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Total Immersion – An Expats View after 10 years in Thailand

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Oh, another self appointed expert in Thai culture. All of us farangs should be soooooooo lucky he is here educate us. 

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As the OP says it is really up to the individual if they want to feel comfortable in Thailand. Yes there are stories of violence every day in the news but in my 34 years here I have never first hand witnessed it. The news always puts up the bad points. Just look at the news from the USA from that you would think people are constantly being shot all over the country, they are not.

I would agree someone who has not lived outside of their home country will find it potentially difficult to feel comfortable in Thailand but in the end it not all comes down to the adaptability of the individual.

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A really thoughtful piece. I feel that it has plenty of good advice to offer.

 

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On 9/26/2016 at 0:16 PM, onemorechang said:

10 more years,  maybe you will have a different set of spectacles on.

Maybe not.

Good luck. :coffee1:

 

i moved here at 32 and have also been almost 10 years in pattaya. i found the hump happened at about year 6. considered leaving but got over it. think if you make it to 10 years then you will always consider it a great place. i have some concerns over things turning nasty with the reds when they realize they have no choice in being part of the government. i have to decide to pay for a condo i bought off plan or default on it to stay mobile. 

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"Its only the last two months, where I have been seeking total immersion, I’ve been in the markets eating the ready cooked cold meals..."

Been here ten years and finally getting around to street food? Sorry, but lost me there. "Total immersion" sounds like some sort of religious experience, and about as valid.

 I speak decent enough Thai. Not great but adequate. Poster sounds like trying to reach "ki nok" status. Whatever floats your boat. I always try to learn the language of where ever I happen to be living. I currently can brag that I can be misunderstood in 4 or 5 lingos.

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"Total immersion" is another way to say "drowning".  It might be good for some.

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On 26/09/2016 at 11:53 AM, useronthenet said:

Doesn't matter how much you try and integrate into Thai society,  you have no chance of being accepted as an equal. Whilst I can acknowledge what your trying to achieve, the end result will still remain the same. 

You are generalizing because it really depends on who you are, your background , your education and what type of Thai society you mix with. But, I would agree that many of the present expats here  would not be treated as equals by Thais

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23 minutes ago, sandemara said:

"Total immersion" is another way to say "drowning".  It might be good for some.

:cheesy:

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Just now, williamgeorgeallen said:

was a very slow start for my business. then i got charged for no work permit when i had a work permit but it had the wrong address in it.  took 2 years to sort that mess out. i was not making enough money to deal with things like that. glad i hung in and now make enough to employ a manager so i dont have to deal with the day to day running of my business.

 

Ok,   Good job. :thumbsup:

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Total Immersion – An Expats View after 10 years in Thailand :

"After being watching trough the periscope what this place and the people of various nationalities were all about, i didn't dare to come out of my sub or walk a single step onshore..."

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On 9/26/2016 at 10:31 AM, Anthony5 said:

 

Must be a different Thailand from the one I live in, cos I read everyday threads in the news section about that violence and nastiness.

Cold you please tell me from where do you come from. I would love to know the place where violence and nastiness doesn't exist

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10 minutes ago, Winkburn said:

Cold you please tell me from where do you come from. I would love to know the place where violence and nastiness doesn't exist

 

Where I come from has nothing to do with this topic, because this thread is about Thailand, and the OP claims that there is no violence or nastiness in Thailand.

 

Always helps to read the OP to avoid stupid replies.

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I've been here for 27 years and I still don't speak the language very well and am not motivated to improve it much more,I have 3 foreign friends who can speak Thai fluently but told me that they can't live in a tourist area like I live,in this case Phuket,because they can't stand hearing all the insults and negative comments made by shop owners,taxi drivers etc,who think that you don't understand them.One of these friends once travelled  to Phuket with his wife and when they got off the bus in Phuket the wife was right away approached by a tuk tuk driver who said that they could overcharge this farang and she would then be getting some commission.  If you are involved in the bar business I guess you have to understand what's going on around you but it can't be very pleasant what you are hearing most of the time,I myself certainly would not be setting up a Pattaya addict club.As for Thai tv this is really the pitts.With the other things I mostly agree.

