View Poll Results: Was your choice to live in Thailand a quick decision?

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  • Yes, I decided quickly and moved within a few weeks

    4 33.33%
  • No, It took months of fine planning and detail

    3 25.00%
  • I was on vacation and couldn't be arsed to go back home

    4 33.33%
  • I was employed in a position before I arrived and had no choice

    1 8.33%
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    The unconvincing trip that preceded my permanent stay


    Sarasinee mansion - certainly for the faint hearted

    There's no such thing as perfect circumstances, not in my eventful life so far anyway. I throw away chances, waste money and don't trust my heart. Why should I, when my whole life hasn't gone the way I've wanted it? (I've cried many times, believe me)

    What surprised me was my rather quick decision that Bangkok offered more for me than London did, even work wise. Was I prepared to try and start afresh in a city whose real life I had never peered under the surface of ?

    Ask many luuk kreungs and they will tend to live life in this bubble of two worlds, but I didn't. My mother passed away at 11 and this fragmented my family and divided everyone. At times it appeared ugly.

    When I 'grew up' and intended to check out the city from a mature standpoint, I was insistent that I go in at a low level. So on the advice and trust of a friend I'd met a day before at the airport, I moved right in to urban Din Daeng, the crime and yaa baa ridden Soi Intamara 22.

    I felt safe, nearby were shops and eating places, motorbike guys to take you any place. The BTS was a taxi ride away and the MRT was still in the ideas process.


    Soi Intamara 22 - Hardly the high life, but not as so low as people made out.....

    I naiively drank with fellow farangs the first few nights - African guys who lived at the ramshackle Union Tower down the road. ''Wow 5000 Baht a month, I'm paying 500 a night'' I told them, all wide eyed. Not to take anything away from them Africans, they were good company.

    I had checked into Sarasinee Mansion, home of short time renters, cops drinking all night downstairs in their uniform, an all night minimart where the staff slept at the counter, and an ancient woman running a laundry service just outside from a place the size of a garage. As I later discovered, this place was the Hilton compared to the concrete boxes nearby. The rooftop pool was just a huge fibre glass tub with wooden decking built up six feet around it. Green mould was everywhere as it was hardly used.

    During the day I had meals whenever possible with my new female friend, she dined me at the local market on red pork and yellow noodle soup, but was not stupid enough to succumb to my advances when I wanted to show her the view from my balcony. She was classy by my standards, she studied at UCCT and had some placement at Don Muang airport. I'd got chatting to her when I'd arrived.

    I got bored of her straight laced antics so started hanging out in the 24hr coffee shop/karaoke lounge. Oh yes, what a spectacle, the drunk farang thinking he can chat up the 18 year old barmaid just because he can sing Boyzone songs - badly. I acted stereotype and knew no other way. I was sure not to offend or insult, as you do, and had fun, making a few 'friends' along the way.

    One evening around 8pm I took a walk around and saw groups of guys playing takraw and basketball outside student looking 'dwellings' (they looked too bad to be called 'condos') and stood watching, with a can of beer. Sure enough one guy gestured me to join in and when the ball came to me I headed it over the net. They all laughed, should I have used my head? Don't think so, so that was me. I left politely.

    Later on these guys were in the coffee shop drinking with a group of girls. As it turned out, two had grown up in Canada so the conversation bloomed quickly. These guys and girls became my drinking buddies most nights in the 6 weeks I was there.

    Problem was, where would I drink in the earlier evenings? The coffee shop was the witching hour, all night, but until about midnight I wanted to explore other parts of the city I'd heard about. Silom was a bit crowded but I soon realised a novelty farang DJ could make ripples here no sweat. I took notes.

    I thought Sukhumvit 11 was quite pretentious and couldn't get out of Kao San Road fast enough. My mate ''Yo'' who I'd known since back in London had now moved back so getting around and finding 'Thai entertainment' venues was great, I won't say we had some great nights but I woke up in some odd locations. The oddest was a junior suite in some Pattanakhan hotel, alone, with everything paid for for the next two nights. We had all stumbled in the night before at about 3am (us + 3 BGs). Many evenings unfolded like that, it was great.

    I loved the chaos, I felt safe, unlike London, and this was meant to be at least part of my culture. So it took me 20 minutes one evening after lots of drinks, that I would attempt to relocate to Bangkok. An old mate had done it a year earlier to Manila, and to the novice traveller it's a huge, unbearable undertaking. I could do it, because I doubted it myself.

    I returned to London to a bunch of negative remarks. All the more reason. I had the cash, the motivation and it'd be a few months before I would have to find employment. Sounded irresistible.

    Oh how I smiled smugly as I left Heathrow Airport with that one way ticket.
    Last edited by DJ Pat; 08-03-2012 at 02:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Ocean Transient
    Sailing into trouble's Avatar
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    Sounds like the start of a book! Can,t wait for Chapter 2.

  3. #3
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    The thing that struck me was the absence of the negative shit that (mainly) losers will tell you. At the restaurant in London (I was the manager for a while) all these men who'd been before, just returned or had even lived there all had stories to tell.

    So in that urban, dark, grey setting of Soi Intamara, my first few reactions were things like, why haven't I been mugged by these dodgy looking motorbike guys? How come they appear pleasant and haven't overcharged me? How come every Thai female hasn't already fleeced me and drugged my beer?

    I had undertaken a big step. I could afford to and indeed could have stayed in Sukhumvit 22 or 53, but I never believe that I'd have wanted to stay long term had I been in those environs. I saw real people in Din Daeng, I returned there at night to sleep in my bed (not every night though!) and I seemed surrounded by a mixture of humble, non-threatening people. Were they on drugs? I didn't wanna know. I didn't have to prove anything to these folks, there was no 'I know more than you' tourist shit going down.

    Those are just a couple of the obvious things, but realising that many of these so-called 'barstool experts' back in London are clueless is a gradual thing. A few gave me valuable advice on things like taxis and touts, but that doesn't take a genius.

    The only guide I read and took with me was the brief, small spined 'Insight' guide to the city. It was straight to the point and the map was brilliant for any Bangkok novice.

    I'm not getting high-handed with all this 'I saw and lived in the real Bangkok amongst real locals blah blah...'

    But I felt like I did.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    nevets's Avatar
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    Seems you have had a hard life and i hope the rest is better.

  5. #5
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    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
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    Good story Pat - Cheers.

  6. #6
    ความสุขในอีสาน
    nigelandjan's Avatar
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    Makes me wish I had my time over

  7. #7
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    When does this permanent stay begin?

  8. #8
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    ^There's just one more overlap / transition story to come.....then it'll all be lies from then.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    DrAndy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
    Makes me wish I had my time over

    why's that Nigel?

    you have met a good woman and have life to live

    everything that you have done up until now make you are who you are, good and bad

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