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SimonD

Village Life Experiences

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The Mosquito Patrol.

Another 'Real Village Life Experience' I find intriguing is 'The Mosquito Patrol'.

Periodically, a platoon of mosquito combatants patrols the village. This is made up of somebody carrying a bundle of pink forms, somebody else holding a pencil, another clutching a clipboard, and yet another team member holding a large electric torch. They move stealthily among the clusters of houses, flashing the torch in nooks and crannies under stilt houses - many of which are home to buffalo, cows, ducks, cockerels, chickens, cats, dogs - inspecting the area for signs of anything that might encourage mosquitoes. After the inspection a pink form is pasted somewhere on the front of the house, a column duly filled in and dated as proof of inspection and compliance. The trouble is the first soaking with rain, gust of wind or fading due to sunlight and they hang in shreds awaiting the next patrol, which dutifully peers at the paper shreds as though the information is still decipherable and make notes accordingly.

Working bravely alone, the spray man follows with a motorized gadget that produces alarming clouds of choking fumes, vapor and smoke that beats inhaling emissions from twenty trucks and twenty buses, and without so much as a facemask the sprayer walks up and down, between houses spreading his deadly cloud. Not surprisingly, the next day there comes stories of at least one villager who had to be rushed to hospital with breathing problems.

As soon as I hear his lethal weapon start up in our location on the edge of the village I slam the doors and windows shut and tie a handkerchief round my mouth, waiting for the 'all clear' to sound!

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Good-luck living in a Thai village.

Couldn't do it myself; a living death. Nothing to do and frankly the locals have only two subjects of conversation (I speak passable Thai) which is food, or, gossiping about other villagers.

If you're planning on passing the time by reading, movies and the internet, you can do that in a town, or, city. Why bother with a village?

I'm doing it because my GF wants to be closer to her family and we both got sick of town life, well, Pattaya in particular. She has two sons and all the time she has spent living with me they have been growing up without a mothers influence. Their father did a runner some years ago and they have largely been brought up by her papa and younger sister. She has always deferred to me before on where we lived and it's only right that I consider her needs and wishes. If it doesn't work then I'll consider what to do next. Different strokes for different folks.

Simon

It's almost as cheap living in one of the provincial towns as it is in a village, but, there's a lot more to see and do.

As someone said; a personal choice. Personally, I hated it due to the never-ending boredom compared to the towns and cities.

PS. Pattaya is not a typical Thai town.

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The piped water in my village comes from a small man made lake. Not drinkable. Most of the cooking water comes from the large jars. But with all the plastic that gets burned around here, I don't completely trust that water. even though I do wait for a few rains to "clean" the roof before filling. I buy bottled water for most of my water drinking.

But with all the plastic that gets burned around here.... Another recent benefit in our village is the addition of a weekly garbage collection service with modern hydraulic refuge trucks and the supply of smart blue garbage bins placed at strategic intervals along every soi and alleyway in the village. It's curbed dramatically the number of bonfires and rubbish-burning.

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Hi Simon,

I followed and commented on your recent post about loudspeaker towers in villages. Your subsequent comments made more sense and explained your reasoning for considering village life.

These are my own thoughts on the subject:

Q) Why am I living in an Isaan village?

A) I first came to Thailand in 2005, then aged 61, divorced, redundant with little money, no property or assets in the UK. In other words, just about down and out. My only lifeline hung on a single remaining endowment policy which had been hammered into the ground and would only return about one-and-a-half million baht on maturity in 2009. I managed to get a job in Pattaya with a holiday company – legally with a work permit – lived in a small rented apartment in Jomtien, earned a bit of money, played the field with bar girls, moved to the company's Phuket office during 2006, played the field with Phuket bar girls then went off to work in Bali for a few months.

In 2007 I moved to Koh Samui, worked for the original company and one night met a girl from Isaan who had just that day arrived on the island intending to work in a bar for the first time. I went to that bar every night for a week or so and kept her boss happy by spending a bit of money over the bar whilst enjoying the company of his latest recruit, so she never left the premises with any other falang. She never drank alcohol or smoked. (Still doesn't to this day, apart from maybe two bottles of Spy a year!) A while later she left the bar and moved into my rented house. At the end of 2008 we went to Phuket where I worked until the end of that year, when the job was no longer available. I hadn't saved any money because the income just covered rent and living expenses

