This is going to be a post on how to live in Thailand on a few different levels and I’m going to to explain why going local is the better option than trying to live to the ideal standard you had at home.
Where You Live
I have been doing real estate photography lately. I have done both guesthouses and private condos. One of the things I discovered about the the condos I shot is that they are the same size as my Thai place. Most are 24-26 sqm. They are 2 to 3 times more expensive than what I pay a month.
The main difference is a few things. They tend to have small kitchen and the amenities are newer. My place is older and my kitchen is out on my balcony. The size remains the same and as for amenities, the suicide shower is newer and the sink and toilet are newer. If I owned this place I could do the same for a few thousand baht.
The same applies to the furniture. It’s newer but otherwise, exact same shit I have in my room. Even down to the TV which is the exact same thing.
If you are going to live in another country, go look at how a middle class local lives versus where all the Westerners are. Go local because you will save a ton and to be honest, there is maybe a marginal difference between them. Hell, if you are desperate for a new shitter, install it and most landlords will be happy to take it off your rent!
I despise large chain stores. Mostly because I hate malls because there is always some fuckwit there. Be it a family arguing, the slow retard that can’t get his shit out of the cart, aisle blockers or whatever. I am a strategic strike shopper. I want in and out.
When I know I can get something from a Thai owned Mom and Pop place, even for a few Baht more guess where my ass is going to go? My time is worth the money, even if it means just taking a fucking nap. Last thing I want to do is be stuck in a large chain where no one gives a shit. Even if I didn’t speak a word of Thai I would still shop there because these people treat you better.
In addition, use the same places all the time you get breaks or help when you need it. One time I didn’t have small bills to pay for my laundry. I was like I’ll pay you tomorrow when I get change. No problem. The corner shop, I fucked up and walked out without something I paid for. Lady was like you forgot to take it yesterday not charge you today have at it. Same for food places I eat at. Sorry, don’t have can I pay you later.
The benefits are you build a relationship with people in your community who you deal with regularly. They know you and know you word has meaning and value.
Don’t Be Afraid
The thing I see a lot of Westerners do here is stay with the familiar and never branch out and do stuff except what they know. I am like fuck that, give me the Thai stuff, works just as well, or let me at the Thai store, I can least get in and out and not have to deal with retards.
Moving to a new country is new experiences. Just because you ate at Burger King back home doesn’t mean you have to eat Burger King here. Try a Mom and Pop stand, you will be shocked at the quality. Sure it’s not the luxurious experience you get at Burger King but you get something from someone that’s trying to make a living at running a business, not just another employee in the corporate cog.
There is nothing to fear. Just go in and finger point and sound like a retard if you have to. People appreciate your business for the most part and are happy to work with you if you make the effort to work with them instead of getting flustered or pissy they don’t speak English.
So Go Local
If you make the choice to live and another country don’t just go to the nearest group of English speakers. Toss yourself into the mix and go local. You will discover a whole other world and one that isn’t scary at all. Just different from what you are used to. Trust me, they are going to have to adapt to you just as much as you are going to adapt to them. It’s part of the fun of living someplace else.
So get out of your shell and go forth and go local.