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Valjean

Review: "my Thai Girl And I" By Andrew Hicks

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I finished “My Thai Girl and I” by Andrew Hicks last week and found it a very enjoyable read. While there’s nothing in Andrew’s tone to suggest he’s preaching his point of view I found there was a lot of wisdom in the book to be applied to making a life, my life, in Thailand. The book is in a lot of respects a collection of essays that go roughly chronologically over a period of a few years. From meeting his future wife, to the first village visits, to moving there and building a house. Like many of us he’s at an age where the days past are less than those ahead and he takes thoughtful stock of the implications in making his life in Issan.

Recently I bought a house, (or more correctly I should say I bought my Thai wife a house), that needs a fair amount of remodeling. It’s so easy to get frustrated with the standards, the approach, the family and friends who come to help out, my Thai wife’s concept of things – you name it and it’s possible to go stark raving mad. The book was a good companion as I shared Andrew’s tribulations and how he comes around to the important lessons to be learned in adapting and accepting, of knowing when to stand your ground and when to let it slide a bit and perhaps most importantly to know when you’ve’ been beat fair and square by your Thai partner’s unassailable logic and big smile thus to beat a strategic retreat while you still have a modicum of honor in tow. I could laugh and cry with him as I experience similar adventures abet on a smaller scale.

I consider this book worthwhile, if not required, reading for any farang dreaming of moving out to the village or to Thailand with his Thai partner and especially if building a house. If you’ve done it I’m sure you’ll be like me thinking “yes, yes exactly like that!”. Andrew speaks with heartfelt honestly about his frustrations in the village, with his family, getting things done, isolation, language, retirement – the whole kaleidoscope of life. All things that we expats on Thai Visa whine and wail about he expresses with a realistic view on the way things are and a wise outlook that it is after all a different culture he’s stepped into. He shares a very personal inner perspective on the journey of his life and why he is there – that place, people and time for this juncture of his life.

Check it out, I think you’ll enjoy it. I’d love to hear what others think about it.

Valjean,

PS: I know there is the “Has Anybody Read The New Andrew Hicks Book Yet?” thread but that got onto a lot of other tangential topics and I thought I’d start a fresh one with a review.

Edited by Valjean

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I finished "My Thai Girl and I" by Andrew Hicks last week and found it a very enjoyable read. While there's nothing in Andrew's tone to suggest he's preaching his point of view I found there was a lot of wisdom in the book to be applied to making a life, my life, in Thailand. The book is in a lot of respects a collection of essays that go roughly chronologically over a period of a few years. From meeting his future wife, to the first village visits, to moving there and building a house. Like many of us he's at an age where the days past are less than those ahead and he takes thoughtful stock of the implications in making his life in Issan.

Recently I bought a house, (or more correctly I should say I bought my Thai wife a house), that needs a fair amount of remodeling. It's so easy to get frustrated with the standards, the approach, the family and friends who come to help out, my Thai wife's concept of things – you name it and it's possible to go stark raving mad. The book was a good companion as I shared Andrew's tribulations and how he comes around to the important lessons to be learned in adapting and accepting, of knowing when to stand your ground and when to let it slide a bit and perhaps most importantly to know when you've' been beat fair and square by your Thai partner's unassailable logic and big smile thus to beat a strategic retreat while you still have a modicum of honor in tow. I could laugh and cry with him as I experience similar adventures abet on a smaller scale.

I consider this book worthwhile, if not required, reading for any farang dreaming of moving out to the village or to Thailand with his Thai partner and especially if building a house. If you've done it I'm sure you'll be like me thinking "yes, yes exactly like that!". Andrew speaks with heartfelt honestly about his frustrations in the village, with his family, getting things done, isolation, language, retirement – the whole kaleidoscope of life. All things that we expats on Thai Visa whine and wail about he expresses with a realistic view on the way things are and a wise outlook that it is after all a different culture he's stepped into. He shares a very personal inner perspective on the journey of his life and why he is there – that place, people and time for this juncture of his life.

Check it out, I think you'll enjoy it. I'd love to hear what others think about it.

Valjean,

PS: I know there is the "Has Anybody Read The New Andrew Hicks Book Yet?" thread but that got onto a lot of other tangential topics and I thought I'd start a fresh one with a review.

