at what stage do you think you are ?

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kopkei
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at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by kopkei » January 7, 2017, 7:07 pm

http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2016/07/29/f ... s-thailand
will be a difficult question for many , as many do not realize at what stage they are ....
most of them will be stuck at stage one (fe , the ones with the way much younger wife/partner,) and others in stage 3, not able to pass it , myself after 15 years of los , i have passed all these stages , skipped some of the experiences , and feel like i am at stage six , the stage where you acknowledge that you are living in a different culture and way of life , and as a guest of this country all the whining(always same people?) in the world isn't going to change anything , so the best you can do is adapt to all these strange things according to your western way of thinking and get used to them , other wise you will be eating your heart out (as you can see at the numerous complaining posts here), better go back to your so safe home country, at what you here mirror everything and what is the biggest mistake you can do ....
and also after reading latest posts here on udonmap , what is wrong with people always picking on each other ?,even when you try to help ?..start realize that every one is different and try to accept this too....
so to me now , i am living my life like i want it , as a guest in los , i love thailand as it is , everywhere in the world are + and - , and it is not up to me as a guest here to try to change anything , mirror things according to our way's of western life , but adapting to a different way of life ..so i am at peace with the way it is here .... and enjoying life at the fullest ... try to do the same ...good luck to all ... ;)

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Brian Davis
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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by Brian Davis » January 7, 2017, 7:31 pm

Here about the same time as you, Kopkei. Perhaps I should be feeling as yourself - e.g. happily married, cracking 5 year old son, comfortable house, able to afford new car recently (over 3 years) and, I hope, enough money not to struggle and able to enjoy treats. Doubt I could afford to return to the UK and haven't done so since I arrived here. Things are more than 'ok', BUT, without going into details (probably the same topics which surface time and again) there are some things here, which I will, I think, never be able to 'swallow' easily. That's just how I'm made!

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by semperfiguy » January 7, 2017, 7:53 pm

Yep, I was one of the biggest whiners on Udon Map, as well as the other local forums, for the first few years I was living in Udon, then I went into silent mode for a few years. It took me a while to realize that my whining wasn't going to change anything, and all it was doing was upsetting other readers who had already made a successful transition and were enjoying their lives in Thailand...or so they say! The transition is a very hard process, and the stress of it all landed me in the Cardiac Care Unit last February with a near fatal heart episode. After that something inside of me clicked and I no longer let things get to me like before. I know that I will never be able to accept the way things are in Thailand, but I can choose my friends and all that goes on within my own little castle, so that has been my way of finding balance. I guess you could call is isolationism, but that's what works best for me. I have a wonderful wife and I have made my bed, so I guess I'll sleep in it until they take me to the crematory...the final stage!
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf". - George Orwell

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by glalt » January 7, 2017, 9:12 pm

Just like anywhere in any country, there are good people and bad people. I went through the grass is greener thing. I came over in 1991 and worked here until the Thai economy crashed. I was happy to leave Thailand and get back to the US. I worked in Southern Kalifornia for five very long years before I was able to come back here permanently. The day I got on the big bird at LAX to come back to Thailand was probably the happiest day of my life. Kalifornia was a huge wakeup call.

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by trubrit » January 8, 2017, 9:58 am

Good question, haven't thought of it in stages before, just a growing awareness that things aren't always what they seem to be on the surface .I have been here for over 30 years now, the first 15 on and off, the last 15 permanently, naturally during that time many things have changed, most of all the people. When I first came the biggest impression I got was the peaceful tranquilty of nearly everyone I came in contact with.I had lead a successful life, the usual trappings of success, big cars , houses, you name it, but underneath that I felt a deep discontent, something was missing from life, but here the general population who had literally nothing compared to me seemed so happy, so I started to look at Buddhism, was it the answer? In my quest to discover I became a monk for six months, not in a big name monastery but a remote temple in a small country village, where the monks acted in the traditional role as adjun or teachers to the local community. During that time I discovered an inner peace I had never experienced before. I became close friends with the senior abbot, which lasted till his death 3 years ago.That mans teaching helped me to discover a new meaning to life which sustains me to this day.Before this I might add I had tried religion but hadn't found anything that related to my life, so discarded them all.
Now that was the start of my love affair with all things Thai.Let me be clear I am English and always will be, never wanted to be Thai but had an attitude of "When In Rome".Long time forum members will possibly remember my involvement with many aspects of local administration to bring the benefits of the farang population working alongside the local organisations such as Chamber of Commerce and others for the benefit of both communities. They will also remember they all fell at the wayside. That was my first lesson, you can't help those who think they know everything already .There were some who listened but the hurdle was the ones at the top who thought and still do that the farang was just an ignorant womanising creature, not worthy of listening to .So I gave up any thought of intergration .
Now I live my life, quite enjoyably I might add as an Englishman, keeping my own values amongst the seeming chaos going on around me, seeing but not directly commenting whilst they follow their own path to destruction.
By coincidence an event locally this week, I write without comment, after all what could one say .
Over the New Year a drunken driver swerved across the road hit a motorbike carrying a family of four including two young children, killing them all .At the funeral because there was a lot of money in the air from various insurances the two sets of grandparents were arguing about it's distribution. Remember both lots had lost a son or daughter and two grandkids only a few days before .Speechless? How about this then. The drunken mutt that killed them can still be seen walking around in the village. How can you ever expect to understand them?
Ageing is a privilige denied to many .

