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  1. #1
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    Five years in Udon a reflection

    Wow five years, hard to believe even if you did it yourself. What a different life I have now then the one I left and event eh one I entered here.

    I came here as a single man only knowing a few of the Vets in the area. A whopping $6K in the bank and my retirement and paying $1,800.00 a month in child support, not exactly flush. But I squeaked by until the child support was paid. One year on my own and went to Water Buffalo University everyday. I finally decided that these Udon girls were a lot smarter then I was. I was so frustrated by all the games I nearly threw in the towel every other day.

    What changed my wife, but not easy she couldnít speak a word of English and I couldnít speak any Thai. (why a lot of guys end up with bar girls they can at least converse on some level) But we are now four years into it and still get by, but better then before.

    My problems really didnít come from Thaií it w farrangs out of the ones I met in that first year I only associate with one of them these days. Simply because we share a hobby. Not sure why it went that way, I think the majority of them meant well and explained Thai life to me the best they understood it. Others I honestly believe enjoyed watching me go through the mil, so they had a subject laugh about with other farrangs. Actually had a village marriage during that time. Was convinced by these guys that it was OK to have Mia Noiís all Thai women accept that, nothing could be further from the truth. If a Thai woman cares beyond the money they donít want to share you with anyone and my friends is the truth learned the hard way. Heck I had Mai Noiís during that period. An interesting situation for me I could never decide where I really wanted to be and where home was. Just me I guess.

    Well that problem was soon solved the marriage w destroyed, heck how can you build a marriage without trust and I destroyed that not her. So off we go to the dating scene. What a mess. Finally actually had someone head out to the village to find me a lady, to build a life. First two might a well have went to the bar and picked up a girl.

    Third one was the charm what a rag a muffin, but there was real beauty in there. She needed me and I soon found that I needed her. We built a relationship from there and now love each other. Could I get away with Mia Noiís, yep she has no choice but oh hang in there. Bit what would it do to the most valuable aspect in my life here in Udon. The trust would be destroyed so I stay at home. Iím no longer three day Ray. Do we fight you bet canít tell you how many time I have came very close to walking out the door. But something holds us together. Iím very glad it does.

    If I have to name my most valued aspect of y life here itís her. She changed my life so much I canít even begin to describe it today Iím buying a home a Chevy pickup. I have everything I need in my home and most of what I want. I have developed other friends that I share aspects of my life with. Both farrang and Thai.

    So when I reflect on my past five years in Udon I have a lot to be grateful for and all and all Iím a happy guy. Now the truth be known had I really knew what I was getting into I would have never did it in the first place. But you take the challenges day by day learn and get through it.

    The most difficult thing I went through was not having anyone I could trust to talk about problems with and even more so thinking I did and then paying the prices. But even that changed with time and I have learned not to be so open with people and assume that they are in fact friends. What they were actually were acquaintances.

    Iím always open to helping others but Iím very careful about who I ask for help these days.

    To newbieís I would say count attending Water Buffalo University we all do. Adopt the AA approach; take it one day at a time. For every step forward there will be two back for a awhile, But that will change if you want it bad enough. If you donít feel the desire to make it here through your bones you probably wonít keep that return ticket handy you will need it.




  2. #2
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing that Ray.

  3. #3
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    Interesting post Ray

  4. #4
    gos
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    From someone who is about to take that journey thanks ray a very good post
    and thought provoking I should be in udon mid next year is the water buffalo university a bar

  5. #5
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    Wonder why westeners settle in Udon? I guess most are here because its the other halfs birthplace. For me its mainly because its a good place in which for my daughters to grow up in and Its close to my wifes family. Its also cheap to live while I rebuild my finances.
    When I lived in Bangkok I got through about 150 to 200K a month whereas here its about 70 to 80.
    But you have to say its dead BORING, my brother was here for a few days and made the comment, "If I lived here I would be raving Alchy within 3 months", he's doesn't drink at all. If I I didn't have my family concerns I think it would be the last place on my list of places to live.

