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kandahar

Time Travel

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What a great post. To have put into words thought and feeling I have long had. Thank you for your Time Machine.

Randell

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Great post Kandahar, food for thought for many an expat regardless of age or time spent in this beautiful country.

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'waisted on this bunch'???!!! VF certainly has a way with words!

He has shown his contempt for the writers and readers of this forum before.

He is one of those 'I'am better than thou' characters.

The best thing is to neglect him. He needs help we can't give.

Thanks Kandahar for putting our feelings into words.

I think that the politeness, the friendliness, helpfullness and welcoming attitude

of the Thai people towards foreigners is one of the reasons that Thailand has

become popular for retirement.

On top of that, many of us enjoy in particular the friendliness, helpfullness and

welcoming attitude of representatives of the female part of the Thai population

as many of us found their wife here.

That might also be an important aspects of our nostalgic musing.

In the old days in our home countries the father was the head of the family,

his word was law and his wife and children obeyed.

The woman's place was at the cooker, sink or behind the washtub.

We, lucky bastards, managed to be able to reverse time by changing our

geographical location, with other words by moving to Thailand.

If we deserve it is a question everybody has to answer for himself, but it

sure gives us more responsability.

It's not enough to give our wives washing machines ...

No, we also have to contribute to the well being of our in-laws, an obligation

we also would have had in the old days in our home countries.

Also that is part of the picture, which I have the feeling the one and the other

tries to escape once in a while :) .

Be aware that your memory is selective: some things you remember easier than

other things and some you might not wish to remember at all.

I visited Loung Wow the other day. For those who know him: he is doing very well.

When people get older, Loung Wow is 82 now, their past gets longer.

He told me about the years directly after the second world war, the years that

Holland had to be rebuilt. Big areas under water, dikes had to be repaired and fast.

He had no time to lean on his showel. They worked six days a week from dawn to

dusk in the mud, rain, cold, whatever.

He remembers it, but doesn't feel it anymore, it's out of his bones and out of his mind.

But you can see at his face that he can still taste the two small glasses of jenever the

workers got when they picked up their miserable pay at Saturday night.

That's what he wishes to remember as if it was yesterday!

If the world in our old countries still would be the same as it was when we were young

or as we wish to remember it, we probably wouldn't be here .....!

And probably not only because we might not have been able to pay for the ticket :D

Limbo :D

PS: Let me describe him as a former Dutch equestrian champion and horseman of the Royal Stables.

After almost four months in the Overbrook Hospital he finally passed away three days ago.

Because of the formalities we don't know yet when the cremation will be.

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Fella, they aren't a wordy bunch. But they read and they relate. Really, I didn't leave much room for discussion with this one. I guess it was meant to be a "nail on the head" thing that at most would lead to a silent nod of agreement. And that's enough. I don't write for the responses. Maybe, my highest hope is just that there is a renewed appreciation for what we have and that would only come from the ones that have tended to overlook it for a few days longer than they should. Most of us get reminded every day, in one way or another, of what we have here.

The whole thing is at the forefront of my mind most days and today, it was there a little stronger and I wanted to express it. This borrowed dog of mine doesn't understand English; only Thai, so no use telling him the story. So, you got it here instead. I think the dog is relieved, actually.

Perhaps it is my contrarian nature, but I always see plenty of room for discussion. For example I think you have painted an overly romanticized view of the past and at the same time imply that change is a bad thing.

For me the past is only important in that it contributed to who I am today. Change is something to be embraced. As living beings the only changeless state that we are likely to know is death.

Life is a balance of good and bad, likes and dislikes. We can sit and reminisce about what we have lost or rejoice in what we have gained. It is the age-old water glass analogy, of half empty or half full.

The Thailand I knew in my youth has little relevance to my life today. That time has long past. It was no better or worse than now, just different.

It seems to be human nature to romanticize the past on the one hand, and on the other extreme, to become evangelical over some new discovery. Recent converts or recent arrivals always view things differently and with greater enthusiasm.

So while you enjoy the comfortable feeling of being transported back in time, I enjoy the present and look forward to what tomorrow may bring. For me you were expressing a valid but personal point of view and not a universal truth for which there could be no debate. Obviously some are silently nodding in agreement but I can always see multiple points of view.