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by semperfiguy » January 8, 2017, 10:15 am

trubrit wrote:Good question, haven't thought of it in stages before, just a growing awareness that things aren't always what they seem to be on the surface .I have been here for over 30 years now, the first 15 on and off, the last 15 permanently, naturally during that time many things have changed, most of all the people. When I first came the biggest impression I got was the peaceful tranquilty of nearly everyone I came in contact with.I had lead a successful life, the usual trappings of success, big cars , houses, you name it, but underneath that I felt a deep discontent, something was missing from life, but here the general population who had literally nothing compared to me seemed so happy, so I started to look at Buddhism, was it the answer? In my quest to discover I became a monk for six months, not in a big name monastery but a remote temple in a small country village, where the monks acted in the traditional role as adjun or teachers to the local community. During that time I discovered an inner peace I had never experienced before. I became close friends with the senior abbot, which lasted till his death 3 years ago.That mans teaching helped me to discover a new meaning to life which sustains me to this day.Before this I might add I had tried religion but hadn't found anything that related to my life, so discarded them all.
Now that was the start of my love affair with all things Thai.Let me be clear I am English and always will be, never wanted to be Thai but had an attitude of "When In Rome".Long time forum members will possibly remember my involvement with many aspects of local administration to bring the benefits of the farang population working alongside the local organisations such as Chamber of Commerce and others for the benefit of both communities. They will also remember they all fell at the wayside. That was my first lesson, you can't help those who think they know everything already .There were some who listened but the hurdle was the ones at the top who thought and still do that the farang was just an ignorant womanising creature, not worthy of listening to .So I gave up any thought of intergration .
Now I live my life, quite enjoyably I might add as an Englishman, keeping my own values amongst the seeming chaos going on around me, seeing but not directly commenting whilst they follow their own path to destruction.
By coincidence an event locally this week, I write without comment, after all what could one say .
Over the New Year a drunken driver swerved across the road hit a motorbike carrying a family of four including two young children, killing them all .At the funeral because there was a lot of money in the air from various insurances the two sets of grandparents were arguing about it's distribution. Remember both lots had lost a son or daughter and two grandkids only a few days before .Speechless? How about this then. The drunken mutt that killed them can still be seen walking around in the village. How can you ever expect to understand them?
Thanks for your post Trubrit. It gave me some real insight into who you really are and what's in your heart. It also helped me to confirm that my being so cynical towards the locals is not that extraordinary for us expats. If after 30 years in Thailand you are still shaking your head trying to understand the natives, it let's me know that my typical reactions to the behavior of the majority of the Thais with whom I come in contact is not that unusual after all. I find myself shaking my head so often that it must look like I have Parkinson's Disease!
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf". - George Orwell

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by Brian Davis » January 8, 2017, 10:27 am

Excellent post, Trubrit. Anyone reading can surely see you've done your best to integrate. Unfortunately, in certain respects with the Thai, the conclusion is you're banging your head against a wall. I'm pleased you're able to keep cool about that. For others, it gives great frustration.

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by Brian Davis » January 8, 2017, 10:44 am

And yes, Semperfiguy, it is at least some relief to read from somebody not recently arrived, it's not just me!

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by Pooclover » January 8, 2017, 11:09 am

Trubrit… A wise man indeed and an example to us all… Someone who has learnt from his experience… You have my respect Sir.

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by old timer » January 8, 2017, 1:27 pm

