It is most likely the most common question you will here in Thailand. I cant recall how many times I have heard people ask the question – how can I live in Thailand. My first question is always why? Why do you want to live in Thailand. There are number of reasons I have hard over the years.
There are the common ones and the more out of the mind reasons which I have heard. Let me see what the list of reasons have been over the years from old and young.
1. Cheap Sex
That is the most common reason I have heard when I lived in Pattaya. It is as if people are void of the reality that what you see is more like an adult Disneyland however that is just what it is. Its only an illusion filled with lust and nothing more. Then they sit and think that all the money they saved over the last year to blow their USD 3,000 in the space of a 2 week holiday is how living in Pattaya would be like. They consider selling the farm packing it all up and moving to Thailand.
Its at times amazing to see how ones penis can take so much blood that it drains your brain and you are at a total loss of senses. They sell the house at home and buy a bar in Pattaya. Not having a work permit they will try and get a multiple entry business visa from home and do a visa run every 3 months while they blow away their money in some useless bar that cant keep itself going and takes them on a slow road to total financial ruin. So much for sex that is cheap! You could not image how many times this has happened. I spoke to a long term expat who lived in Thailand for more than 20 years in 2002 and I asked him if this was common. He shook his head and asked me what I heard. I replied I heard nothing and he laughs. He tells me another plane just landed and another sucker just got off the plane. I got the idea – its common!
2. Low Cost of Living while Retired
If you are on some sort of pension then Thailand does offer a good climate especially if you come from one of those countries where it snows in the winter. You get value for you money I have no doubt as it is much cheaper. To get the retirement visa you only need to show THB 800,000 in a Thai bank account or THB65,000 in income and they will take a letter from the embassy to confirm this. Get a lawyer to do this for you if you value your time and sanity. Rules change all the time and keeping up with the next rule is employment in itself. Not a bad reason to retire in Thailand and rather common. Well……there is always a story to be told about meeting Lek or Nui and moving to Issan where the family drove you up a wall wanting money as all foreigners are wealthy. Oh yes…buying a new tractor for the rice field or building a new house for mama and papa. Some I might add have had good luck in this regard but the majority I guess would rather not want to talk about it. When you retire in Thailand, please don't retire your common sense.
3. You met Ms Right
Well this is a common one and normally starts with Point 1 as listed above. I cant recall the amount of times I have heard – I can make her an honest woman. Now its a bit of a hit and miss. I recall and interesting conversation one night many years ago in a bar in Pattaya where I asked an expat who married a 'lady of the night' or what is commonly called a 'chrome pole polisher' what it is that he say. This is where life gets murky as the human mind tries to reason the unreasonable.
1. She does everything in bed compared to a normal woman;
2. She does not complain and looks after me like a baby;
3. She is cute and has not been in the bar scene very long.
They are all valid reasons and I guess marrying someone who has been in the bar scene for 6 months is going to be different to someone who has lived in the scene for years. The mental system just does not appear to function well any longer as many times the drugs and inhumanity of prostitution takes it toll on the mindsets of these women. Its like marrying a car wreck. Like everything there is always a diamond in the ruff and I have seen marriages over the last 13 years grow and last while others ended in total disaster. I guess the profession is not the issue but the person itself which at times we do not see.
If you hang around long enough you do find Thai women who are not in 'the profession' and if persistent enough getting married to a Thai working at a local hotel, bank or hospital is not exactly unheard of. For many expats this is where they found their wife. Had an infected willy and went to the hospital and ends up getting married to the nurse a few months later. Booked into a hotel and married the receptionist or in one strange case. Overstayed his visa got arrested, deported and came back to Thailand to marry the attorney who manged his deportation. Oh the stories!
So before you think of living in Thailand – ask yourself way. Once you have covered the reasons for wanting to stay in Thailand then consider the how.