Okay. The contrarian approach is a healthy one and invites the submission of evidence to support the facts. Of course, this piece is more of an emotional and, as you said, "personal" effort based on my experiences. I admit that anything that is written can be discussed. But my writing here wasn't really meant to invite debate. I would have written it differently if that had been the case. However, you cause me to make some clarifications here and even to offer a rebuttal.

I don't think I have "over romanticized" my earlier experiences. In fact, on one hand, I find it a bit startling that it could be perceived that way. On the other, I will allow that maybe some people my age or older did not have that set of experiences growing up and therefore, it seems almost, as jubby intimated, "movie-like".

That time in my history, in my town and the surrounding area, was indeed a much more innocent time and a much safer time. Children were much more respectful of adults and their peers and adults did a lot better job of taking care of their elderly parents in those days. Teachers were respected and did have the last word. Children were booted outside of the home on nice days, instead of being allowed to stay indoors with the TV or the good books available to them. The lesson there was, go learn some real life as it applies to you, as opposed to becoming too involved in someone else's portrayal of life. Live it, don't watch it.

In those days, in my life, schools and parents had a different outlook on the way children should be educated and in my opinion, it was a better outlook. My parents and my teachers, stressed "thinking for yourself" and they constantly used the experiences of us students and offspring to see if the youth was smart enough to figure out for themselves what was what. Little tests and questions were offered for us to resolve. In essence, the effort was to teach one how to think, not what to think. If you know "how", you can figure out for yourself "what". If you don't know "how", then your only real choice is to accept someone else's version of "what". Rote learning was avoided where possible and analytical problem-solving was encouraged.

An aside here- Thaksin recently lamented that because of "rote learning", his followers had succumbed to the rumor that he was either dead or in hospital in bad shape. He said that made him sad. Laughable, of course, considering that rote learning is what allows any leader to chooses to take advantage of it to gain a following made up of those kinds of people and rote learning is an obvious factor in that particular movement. In my home country, rote learning is the preferred method these days and it is evident in the reactions of the populace to the various traumatic events (which shouldn’t be traumatic at all but is being “sold” that way) that nation. Aside finished.

Now, in my mind, what is happening in my original country right now is fact and the reason's for it are fact as well. Again, this is MY way of thinking and I can assume that others would argue against that version. But, the evidence that brings me to these conclusions include the fact that these days, older people are shuffled off to full-care homes in much larger numbers than before and they are sent much earlier in their various degrees of declining health. That was taboo when I was a boy. People took care of their parents in their homes and it wasn’t because of money issues, it was because it was the responsibility of the children.

Another fact. Children today- Nowadays, even as you try to mind your own business, you can be (and WILL be, eventually) verbally and physically assaulted by youth with nothing better to do. That is their mission that day. That is their joy. That is the purpose of their lives. That did not happen when I was younger and I would have LOVED to have seen some group try it. Man! That thought just tickles me immensely.

Children studied and studied hard. No person wanted to be deemed the "slowest" in class and most of my peers took a personal interest in the "slower" ones in class. For the slower one's to fail was for all of us to fail. These days, a very few of those students are encouraged by their parents to excel at learning. From personal experience, I can say that most of the parents that I know pretty much leave it up to their children to perform or fail; up to them. The same thing goes for functioning as a family unit. If the children prefer to eat, sleep and play away from home, then they are allowed to do so, without regard as to where the children are or who they are with. So, the children aren't learning the values of their parents. Instead, they are often learning the values of the "herd" and leaders of "herds" don't really have much interest in doing what is right for society. The herd is all about the herd and, usually, even more about the leader of the herd.

Teachers. Teachers these days will tell you, it isn't their job to pass on the rules of society to the kids. It is their job to present the material in the narrow course they have been assigned and if the kid gets it good, if not, good. The teacher did what the teacher was paid to do and the pay-check hit the bank as agreed by all parties. If, as sometimes happens, a teacher takes it upon himself/herself to MAKE a child learn, they will find themselves subjected to admonishments, warnings and citations issued by administrators and demanded by irate parents. I know teachers. I was married to one. My best friend is another one in another part of that country. I have many friends that are teachers. I feel their pain but I’m also disappointed in them.

When I was a child, children left the house to go play and parents didn't worry. They knew the kids would be good and they knew that the rest of the town would be involved in making sure they were good and that they were safe. If one person in town needing watching or fixing, because of inappropriate behavior, the entire town or neighborhood was on board for whatever actions were needed. Those days are gone. People won't get involved if it doesn't concern them personally and they will refuse to help someone that is obviously in trouble. Most won't even stand up for themselves. They prefer to hire someone to stand up for them.