trubrit wrote:Good question, haven't thought of it in stages before, just a growing awareness that things aren't always what they seem to be on the surface .I have been here for over 30 years now, the first 15 on and off, the last 15 permanently, naturally during that time many things have changed, most of all the people. When I first came the biggest impression I got was the peaceful tranquilty of nearly everyone I came in contact with.I had lead a successful life, the usual trappings of success, big cars , houses, you name it, but underneath that I felt a deep discontent, something was missing from life, but here the general population who had literally nothing compared to me seemed so happy, so I started to look at Buddhism, was it the answer? In my quest to discover I became a monk for six months, not in a big name monastery but a remote temple in a small country village, where the monks acted in the traditional role as adjun or teachers to the local community. During that time I discovered an inner peace I had never experienced before. I became close friends with the senior abbot, which lasted till his death 3 years ago.That mans teaching helped me to discover a new meaning to life which sustains me to this day.Before this I might add I had tried religion but hadn't found anything that related to my life, so discarded them all.
Now that was the start of my love affair with all things Thai.Let me be clear I am English and always will be, never wanted to be Thai but had an attitude of "When In Rome".Long time forum members will possibly remember my involvement with many aspects of local administration to bring the benefits of the farang population working alongside the local organisations such as Chamber of Commerce and others for the benefit of both communities. They will also remember they all fell at the wayside. That was my first lesson, you can't help those who think they know everything already .There were some who listened but the hurdle was the ones at the top who thought and still do that the farang was just an ignorant womanising creature, not worthy of listening to .So I gave up any thought of intergration .
Now I live my life, quite enjoyably I might add as an Englishman, keeping my own values amongst the seeming chaos going on around me, seeing but not directly commenting whilst they follow their own path to destruction.
By coincidence an event locally this week, I write without comment, after all what could one say .
Over the New Year a drunken driver swerved across the road hit a motorbike carrying a family of four including two young children, killing them all .At the funeral because there was a lot of money in the air from various insurances the two sets of grandparents were arguing about it's distribution. Remember both lots had lost a son or daughter and two grandkids only a few days before .Speechless? How about this then. The drunken mutt that killed them can still be seen walking around in the village. How can you ever expect to understand them?
Nice TB always a Gent, I hope OT can find what you have found although unless Lacoste start making orange robes you won't find me in one.

OT....... \:D/

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by stattointhailand » January 8, 2017, 1:44 pm

Nice posts guys .......... perhaps it's the fact that we are all 10 - 20 years older than when we came could help to explain the fact that we have all "mellowed" a bit :lol:

As for the orig question, I think I have reached the stage ........... when pulling hair out I just remove one at a time now, as I was getting bald far far too quickly in Thailand ...... another sign of adjusting perhaps :-$

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by pf-flyer » January 8, 2017, 3:04 pm

It is encouraging for me to read that an expatriate that has been here for over 30 years has the same struggles as I do. I will always be adjusting and learning to live here. I think my that my Thai wife will also always be adjusting also. She has days when she will vent to me in frustration and say " What is wrong with these people ". I have days that I want to leave on the next flight out of here and then I have days when I do not want to live anywhere else. My Thai wife and I settled in Pennsylvania in 1973. We did it all both of us worked. We bought and paid for a house raised two children put them thru college and we now have four grandchildren back in the U.S. In 2012 we sold everything that we could not pack into checked luggage and moved to Thailand where we built our retirement home. Thanks for the post. It gives me assurance that I am not becoming cynical.

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by parrot » January 8, 2017, 3:35 pm

No doubt about it, I went through stage one when I was first stationed in Thailand back in 1971. I still have stage 1 days....like going to the jungle market and buying twenty bags of fruit and veggies for next to nothing.....then buying a plate of ginger chicken on the way home for a couple of bucks......or dropping off my 5 year old weedeater and having it overhauled when I know full well the thing would be trashed back in the US.
When we moved here 20 years ago, we were expecting very little in the way of conveniences. And we weren't disappointed.......markets were much like they were back in the 70's (stinky), hospital care was the pits (no AEK, Bangkok Hospital), there were no modern-like highways in/around Udon then, 25 Baht to the $1 for years, government servants tended to treat the masses like minions, you might wait for a year or two before you got a phone in your home no matter where you lived, and trash was thrown most everywhere. Heck, back in 1996 Udon didn't have a bowling alley! That's what we expected when we moved, that's mostly what we got.
But then things started to get better. Roads were upgraded, better hospitals, better government service, markets were cleaned up, Central, ice-skating, movies, bowling, better exchange rate, retirement visas, Global House and Home Pro, fiber optic to the jungle, etc.
On the days I wanted to get angry about a villager burning his trash, I thought back to the late 50's when my father had a 50 gallon drum in the back yard (pop. 30,000) and burned most anything burnable. Most of our neighbors did the same. And when we went out for a Sunday drive, 6 little ones packed into a Rambler station wagon, we'd hurl our Sugar Daddy wrapper out the back window. There's little doubt our windows and doors were painted with coats of lead-based paint. We didn't wear seat belts because there weren't any....and even when they were standard, it wasn't until 1984 that NY passed a law mandating their wear. I was already 28 before the first state mandated the use of child seats in vehicles! The playground where I spent a good part of my childhood playing basketball and sucking down Chesterfields and Pall Malls had a river flow through it. One day it ran red, another green....depending on what chemicals the woolen mill was discharging. It didn't matter. We played in the water anyway. Although I don't think there's a fixed date, I'm sure by the late 50's, middish 60's, the US was considered a developed country. I've mostly been able to 'forgive' Thais for the way they do things to the fact that we did the same 40 or 50 or 60 years ago. We were already developed......they still aren't. The city we moved to in 1996 is hardly the same....while the hometown where I grew up back in New England has de-industrialized and gone downhill.
No matter.......getting a wedding invitation at 5PM on the day before a village wedding for the next day still drives me crazy. And you'd like to think after the umpteenth teenager in the village dies from a motorcycle accident (just the other day), they'd learn.....but they don't. And a village driver would know by now that having a monk in the vehicle doesn't make it any more safe to drive like a maniac.....although most continue to do so.

