Thailand 101 ...

The sky is gray. A cool breeze from the North brings a slight chill to the house. My favorite Pied Harrier  patrols his domain, performing nap of the earth aerobatics with his usual grace and aplomb. The little Kingfisher, with his hummingbird hues of emerald green and muted saffron, looks content with a beak full of minnow, just scooped from the pond. The dogs frolic in the fields and the pungent aroma of garlic wafts in from the kitchen. My lover and I are satisfied and the world could hardly be any more sublime.

Yet here I am taking a brief moment to remind you of things I’m sure you already know and were covered in depth in Thailand 101. Visiting here, be it two weeks or two months, is like a 100 meter sprint. Living here, by comparison, is like an ultra marathon. One cannot typically maintain the pace of expenditure or conquest indefinitely over the long haul. Some learn this quickly and make a smooth transition from visitor to resident. Others crash and burn in a brilliant pyrotechnic display.

While some venture to this land with no loftier ambition than to live the life of a village peasant, others have grander dreams of conquest. They have the notion that they possess greater intellect and skills, thus putting them way ahead of the locals. They sometimes forget the locals own the playing field and make the rules, as it is the world over. Some things are indeed cheaper here but many things are not. Startup costs for setting up a life here can be high depending on the kind of life you want to lead.

Condo costs could well run you in the neighborhood of two to three thousand dollars per square meter, if that is where your taste lies. There are decent places for half that but as the new kid your chance of finding out about bank auctions or liquidations and gaining access to those properties is slim at best. Cars are another example of paying more for less. Where it is not held against you as a visitor, not to have transportation, it can be a limiting factor when trying to move up the quality ladder on your route to grander conquests.

The things we love about a vacation destination sometimes vanish when we move there. Sometimes the beautiful flower we lust after wilts that more readily when we pluck it from the vine instead leaving it to grow wild and flourish. Not that all will be lost but things will be different and much will depend on the individual players and what they bring to the table.

Though it may not sound like it, I am a great believer in the pursuit of “life” over the pursuit of money and possessions. It is just that I also believe in a little anticipatory forethought. Even the most adventurous kayaker, scouts the rapids ahead before attempting to run them and wears a protective floatation device of some sort. By all means “go for it and live to the fullest” but be smart about it too.

I really love reading the comments of those who bother to write. Be they brief or lengthy, they are appreciated greatly and add profoundly to this work.



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