I agree with your review, and I apologise if the thread I started wasn't good enough for you :o

I enjoy his books and I'm nearly tempted to pick up one of his law tomes - almost tempted.

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There is already a thread running about this here: Has Anybody Read The New Andrew Hicks Book Yet? My Thai & I (73 posts and 2,700 views at last count).

Yeah I noted that in the PS of my original post. Maybe I should have just added to that but it got onto a lot of other tangental subjects and with 73 posts the answer at that point was as I recall "No" with I guess the exception of Andrew himself. If the mods what to combine things happy with that or happy to post the review to that thread and close this one. mai bpen rai.

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I prefer to wait for the opinions of those that have not read the book. :o

OK, I start. I have not read the book, so I have not been influenced by the book and I can give an unbiased opinion

Well, mmm ... what is the book about again? :D

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OK I want to take this opportunity to plug Valjean's interesting blog. There is a link to it in his profile.

:o

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I prefer to wait for the opinions of those that have not read the book. :o

Thanks Valjean for your nice thoughts about MY THAI GIRL AND I.

I thoroughly enjoyed writing it... after all what else is there to do living in a rice field in Isaan other than writing about it. If it now brings a smile or two to a few wrinkled faces then I'm truly delighted.

We geriatrics must stick together and I like the above cynical comment too. Bring on the flamers!

Where's Thaivisa psycho-geezer? He should have a view on my book.

Andrew

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Hey Andrew do we actually have to buy your book to read like its not a free download or whatever

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Hey Andrew do we actually have to buy your book to read like its not a free download or whatever

That's a great Web 2.0 idea - spend two years writing and publishing a book then give it away for free. And the business model for doing this is?

On a less sarcastic note, it's worth the cover price.

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Hey Andrew do we actually have to buy your book to read like its not a free download or whatever

That's a great Web 2.0 idea - spend two years writing and publishing a book then give it away for free. And the business model for doing this is?

On a less sarcastic note, it's worth the cover price.

There actually is a good business model for this. Podibooks (OK it's audiobooks but that's similar) allows writers to release audio versions of their books for free. There is a donate button to allow readers/listeners to show their appreciation. Many writers claim that they are actually making far more money this way than they would through traditional publishing. Apparently there are some very generous people out there.

I agree though that 'My Thai Girl and I' is well worth the few hundred baht.

Edited by garro

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Hey Andrew do we actually have to buy your book to read like its not a free download or whatever

That's a great Web 2.0 idea - spend two years writing and publishing a book then give it away for free. And the business model for doing this is?

On a less sarcastic note, it's worth the cover price.

There actually is a good business model for this. Podibooks (OK it's audiobooks but that's similar) allows writers to release audio versions of their books for free. There is a donate button to allow readers/listeners to show their appreciation. Many writers claim that they are actually making far more money this way than they would through traditional publishing. Apparently there are some very generous people out there.

I agree though that 'My Thai Girl and I' is well worth the few hundred baht.

This is really off-topic but... I've been following this space closely and while I'm sure that for some people in some situations the free + donation model works it's been overall underwhelming. The money is in advertising or paid for content. Donations tend to follow a pattern know as "Tragedy of the Commons" (see Wikipedia). I'm not saying that it never works - but it rarely does. The successful "free" content sources have at their core another revenue scheme. Open Source = services and support, Google = advertising. Whatever; advertising, subscriptions for premium content, consulting – something where the real money is made. This is not to say that Andrew couldn’t in theory develop one of these models but giving your intellectual property away for free and waiting for people to donate out of the goodness of their hearts hasn’t to date proven to be a widely successful business model exceptions notwithstanding.

\

OK back on topic. Buy the book and have a fun read. Or borrow from a friend and send Andrew a few hundred baht. :o

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I prefer to wait for the opinions of those that have not read the book. :o

I haven't read it yet and thought it was an ok read, altough I did prefer is other one which I haven't read yet.

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Yes.... I enjoyed the read.... some interesting stories, a bit of this and a bit of that... good bedtime book for me. lent it to my mate... he's enjoying it too.

The story I enjoyed most was when Andrew got scammed for a new HT Coil for his car in Nigeria ('cos it happened to me in Lagos - maybe 5 years after Andrew got 'done'... and I was sure it was a scam at the time but none of the other expats had had it happen to them)

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