I learned a few bits of useful advice early on after moving: one, from a business man here who we knew back in the US when he'd come visit his children in private school. He told me to not venture into any business without consulting him first. Although I told him I didn't have any business ventures in mind, he told me anything I thought I might know about business was based the way things work in the US. "They don't work that way here." I think he's right......judging by how many zillions of falangs swear the sky (economy) is falling in Thailand.....when things seem to keep moving along.
The second, by a Brit friend who told me about his encounter with a vehicle coming at him in his lane. He knew he was in the right lane, he knew the other vehicle wasn't, he wasn't going to move, and the other vehicle would certainly get out of his way (a form of chicken). My friend lost the bet and ended up in the hospital for several weeks. Only after being immersed in a village hot-house of herbal steam did he finally recover. I've tried to remember that advice every time (much less frequently these days with better highways) I see someone bear down on my rightful lane.
I also learned early enough that Thais are wired for 220V and we're not. You can put a transformer on yourself or on a Thai, but underneath it all, our brains are not wired the same.

I learned how to speak, read, and write Thai (albeit at a deplorable pre-kindergarten level) and that opened up a whole new world of living in Thailand. I only regret I didn't start at it sooner than I did. If you're beating your head against the wall because your wife doesn't consider it important to know the size of a gas tank when you're buying a new vehicle.....but you do, but you can't ask because you can't speak Thai.....it's time to buckle down and learn enough Thai to survive on your own. I have known foreigners in Udon who have said with a perfectly straight face how wrong it is for immigrants in their home country to not learn English......but they can't speak Thai. I know....I know....we're not immigrants. We just live here for the rest of our lives!

All said and done, my wife and I could just as easily live back in the US as we do here. We've debated it for a few years and tomorrow could find us packing up our suitcases and leaving.....or not. We've long realized that the grass is green on the other side of the fence, no matter what side you're on. I'm thankful that our mantra since we moved here has always been to have a executable plan b in the hip pocket. We haven't used it yet, but we could if we wanted to.

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by Hoopoe » January 8, 2017, 3:46 pm

For me it's past it stage , I Was going to write a lot , but the owd Git's ( me included) who over the years have offered advice & help ,only to be shunned as wot da f-ck do you know , including newbies young gun Falangs & Thai's alike, Most of us are happily married ( maybe because we don't treat people like **** and expect thanks for it ) In this country your are and always will be a Falang or Boxida , ( spellin ) you will constantly keep learning something new everyday , people are people they change all the time their ways of doing things differ all the time , once you get used to (if thats possible ) the culture differences alone ,( and it's different in other parts of the country ) you will realise sit back take nothing at face value ( maybe you'll get the answer 6 months later ) things change so fast here , so relax sit back treat everyone well ,,enjoy the ride ,

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Re: at what stage do you think you are ?

Post by panmotor » January 8, 2017, 5:26 pm

Great contributions from 2 forum members whose opinion I personally respect (never met either to my knowledge).

I am a relative junior, having been here just over 10 years but, having a business, have regular interaction with expats in a non drinking environment where outlooks are often skewed.

Personally, I believe that, although there are various stages we go through, the 2 fundamental issues that affect our mindsets are our own personal outlook on life (glass half full or glass half empty) and the nature of our extended Thai family.

As far as the first part is concerned, I have seen several expats developing a siege mentality so they only see badness. I occasionally have bad days but, if that happens, I hop on the motorbike and take a ride down by the lotus lake. Its beauty coupled with the sincere greetings and smiles from villagers take me right back to stage 1 and refocus my mind.

As far as family goes, I am fortunate that my own family in Thailand are extraordinary people for the most part. Sometimes they frustrate the hell out of me but then they do something that takes me back to stage 1 and I am lost for words at their generosity in practical and spiritual ways.

I am presently back in the UK for a while for a number of personal reasons but, rather than missing my wife per se, I am missing my whole extended family along with the chaos and challenge that is Thailand. It has its issues but, I for one, feel privileged to call Issan my home.

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