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Author Topic: What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???  (Read 1993 times)

Rex (Admin)

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What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???
« on: March 12, 2015, 08:24:15 PM »
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The OP said :  My problem, for another thread, is still the boredom issue. What will I do on a Monday? What will I do on a Tuesday??...............


Thu 12 Mar 2015, 7:21 pm

I moved the OP's post to it's own sticky topic "What exactly does one DO in Khon Kaen???"

I could have put it in several different categories, but I thought it interesting enough to put in "NEW MEMBER INTRODUCTIONS" so that it might be one of the first things newbies read when the join the forum.

 

The OP's  question is not only a good question, it is the question, the $64 dollar Question really for many expats who land here.  It is a highly personal matter and we don't presume to have any BIG answers to offer, but maybe some intelligent discussion in this thread will help some people avoid BIG mistakes.

First of all, no one can tell you what to do, and whatever you do won't be easy, but must  be based upon your abilities and interests set against the background of what is available and possible in Khon Kaen and in Thailand in general.

One thing for sure though, landing here without some money and a sound plan is a one-way ticket down the toilet.  Jumping too soon into situations is a one-way ticket down the toilet. Relax, take it easy, don't make any sudden moves.   

Most falang will have difficulty finding work outside of Enarishe teaching, and English teaching in Thailand isn't that remunerative nor is it very rewarding for those who do not have a passion for teaching. 

Starting a business is possible, but you had better have the right help, start the right kind of business and do your research and due diligence first, and then be prepared to work it like you would any business, not treat it as a "hobby."  That is, unless you preference is to lose your money slowly rather than quickly.

Many expats are attracted to "upcountry" Thailand because for a relatively small amount of money, they can quickly set up their own vision of a "Leave it to Beaver" episode:  Pretty, young wife, 2.5 kids, house, motorbike and truck, and begin to enjoy a higher standard of living than they had back home.  It sounds idyllic on paper, and maybe it is paradise for the first year or two.  However, if your only plan for being here is to enjoy "Leave it to Beaver" and live happily ever after, when those  rose colored-glasses come off, as they must eventually, you may not like what you see.  Often, I think, this comes for the falang's conscious or unconscious determination to change his Thai wifey, to superimpose Western values on his Thai family, sometimes with disastrous results. Wifey may passively put up with her culture being trashed on a daily basis, in big and and small ways, but after awhile her little heart will harden, and that's when the fun starts.  And her girlfriends will be damn sure she knows all about the community property laws in Thailand.

Of course this is certainly NOT every falang's experience, but it is perennially all over the inernet, so we had better highlight it as a cautionary tale, and number 1 on the list of cautionary tales:

1. Don't expect "leave it to Beaver" to make you happy if that is all you have going and that is the basket where you have placed all of your eggs.

2.  Don't expect to be able to work at anything very compelling, or for Engarishe teaching to make you happy unless that is your Passion, with a capital "P."

3.  Don't open a bar unless (a) you know what you are doing, and (b) you prefer to lose your money slowly over time.
 
4. It is the rare individual that is really capable of handling unlimited amounts of leisure and unstructured time.  Being on permanent vacation may seem wonderful in fantasy, but in reality it can lead to serious psychological and emotional difficulties; chronic boredom, depression, anxiety, "existential angst."   Leisure time without a plan often leads straight to the bar (Duh!  Where else?) and to a kind of genteel (or not so genteel) alcoholism, which makes every thing worse.

Many people approach "retirement" from the old 20th Century paradigm where retirement was something you did for a couple of years after you stopped working before you died.  With extended life-spans and healthier more robust "golden years," the old paradigm no longer makes sense.  If fact, it is a recipe for disaster on all kinds of levels.

Without making this into a book, the solution is simple, but admittedly no so easy.  Don't wait for life to become "meaningful" (because it isn't after all), but rather get damned  busy--short and long term--doing the many things that you feel make life meaningful. Do it with intention and with a plan.  Then, the freedom and financial clout you have in Thailand can make a real difference.




papaclive

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Re: What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 01:55:52 AM »
Hi Rex,
Your question is the reason I've joined the forum, hoping to find a life in Khon Kaen! I've spent two winters here already and I can keep busy just looking after my English company from afar. I have all the things you mention (just about)... Nice house, Thai wife (not so young) etc, however I don't really have a life of my own in Thailand yet, or real friends. So my life is the wife and her family and friends, who are all lovely but speak very little English. I'm trying to learn Thai and my Thai teacher is wonderful, but I cannot afford to keep paying her to chat with me!
Anyway, here's hoping I can find something to inspire me this time!

Rex (Admin)

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Re: What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 06:57:55 AM »
Mon 2 Oct 2017, 6:57 am

Hi Clive,

Welcome to the forum!  Thanks for the introduction and for jumping in and participating.  We value that!

Guys, give a shout-out to Clive!

Henry

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Re: What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 08:33:34 AM »

 I always wondered, "What does one do down country?"

Rex (Admin)

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Re: What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 10:39:10 AM »
Restaurants, bars, art, culture, music, clubbing, sexual services, cinemas, education, shopping, medical care, opportunity to meet and interact with more people and different kinds of people, urban attitudes and sensibilities, faster pace of life, availability of more stuff, ability to get things done more easily, and stuffs like that there . . . Not necessarily in that order.

Charlie59

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Re: What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 12:12:42 PM »
I think, Rex that you are talking about KK city and I agree with most of what you say. However, my home is in a village about a 30 minute drive west of KK. I can assure you that virtually none of the things you mentioned are available there. Nice people and nice rural lifestyle but it can be as boring as hell! I do have a car and the internet so that helps.

Rex (Admin)

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Re: What exactly does one DO "Upcountry" ???
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 12:19:50 PM »
By "upcountry" I mean pretty much anything outside of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the resort towns.  Although KKC has many more amenities than it did when I first came here, it is still "upcountry" in a lot of ways.