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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    Gary's Stint in the North of Thailand

    Okay...just to set the stage
    In 1996 I made the big mid life plunge,quit a good government job with the Liquor Board,rented out the house in Canada and went to C.M, my wife(now X wife)and 2 children following a month later.Groundwork had been laid! (so I thought).A few years of prior visiting and I felt I had a reasonable grip on what I was doing..I had been researching Yao(yu Mein) hilltribe paintings,gone to the hills in Chiang Rai area and Nan area,made contacts..numerous visits were needed as relationships needed to be built before you saw any of the good stuff!!I had also hooked up with this Italian who had some knowledge in these Taoist paintings.I felt I could make some money with antiques!
    However,five days after arriving my now X wife informed me the she was taking the kids and leaving...what I said awakened by her saying "I'M Going"
    "Where,"I sleep stupid asked,"to the market?"17 years done in 17 minutes!!!!
    as she left in the songthaew.The crux of it was ..the night before..after a couple of sips of good old Sang Thip I told her the truth..I didn't love her ,did'n't know what love was at 20(when we got married)that was it!!In hindsight,taking her there was madness...but I really loved my kids!
    Anyway,now I have bought these sets of excellent Yao paintings etc.the day before.My wife pulls off,kids crying,to the airport,I go into the house I have rented for us,in shock,I go into our bedroom and All the money is gone,bank books,etc.I have my passport and Cdn D.L thats it!!.
    That was the beginning of my new adventures in the Lanna world!

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    So here I was!!,trying to focus on what to do next,while reeling emotionally with the sudden loss of contact with my 2 children(aged 12 daughter and 10 son, at the time).I had these Yao paintings..they were beauties.These old Taoist paintings have quite a story unto themselves,the Yu Mein used to have them painted with great ceremony and ritual!Good ones are very hard to find now...Ask Aldo down at the Night Bazaar..he is on th 2nd floor main building,not outside,the only falang still able to maintain a business himself there all these years(Antiques),a bit eccentric Italian,but a good guy!If you see him say Hi from Gary in Canada!He has been there for over 20 years.Sorry I digress..let me pour another..twist one up and perhaps continue a bit more before bed,it's 11:55PM here in Sooke B.C

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    Little Chuchok's Avatar
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    good stuff.keep it coming.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    So ...I'm trying to figure out what to do!
    It really was hard to concentrate ,the loss of contact with my children was truly upsetting!!but I had to get on with it..hey my prior visits,starting 1992 were not entirely innocent!..so the girl who I knew from a year before came back into my life..when my falang wife arrived (actually a few weeks before)I had told my Thai girlfriend that I was making one more attempt at a relationship with my wife,result.,my x wifes departure five days after her arrival!
    So I contacted K she was thrilled and I attempted to re design(re shape?)my whole life.The only thing in my hand were these Yao paintings.I had also made acquaintance with an American who was renting a house out on Chiang Kiang ,close to the Zoo,dealing in antique Lao Sarongs and textiles,some really beautiful stuff ,old Lao royal things.I remember him showing some examples to a Chiang Mai craftsman weaver and they said they could not duplicate the type of weave today.When you held some of the sarongs up and turned them 45 degrees the colour would change dramatically,some of these sarongs were 300 to 500 U.S each!that was 10 years ago.
    I will continue the saga..if you want..tomorrow..thanks for your interest,believe me the story gets way more mental!!!
    Tomorrow Phikun(my Thai wife) celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary,she and I have the day off and are going to Victoria B.C.(40 minute drive) for the day ,and go out for dinner!
    Thanks again for your interest,I haven't really tried to go through all of the events that happened to me chronologically before.It's kind of fun !!Wait till I get to the part where a shot whistles overhead while I race down the road on my Honda Dream !!!

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
    astasinim's Avatar
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    Interesting story. looking forward to the next parts

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    Hello again!
    Can anyone beam me some Khao soi khai over?
    You can get most Thai condiments,pastes,noodles,veggies etc.but good Khao soi has to be eaten in Chiang Mai. Even though things weren't always easy in the past I still feel an indescribable attachment to the bloody place!Going back for a visit nowadays feels like going home...weird!
    I'll be back momentarily and continue with this story

  7. #7
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    ^
    i think I'll have some for my lunch.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    You lucky guy.Do you like the pickled cabbage on the side? and those great little red onions

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    Little Chuchok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiangMai noon View Post
    ^
    i think I'll have some for my lunch.
    Well there goes the Aikens and beer diet down the gary....

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    So getting back to yesterdays story..to tell you guys the truth I had to ask myself why I was telling all this stuff..I think what it comes down to is that most of you live in Thailand or have experience with it,so I guess if anyone can believe it a fellow Falang can!

    So I've got these Yao paintings,but no money!
    However,my Italian friend,who I had actually bought some antique ceramics from a year prior and auctioned in Canada for a modest return(beginners luck?) was planning to leave for Italy .I entrusted the paintings to him...hell I knew the guy for almost 2 years I knew his Thai wife.Selling the paintings in Thailand was not an option,there was far better money to be made in Europe.So off he went...and actually in dribs and drabs I slowly got back close to 80%my 110,000 baht investment(back then a Cdn dollar got you 18 baht!).He even even sent me this beautiful brochure from some Venetian Art Gallery where some of the paintings were being exhibited.As to tidy profits and champagne all around........it was not to be!
    What can you say?...I had been gently burned..the guy scammed me but at least sent me something,how much he made I'd rather not think about it!
    Eventually his wife stopped hearing from him as did I,apparently he settled into a Heroin fog in Nepal.
    So now I was really whittled down financially!
    However I still had my American friend,who was also involved with antiques.
    Surely things had to get better!

