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BANGKOK 16 February 2019 21:28


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About Puwa

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  1. I first came as a university student in 1990 for a half-year stay, living with a Thai family, learning the language, and seeing different aspects of the country. A few years later, in 1993, I came back, found work, and stayed until 2000. I didn't make much money, but amassed some great life experience, becoming proficient in Thai and appreciating Thai people and culture. I met my wife through work. We're the same age, similar background and education. We moved back to the US, had a child and worked for several years. Then I had the chance to come back, keeping my job and American salary paid in dollars in the US, but working remotely from Chiang Mai. Annual marriage extensions were no problem. My wife's childhood friend was the head of Chiang Mai immigration, so we always got good service. That was a super easy life for many years: plenty of income, virtually no income tax, son in a good private school, wife working happily in a great part-time job. My Thai became pretty fluent. I traveled frequently and extensively during those years, and no matter where I went was always happy to return to Chiang Mai. Did a couple of years in Singapore on a 20 day SG/10 day CM schedule. A few years ago we made the difficult decision to interrupt our comfortable life to return to the US for education purposes. I just felt that even the private schools aren't that good, and anyway my son wanted to attend high school in the US. We own a lovely home north of the city, and I get back about 4 times per year, usually connected to some work-related travel. I plan to work here for a few more years before resettling. I can't really say I have regrets, since I was blessed with good luck in many areas: great family, good job, a low price on a beloved home, no terrible scams, no real hardships or mishaps. But back in the US, in touch with old friends, I definitely see some things I've missed, such as enjoying cities, concerts, museums, a clean environment, and legal weed. I'm glad, however, to have spent so many of my best, younger years in Thailand. When I return I'll be resuming a familiar and comfortable life, rather than starting afresh in an unknown place. Generally, I would say I am grateful, not regretful.
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