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BANGKOK 21 February 2019 14:19


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About villagefarang

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    Voice of Reason
  • Birthday 06/01/1954

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    Chiang Rai

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  1. Thank you. I too struggled to understand the depth of feeling coming from some corners. I did discover later that at least one individual struggles with depression and that probably affects his inability to measure his responses at times.
  2. I have always been calmer and more low-key than most, so it was more of a relative thing for me. Still, moving from the center of Bangkok to a remote country location entailed some tweaking of focus and perception and tuning into nature.
  3. I will turn 65 in a few months. I am feeling much better after recently losing 10 kilos and returning to the gym. I have no real health problems and my parents lived into their 90's. Age related hurdles are individual in nature and relative to what we used to be able to do, in my opinion. Comparing myself to many of my peers, I come off pretty good but that does not really make me feel any better or limit my perceived decline from my peak. I explain it like I summited the mountain some time back and now I am on the way down. I have the brakes on while I try to slow the decent as much as possible. Watching my mother's long decline into dementia and the toll it took on my father, who never really came to grips with it, has me questioning my own mortality and how much longer I have or want to have. I have no children to worry about but my wife is twenty years younger and I don't want to be burden to her later on. I am doing what I can to enjoy the moment but age and quality of life is always in the back of my mind. For me death is final so I am trying to feel and experience as much as I can, while I can. When I was younger I quite often had older friends and found their lives more interesting and motivational. Now I am drawn more to people my wife's age as they have more going on than people my age or older.
  4. I added a couple edits to the post you quoted.
  5. First we were building a house which we had never done before so there was that challenge. Just finding your way around and sourcing things twelve years ago took some effort. We didn't have a car for the last eight years in Bangkok so I had to renew my license and buy a truck to help with the house build and shopping. Initially my wife didn't drive so I had to do all the driving at first. I didn’t even think about socializing or meeting farangs for the first two years because we seemed to be so busy. I threw myself into blogging and joined ThaiVisa along with many other sites. I didn’t have a gym and I could no longer play squash so I had to find other interest. There was a lot of trial and error, with me trying something out for a while before moving on to something else. Photography, blogging, mountain-biking , hiking, motorcycling, and a few other things were just things I did for a while but I didn’t label myself as any of those things. When we finally got around to seeing who else was living in Chiang Rai, we were surprised how little we had in common with other expats. People were from so many different countries and backgrounds, seemed so cliquey, old, unfit and very old-fashioned. They generally drank too much for my taste, couldn’t speak Thai and complained too much. We still do most of our socializing midday to avoid the heavy drinking that seems to accompany nighttime activities. I have always been very spontaneous and don’t really like making plans and that was fine in Bangkok but didn’t work so well living where we live. I had so much history in Bangkok and all that went out the window when we moved. Even though I was moving within Thailand it was still like starting over in many ways. Some of the hurdles were age related with me no longer being at my peak or in as much demand. We have dealt with that by reversing roles. My wife is now the same age I was when we met and has access to more interesting people and activities than I do at my age. Being her husband instead of her being my wife was a little different at first. Learning how to slowdown and smell the roses, as it were, was a process. We got pets and toys which I couldn’t have in Bangkok but in the end the most important aspect of living up here is that my wife is my best friend, we have similar interests and I still love her deeply and have so much respect for her.
  6. That is actually a very good plan. To be honest we didn't sell right away and thought we would split our time between Bangkok and Chiang Rai but ended up spending most of our time in Chiang Rai. We also received a cash offer on the condo which we decided to take, so we ended up with one house much sooner than we expected.
  7. When I sold my small condo in Bangkok things were going for between seventy and eighty-thousand baht per square meter. Construction costs up here were in the ten to fifteen range, so we got a lot more house for the exact same cost as what we had in Bangkok. Of course we didn't stop there and have had numerous projects and modifications over the years. Our most recent renovation should be finished by the end of the day, with any luck. After my thirty years in Bangkok, moving upcountry was definitely a challenge and a major change. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but it has all worked out.
  8. Thanks again for another thoughtful contribution to this thread. It is very much like the idea of inertia. People who are happy tend to find ways to remain happy and people who are unhappy tend to remain in a state of unhappiness.
  9. Unfortunately, you do have a point. I am not a fan of those guys who promote Thailand as a cheap destination where they say you can live like a king on 500 baht per day as I feel that is not realistic. I hope I am not leading anyone down an unattainable path and only wish to provide a balance to all the negativity. I also know people who do not appreciate my photography or anything about me, really. Other expats can be a problem if they decide you are not one of them. Several years ago a group of local farangs broke off from TVF and started their own forum because they hated me so much and couldn’t get me removed from this site. For years I stopped going to expat events to avoid confrontation. More recently I thought I might test the waters, so to speak, and started attending some events. At the end of a recent event, where I had been talking with a few expats, one of the guys asked who I was and if I had any online presence. I hesitated briefly before smiling and telling him I was VF. I could see his expression change as he tried to balance our conversation with what he had no doubt heard about me. I have also encountered numerous people who told me they used to read my blog many years ago and how appreciative they were. So things have a way of working out and a balance is found between good and bad, positive and negative. I have chosen not to let the naysayers silence me or sour my outlook on life.
  10. Singha Park is absolutely amazing and many people use it for jogging and cycling in the evening. They also sponsor many outdoor events. You just missed the annual balloon festival. I am not that familiar with Den Ha as I live quite far from town but suspect it is a good location for someone new to the area. Welcome to Chiang Rai, I am pretty sure you will enjoy living here.
  11. I feel miserable if I don't do that regularly. I need to stretch.
  12. I surfed the shore-break where we lived in Hawaii and parked my Hobie cat above the high watermark on the beach at my friend’s house. Surprisingly I don’t seem to miss the ocean all that much.
  13. Yesterday was gym day. There are many small gyms in Chiang Rai but we like this one because it is big and has lots of equipment. It only has fans and the changing room is pretty awful but the equipment makes up for it.
  14. Interesting, the last time I visited that reservoir there was nothing but nature and no development. It is off the beaten track for me but if I am ever out the way I will have a look.
  15. I noticed what I call rice-falls or collapses in the video. We get those every year in the fields around our house. One day you wake up and it looks like a giant walk through the fields overnight. Here is a closeup.
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