place for walking and cycling"? Where is it that you enjoy walking an cycling in Bangkok???

    10:46 am  
    Blogger Liza said...

    I'm guessing that no matter where you are, you will do your best to ensure that your daughter is a citizen of the world, just as we are doing with our son. You'll teach her about other cultures and encourage her to explore that which is beyond her own little world.

    7:03 pm  
    Blogger Life Out East said...

    Bart - I guess it varies from person to person. I've walked/cycled in most parts of Bangkok and never get bored of it. Even after nearly eight years here (on and off) I find there's always something interesting to see. Slums, markets, residential areas, temples or palaces, most of it is very different to what western eyes are used to.

    Liza - I hope so. I want her to have a wide vision. I think we'll be abroad again before long, I can feel my feet itching even now before we've moved back.

    9:47 pm  
    Blogger Bart said...

    I wish I could walk and cycle more often, but pollution and broken sidewalks discourage me. That's my point.

    12:30 am  
    Blogger Life Out East said...

    Agreed, pollution is bad and the sidewalks are, mostly, nothing short of a hazard but it's still worth the effort.

    8:58 am  

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