  11. #11
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    ^^
    iss allright.
    i only eat the pickle.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    Khao soi with a pickle..where did you find a kosher Thai deli??

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    I had known S. for a couple of years,I learned a fair bit about antiques with him and had an opportunity to travel,mostly by myself,with my trusty Honda Dream to many interesting and sometimes remote places.It was also the beginning of my role as "herbologist" for many ex-pats....man..the things one does in a lifetime...
    S.and family had gone back to the U.S a few months after my wife(X) had left!(early 96).
    A year and a half prior,I had drove(driven?) down to Eugene ,Oregon to meet S.from Vancouver Island with about 30 antiques sarongs,Going through American customs .."You have no guns..get going sucker!"
    When I arrived in Vancouver Airport Canadian customs gave me a rigorous drug search..natta...as to the sarongs..."what are those?"
    "Bought them at the night bazaar,great deal!!" never needing to show my "Thai" receipt for $300.for the lot.
    Short of it is..i spent about three months in Eugene Oregon helping my American friend.I had also managed to get up to Canada and sign my house over (paid house) for a buck!!in lieu of alimony!
    Now S. wanted me to head back to Thailand.present business was almost done..so I went.
    and waited in vain for the next 4 months until I finally realized that I was F***D!
    It get better(worse)
    Let me pour another first!

  14. #14
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garye
    and waited in vain for the next 4 months until I finally realized that I was F***D!
    For what? Him to join you, or the money from the sales?

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    Oh yeah! I was royally screwed now...here I am waiting for approx 50G U.S...and waiting and waiting.in the meantime,rent for the shop house I rented (in Santitaam area)needed to be paid.My then girlfriend's flower/wreath shop was not cutting it.
    I continued to find ways to generate an income,always with an innate realization that I must always remain a small ,inoffensive,non-aligned operator!

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    and then ......after numerous phone attempts(remember 11 years ago not everyone had cells)A friend from S. finally answers the phone...and explains F**K ALL!
    A day later..like a slap...5000 crummy baht arrive in my bank!
    Have I learned anything yet??!!
    It's getting late over here ,and if no one answers before the smoking lamp goes out I will bid farewell to all...and thanks for letting me go on!

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    So I presume you headed back to Vancouver to shoot the kunt?

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by garye
    50G U.S
    Quote Originally Posted by garye
    5000 crummy baht
    Must have been a missunderstanding on currency and the amount of zeros

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    On the 2nd post by Dirtydog.....yes major misunderstanding!!
    I thought that "Taam Dee...Dai Dee" might pay off this time.
    And yes..I did go back to look for him..thank you for the memory jolt!!

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    It took me a few months to get back to Canada!At that time my visa was still in order.I finally did manage to scrape together enough money for a flight to Toronto I remember there was some oddball seat sale,the ticket was cheaper than one to Vancouver and it went Bangkok,Seattle,Toronto,with a stopover in Seattle allowed.So I got on a bus and headed for Eugene Oregon to find S.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    In hindsight,your absolutely right!
    When I look back on it now I am amazed ,what was I thinking!
    One Canuck going there ALONE.When I arrived in Eugene I stopped at a mutual friends place first,she was a nice person and she tried to phone S.and then drove me out to the house I had been staying before,I had left a backpack there a few months prior.LUCKY I went with her...S.wasn't around anymore we were informed by an associate of S. who I could tell was none too pleased that I had returned,so I got my backpack and we left,had I gone there alone....well...not sure if I'd be sitting here writing this right now!

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
    sabang's Avatar
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    It's best you left. Lifes a journey

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    Business was a bit slow tonight so I came home an hour early.Nowadays I am what they call a lease operator of a Taxi,I pay a lease every night(12 hours)+gas,the rest is mine! It was the only work I could find when I came back to Canada that pays better than average .And when the night is done or I've made enough money I park the big yellow beast and forget about it!

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    Damn..just spent over an hour with this mini saga and when I went to post,It said I had to refresh button it,consequently I managed to lose everything. I will have to try again

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat garye's Avatar
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    Back to the story!
    It was pretty apparent that nothing was to be gained by my staying in Oregon!I still had a plane ticket from Seattle to Toronto.
    So off I went to Toronto,in the middle of winter,to work for my square head uncle Siggy. He has a small painting business and had a spare room at his place. I disliked being there right from the start...regardless of some of the difficulties that I had encountered(created?)in Thailand...the crazy place still beckoned me. I still had a girlfriend over there ,and a few months prior to my going back to Canada I had also started to play with fire!!!!!!!
    The most delectable,beautiful,extremely dangerous,wicked,vixen..the Lady From HELL....I will call her Pen
    I house- painted my ass off for Uncle Siggy!And about a month later I left for Victoria.

    I

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