In short, VF, in all aspects of the life of the average person today, in that country, the absence of the basic family values, which by default extend into the community, has degraded the basic quality of life, throughout society. Teach a kid that you will protect him and back him, no matter what he chooses to do, then he will do what he wants. Teach a kid that that your life is more important to you than his is, that you don't have time for him and you expect him to make his own way, then he will, without the benefit of guidance from someone who has made or witnessed all of the mistakes. Some kids choose right, some choose wrong. Wrong is more fun, and right is usually the harder thing to do so it is obvious where most of them go. And they become adults. They eventually go to work. And they take what they know with them. It isn't a problem because their bosses and co-workers think just like them. All of them are products of that lesser upbringing.

Life isn't better there. Life isn't the same with only a different generation living it. It is a very different life. It is a lesser life, with lesser pleasant experiences, lesser rewards, lesser reasons for living it.

I know you left that old country of yours and made your way to Thailand many years ago. I'm not sure you realize how far that old country has slipped since then. In fact, I am pretty sure that you don't know. I haven't romanticized the old way. I have only truthfully described it. Perhaps, because of your absence for so long, you tend to romanticized what remains. Perhaps, as the saying goes, you have seen the future and it looks just like today, only newer and better. Wrong, my friend. VF, it isn't just the same old life, with a different generation. I can see how you might think that since it hasn't been your life for so long. And if that is the case, you are lucky to think the past is still there, as you left it. Your good fortune in living in the past in the way that you do is no less valuable than my good fortune in living in the past in CR, the way that I do. Two different realities, but the same good outcomes.

A noticeable, definite difference does present itself, though, between you and I. I tend to feel I have been on this planet forever and the prospect of getting off of it isn’t good. I’m only 52 but I have seen so many things repeated that, in general, history and the future is just a mundane merry-go-round. The future that excites you invokes a yawn in this man. Medicines and science advances aside, there is nothing new awaiting you. Just more of the same.

So, do really hold your stated positions on my writings or, did you only write this to draw debate, to liven up the forum, to stimulate discussion where I thought discussion wasn't needed? Good on you, if you did. Intelligent debate is healthy, as it often sways people to a better, more informed position. Of course, the more informed we are, the better off we are.

I tried to keep my rebuttal limited to the issue of "romanticizing" my past. I'm not debating whether your Thai past is relevant to you now or not. Only you can judge that. And with the big move you made a few years ago, it is likely that the past is not so relevant and I can see that when I have cause to look into it. As always, I enjoy the discussions with you. When the waterworks finish and you hit town again, let me know. It is my turn to buy the coffee this time.

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Even if some are only motivated by the need to criticize me, at least a few more reluctant souls have been prodded into writing a few words and even contributing a thought or two.

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'waisted on this bunch'???!!! VF certainly has a way with words!

He has shown his contempt for the writers and readers of this forum before.

He is one of those 'I'am better than thou' characters.

The best thing is to neglect him. He needs help we can't give.

Thanks Kandahar for putting our feelings into words.

I think that the politeness, the friendliness, helpfullness and welcoming attitude

of the Thai people towards foreigners is one of the reasons that Thailand has

become popular for retirement.

On top of that, many of us enjoy in particular the friendliness, helpfullness and

welcoming attitude of representatives of the female part of the Thai population

as many of us found their wife here.

That might also be an important aspects of our nostalgic musing.

In the old days in our home countries the father was the head of the family,

his word was law and his wife and children obeyed.

The woman's place was at the cooker, sink or behind the washtub.

We, lucky bastards, managed to be able to reverse time by changing our

geographical location, with other words by moving to Thailand.

If we deserve it is a question everybody has to answer for himself, but it

sure gives us more responsability.

It's not enough to give our wives washing machines ...

No, we also have to contribute to the well being of our in-laws, an obligation

we also would have had in the old days in our home countries.

Also that is part of the picture, which I have the feeling the one and the other

tries to escape once in a while :) .

Be aware that your memory is selective: some things you remember easier than

other things and some you might not wish to remember at all.

I visited Loung Wow the other day. For those who know him: he is doing very well.

When people get older, Loung Wow is 82 now, their past gets longer.