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While your heart may be in the right place- you have not experienced total immersion. Total immersion is when you never see another Westerner; never speak English; speak and read Thai and watch only Thai TV; never read anything English; act and think like a Thai and never become irritated at things Westerners get irritated at. I

I  have tried it for years on and off  frankly the more I live in a solely Thai only World- I miss the Western World.  The more I speak and interact with Thais- the more I see the idiosyncrasies of Thai life and some of its hypocrisy. Thais are taught from birth that there are certain social patterns they must follow and thus they suppress their anger at some of these idiosyncrasies. Westerners complain to let off steam- it is part of our makeup.When a Thai is no longer able to suppress their anger and hostility- it comes out in a violent manner. Unfortunately , in Thai society today we see such things as road rage;  drug usage; and other anti social things that one did not see 50 years ago when I came to Thailand. While I accept and like the Thai lifestyle. I cannot and  do not want to be completely Thai because I would be missing so much of the rest of the World.

I have learned throughout the years to suppress those things in myself that Thais do not appreciate- I never raise my voice; never criticize  things about Thailand to a Thai; and generally maintain a Mai Pen Rai attitude. I do this because while I may be right at the time- I know that my insistence on it will cause issues in Thai society. However, knowing what I know about Thailand means I must read Western news reports; must converse with other non Thais and generally avoid total immersion due to the fact that no matter how Thai I may act; seem or feel- Thai people will always look at me as  a 'Farang', and never fully accept me as one of them. In addition, I want to stay well rounded and realize that people of other nationalities; ethnic backgrounds and intelligence can broaden my perspective on life.

Thai people are very insulated from reality; have a very insular manner about them and generally have a small World view. I say this not as a criticism but a realistic picture of Thailand. As education gets better; the economy improves; more foreign languages taught- Thai people will begin to understand there are other ways and other perspectives that can improve their lives and their country.

While the writer may think he understands Thailand and its people and thinks he is immersed in Thai society- he is not and if he wants to excel economically he will retain an interest in the outside World.

 

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You are generalizing because it really depends on who you are, your background , your education and what type of Thai society you mix with. But, I would agree that many of the present expats here  would not be treated as equals by Thais


It's a good point.My experience is that the educated Thai middle class is generally oblivious to foreigners that cannot be "placed".Foreigners who have professional jobs, who are parents at top league schools, who are members of RBSC,who have high status educational qualifications from world famous institutions, who have an obvious and good reason to be in Thailand...etc etc are all quite easily accommodated and recognised.

Foreigners who just pitch up and who have no obvious reason to be here including I suspect most retirees are generally ignored.I don't think there is any hostility- just indifference.Obviously these people mainly mix with lower middle class,working class and generally low status Thais ( e.g. reformed "entertainment industry" types) and they never really meet those in the well educated groups or upper social echelons.Of course they wouldn't do so in their own home countries so there's no real surprise here.
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3 hours ago, williamgeorgeallen said:

i moved here at 32 and have also been almost 10 years in pattaya. i found the hump happened at about year 6. considered leaving but got over it. think if you make it to 10 years then you will always consider it a great place. i have some concerns over things turning nasty with the reds when they realize they have no choice in being part of the government. i have to decide to pay for a condo i bought off plan or default on it to stay mobile. 

if you don't mind me asking, so what did you do (about the condo)?

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ID: 78   Posted (edited)

many posts are more informative than the OP (eg Chumpy, Thaidream).  and more brief. so, 10 for effort and 2 for clarity and providing fresh info.

When I started to read the OP, I was thinking that, based on the heading, I'd be reading  about experiences, which I could compare with mine and other friends' experiences - something we could enjoy - not to be lectured to.

I do agree with many of points which the OP which makes, so laboriously. But he is repeating what many of us know already. excepting this bit of loony advice: '' If you change your behavior and drive very aggressively, you will get angry much less. In fact it depends where I am or how heavy the traffic is but often I end up driving aggressively, but I still try and have manners when not many cars around. Most guys bitch about driving here and avoid it, but if you learn, experience and adapt its another thing ticked off. ''

The issue of making a good living organizing investors to open 'girlie' bars...well, each to his own. If you can live with the causal social side-effects. I wonder who he  relies on to bring in  fresh 'talent' for the investors' bars?.

The more farang who think (and act) like this,  the more I like my Thai friends and my small village.

Edited by sendintheclowns
mis spelling
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20 minutes ago, sendintheclowns said:

if you don't mind me asking, so what did you do (about the condo)?

i put down a 30% deposit. it is finished but if i buy it i will wait until it has all the paperwork. the owners in stage one moved in 2 years ago and still dont have their titles.

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