  6. #6
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    No not a bar, but it might drive you to one

    I had ben to Thailand once before my first vist to Udon what brought me a cute little bar girl from Pattaya. Now thats really different Huh. Theer wa a VFW here so I begin to meet westerners here adn made a few friends.Bar gorl wen by the way side. I came here alone at that point simply because I knew some people here. Never meant to stay had a five months leave of absence from my job, just never went back.

    In all honesty I create my own activites here center aroudn riding and meeting up with others here that also enjoy that. Works for me.

    Took a year but I now have ride list with about 50 people. so small groups of us get together the and go exploring just about every weekend. It's really became amazing three different rides going this weekend. Keeps me busy doing something I enjoy

  7. #7
    Tao
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    I'll be moving to Korat myself soon... I'm already an alchy so i'll not worry about being bored and I should be able to save a few quid for more booze.

  8. #8
    MrG
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray23 View Post
    To newbieís I would say count attending Water Buffalo University we all do.
    What is Water Buffalo University?

  9. #9
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    It is a phrase for learning how to live here, the lessons learned and paid for.

  10. #10
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    ^ Its the university of life . learning by your mistakes , adapting to accept things in your enviroment . taking set backs and looking at them as opportunitys not as problems . Generally becoming wiser growing .

  11. #11
    Luckydog
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    Nice to hear that you have found happiness in LOS Ray.
    We hear too few stories like yours.
    But then what did William Randoph Hearst say " Good news is no News".
    Don't know why doom and gloom is so interesting to us gits?

    I too am happy now. But it's been a long and rocky road............

  12. #12
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    Well I think in reality ther are a lot more happy individuals then sad ones, we just don't hear about them. No one chains us here we can all leave whenever we want to.

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray23
    No one chains us here we can all leave whenever we want to.
    And if I may add no one dragged us here against our will. Each of us made a choice for reasons as varied as the individuals that reside in Isaan.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    ^ Its the university of life . learning by your mistakes , adapting to accept things in your enviroment . taking set backs and looking at them as opportunitys not as problems . Generally becoming wiser growing .
    I though it was the an euphemism for the lessons really stupid people have to learn in order to survive in Thailand. As in "don't trust everybody", "the hooker you met yesterday isn't really in love with you" and "make plans but prepare for the worst".

    Or to sum it up in one sentence - "there are good and bad people everywhere, including Thailand".
    Any error in tact, fact or spelling is purely due to transmissional errors...

  15. #15
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    Thats a good description, but I don't think you have to be stupid to attend the univeristy. Naive would probably be more acccurate.

    It's easy at first to gravitate to the bad people when you first get here, they are the ones befriend you, for selfish motivations.

    Yep you do fall for all the negative rumors, why not in most cases it's your fellow expats who telling them to you. People you think you can trust. I me guy who thought I was greatest form of enterainment watching me struggle through what at the time I thought was good advice. Why I don't know boredoom wanting to see how things worked out in areas they didn't have the courage try themsleves I have no idea.

    The truth is farrang " friends" cost me more money and heartache then any Thai ever did.

    Today I have Thai friends that I trust very much, I have seen them do the best thay can for me and not seek rewards for it. I have a lot less farrang friends these days but the ones I have are very different then those I first met here.

    When you know nothing you can make a lot of mistakes, in the price of learning. You are only stupid if keep going back making the same ones over and over again.

    One course in Water Buffalo University is not to believe all the rumors even when it comes fromm an Expat. That one can be a very expensive course. They may be really trying to help you and doing the best they can, but that does not make them correct.

    Yep lots to learn. but well worth it in the end

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray23 View Post
    Thats a good description, but I don't think you have to be stupid to attend the univeristy. Naive would probably be more acccurate.
    I am sorry - you are absolutely right, Ray - bad choice of word.

    Pretty stupid of me, actually.
    Last edited by Whiteshiva; 12-12-2007 at 03:00 PM.

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