He told me about the years directly after the second world war, the years that

Holland had to be rebuilt. Big areas under water, dikes had to be repaired and fast.

He had no time to lean on his showel. They worked six days a week from dawn to

dusk in the mud, rain, cold, whatever.

He remembers it, but doesn't feel it anymore, it's out of his bones and out of his mind.

But you can see at his face that he can still taste the two small glasses of jenever the

workers got when they picked up their miserable pay at Saturday night.

That's what he wishes to remember as if it was yesterday!

If the world in our old countries still would be the same as it was when we were young

or as we wish to remember it, we probably wouldn't be here .....!

And probably not only because we might not have been able to pay for the ticket :D

Limbo :D

PS: Let me describe him as a former Dutch equestrian champion and horseman of the Royal Stables.

After almost four months in the Overbrook Hospital he finally passed away three days ago.

Because of the formalities we don't know yet when the cremation will be.

You have a great way with words. I find myself saying "I wish I had put it that way".

I especially agree with: "If the world in our old countries still would be the same as it was when we were young

or as we wish to remember it, we probably wouldn't be here .....!"

It hurts me to have left my country. There was a time when it was unthinkable. But now, a lot of what was there to love is gone and therefore, easier to leave, less to miss.

Concerning VF, I think you are far off the mark. I am fortunate enough to know, and to have known, many other good people like him. His purpose here isn't meant to be mean and he isn't a mean man. He isn't attacking me or what I have written. He politely offered a different view and he didn't do it by calling me a liar. I'm happy with his approach. He is one of the "other side of the coin" guys. He may agree one hundred percent with you but he will make you dig a little to better state and defend your position. What better way to make people think for themselves about what they believe and why they believe it. What better way to cause those beliefs to be expressed, judged for merit and then adopted or dismissed by thinking people.

In my thinking, the VF's in the forum only make the forum stronger and more meaningful. He's right; the forum can be mundane, predictable and boring. Having his input, whether agreeable or otherwise, brings some validity to this thing. So much of what is posted on the TV forums is something that one could read in a newspaper or is just an observance about the weather that could be as easily mentioned to the wife over breakfast. That is well and good. I am not criticizing it. That is what some people need. I even enjoy reading some of these because the posters reveal a little of who they are with those posts.

Others would like to add something a little more feisty, a little more interesting. Some need a little more reason to take the time to even log on here. I, for one, am often disappointed that something bigger didn't find its way into the CR forum. I guess a little more thinking is something I enjoy.

Of course, the way to encourage such entries into the forum is to respond to them in such a way as to encourage them. I will say here, as I have said in the past, I know a lot of people in CR that do not read this forum because of the way we treat one another. That is our loss, my friend. Some of these people have so much to contribute but they refuse to put themselves out there to be attacked when someone doesn't agree with them. As Smokie the Bear says, "Only YOU can prevent forum fires". (Is THAT what he said ?!?!")

Limbo, I have heard that you get out a bit. I don't know what your favorite drink is but mine is coffee. Give me a heads-up sometime, man. I'm usually ready for a cup of the strong, bitter, black gold. I can't always get away on a moment's notice but sooner or later, I'll make the time.

Edited by kandahar

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Its interesting how I seem to agree with you rather than your fellow countryman VF. The US is a big country I suppose and VF's been away for a long time perhaps. We are all to some part shaped by our previous experiences though I doub't VF would agree with me as I'm sure he wouldn't allow such a thing ;-)

Not that it matters its just a View.

I did have a laugh to myself this morning when I saw VF's post and I had no doubt Limbo would have to say something. As I've said before I've met both of you and enjoy both of your company. I certainly don't share either or all three of you guys literacy skills

Not having a dig VF but what did you expect !? . I tend to post straight of the top of my head without much thought and very rarely get into any trouble here. You on the other hand I suspect always engage brain before speaking so whats the story morning Glory :D Who needs motivation ? :)

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Weird, I agree with VF.

Certain aspects of the past were ideal, but equally so the past was full of atrocity and oppression. We can use it as a history lesson, and strive to restore some of the good, but overall a return to the past would be a return to a crueler and dangerous era.

Teach your kids good values and do your part to improve the future, but don't rewrite history into a big warm fuzzy.

Is society plummeting into the abyss? Yes it is, but we can't fix humanity by forgetting how bad it has been all along.

Those who remember days long past should lead us into a better future.

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Note to self: As part of your years-long retirement planning process, check out Chiang Rai as there are some very interesting people posting from up there...

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Weird, I agree with VF.

Certain aspects of the past were ideal, but equally so the past was full of atrocity and oppression. We can use it as a history lesson, and strive to restore some of the good, but overall a return to the past would be a return to a crueler and dangerous era.

Teach your kids good values and do your part to improve the future, but don't rewrite history into a big warm fuzzy.

Is society plummeting into the abyss? Yes it is, but we can't fix humanity by forgetting how bad it has been all along.

Those who remember days long past should lead us into a better future.

Nothing Weird about it canuckamuck.

I agree that society is plumetting into the Abyss. maybe your right , Its been bad all along. I like that :)

I'm just about to plumet into the Abyss right now. Expected to attend a family gathering, God I hate Chang and Varintip.

I'll get to talk to the dog hopefully rather than the brother-in-law who will be constantly appologising whilst clutching his own bottle of LowKow for being a total waste of space like his father . He doesn't like Chang or Varinthip either it would seem. He also tends to grab my balls from time to time. Funny his brother does that too. Not to mention the dog will be more hygenic and have fresher breath. Why do they get all Homosexual when they've been drinking for 80 ish hours. I wish I could get a nice cool German Weissbeir with Limbo or a nice cup of Coffee with VF or Kandahar.

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On second thoughts , the Dog and my balls can wait. Chang35baht's in the House. he's sure to have something profound to say or at the very least give us a Glasgow Kiss. :)

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Weird, I agree with VF.

Certain aspects of the past were ideal, but equally so the past was full of atrocity and oppression. We can use it as a history lesson, and strive to restore some of the good, but overall a return to the past would be a return to a crueler and dangerous era.

Teach your kids good values and do your part to improve the future, but don't rewrite history into a big warm fuzzy.

Is society plummeting into the abyss? Yes it is, but we can't fix humanity by forgetting how bad it has been all along.

Those who remember days long past should lead us into a better future.

You are forgiven this once for agreeing with me. Just don't make a habit of it, okay? :)

I might add, that the blind respect afforded many authority figures in the past, proved to be unjustified. I prefer to question everything and take nothing at face value.

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Its interesting how I seem to agree with you rather than your fellow countryman VF. The US is a big country I suppose and VF's been away for a long time perhaps. We are all to some part shaped by our previous experiences though I doub't VF would agree with me as I'm sure he wouldn't allow such a thing ;-)

Not that it matters its just a View.

I did have a laugh to myself this morning when I saw VF's post and I had no doubt Limbo would have to say something. As I've said before I've met both of you and enjoy both of your company. I certainly don't share either or all three of you guys literacy skills

Not having a dig VF but what did you expect !? . I tend to post straight of the top of my head without much thought and very rarely get into any trouble here. You on the other hand I suspect always engage brain before speaking so whats the story morning Glory :D Who needs motivation ? :)

So let me get this straight Jubby. You think I would be better off to disengage my brain a little more often? I certainly can't agree with you on that, as agreement is not allowed. :D

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Concerning VF, I think you are far off the mark. I am fortunate enough to know, and to have known, many other good people like him. His purpose here isn't meant to be mean and he isn't a mean man. He isn't attacking me or what I have written. He politely offered a different view and he didn't do it by calling me a liar. I'm happy with his approach. He is one of the "other side of the coin" guys. He may agree one hundred percent with you but he will make you dig a little, to better state and defend your position. What better way to make people think for themselves about what they believe and why they believe it. What better way to cause those beliefs to be expressed, judged for merit and then adopted or dismissed by thinking people.

Wow, somebody who actually gets me. That is almost beyond belief. Coffee, anyone?

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I am also happy I found northern Thailand and CR.

But I still miss some good CHEESE!

:D:):D

The cheese can be found - and had - but at a price! I live in Bangers and I've yet to find good cheese at an affordable price. I came here first time 25 years ago, coming here on and off ever since, but resident for the last 7 years. Too many things are changing too fast, most for the worst, but some for the better. With all the "Huge" dairy farms about the country, I would have thought that cheese and milk among other dairy products would have got cheaper, but alas, it seems not. Just finding a good quality salty whole grain bread is hard. What is it with this country, when everything has to be sweet?? Milk, bread, cereal and even chicken pies!! Won't start on potatoes....

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