Our relationship continued to be excellent; no expectancy or demands for money because she knew I hadn't got any! After a lot of thought and discussion I decided the best route would be to move to her village, wait for my one-and-a-half million baht insurance maturity, then spend some of it converting her parent's house on stilts to incorporate a new modern house underneath. The remaining cash would need to stay in the Thai bank in order to qualify for 'Extension Based on Marriage'. We lived up in the old house with her mama, papa and her two young sons for a year until the new house below had been completed. By that time I qualified to receive the British state pension, enhanced with extra sums from SERPS and Graduated Benefits (a left over benefit system entitled to from previous years)

We married legally in Bangkok in 2009 so my pension is topped up with Wife Benefit (which can no longer be applied for and ends in 2020!) The grand total monthly income is a very modest amount that many farangs would gasp at and cry, 'How on Earth do you manage to survive?" Which leads to the next question.

Q) How do I survive in the village?

A) I've always preferred country life. I'm fortunate to have a Thai family who are totally unobtrusive – even the year spent living together in the old upstairs house wasn't a problem – believe it or not. Now, Mama and Papa live upstairs, myself, the wife and two boys live in the modern air-conditioned house below. The parents or any other visiting family members never encroach on our space, in fact even when invited to join us they prefer to visit ma and pa via the outside back steps leading upstairs, or once in a while sit in the shade under our front porch. It's all very civilized and workable. The total cost to convert the house was no more than I would have spent on rent in places like Pattaya or the islands in just three years. Yes, If I could afford to live down south I would quite enjoy somewhere like Samui with nice beaches, but can live without the sea.

Our lifestyle is simple. Now approaching my 68th birthday I'm quite content with a routine of early morning walks along the quiet soi, (we're on the edge of the village) or down by the river that runs at the back of the house and through nearby temples with beautiful grounds. A potter in the garden, a few hours online, or watching my favorite movies and British TV shows, or writing fiction and screenplays (I did have a novel published last year as an eBook and completed a screenplay, neither likely to make money or get noticed, so please don't ask!) Sometimes a motorbike ride to the small town a couple of kilometers away, visiting the market and 7-eleven, a monthly trip by public transport to the city for supermarket shopping. And of course a few beers or something later in the day at home. Because the villagers know I'm not a rich falang, the men never scrounge beer or whiskey from me, although occasionally I ask neighbors to share a beer with me. I'm the only falang in the village; I do miss good English conversation sometimes, but wouldn't want the life spent around guzzling in bars in town too often even if it was affordable.

My wife helps out on the family farm and runs the domestic things at home. Hopefully we'll have a little money saved to take the kids for a holiday to the coast next year. It'll be a bus trip to keep the cost down.

This is a great post for its honesty, makes me want to go to live in the village right now.

Thanks Jezz I hope to meet guys like you in her village

Well done WOW

Pat :jap:

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After living in Bangkok for 30 years I wanted a change of scenery and a change of pace. Land, views, pets, toys and someplace to enjoy them so we moved to Chiang Rai. I don’t live like a villager, I just live on the fringes of a village but with my modern conveniences as well. Nice little place to live, good views from the front yard, great sunsets, great motorbike roads and mountain bike trails, and tons of other stuff I had to do without while living in Bangkok.

House%2B%2B001.jpg

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Nan%2B%2B015.jpg

This one is from the 1148 to Nan, one of my favorite motorcycle roads.

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That is a beautiful view! I have similar but no mountains. Does it get cold there in the winter?

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Good-luck living in a Thai village.

Couldn't do it myself; a living death. Nothing to do and frankly the locals have only two subjects of conversation (I speak passable Thai) which is food, or, gossiping about other villagers.

If you're planning on passing the time by reading, movies and the internet, you can do that in a town, or, city. Why bother with a village?

You would understand if you had young kids benefitting from an extended family on tap. Can be a pain for the falang at times but it works wonders for the little 'uns social development and roots them in something 'real'. [Fine if that happens to be available for you in the city or suburbs].

I'm a city-type myself but never regret surrendering a few years to get the sprog off to a well-adjusted start.

Oh and by the way Cities are sooo twentieth century man - get with the times :rolleyes:

Edited by SantiSuk

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Village life, good and bad, most farangs are just not cut out for it. My village is a closely backed border village of around 300 homes [huts ] and everyone is related. Great for my 2 little ones as it is really just one big family. We have no front door, only doors are on the bedrooms, people come and go all day and night. Keep my ice box in the front of the house on the soi and never had one beer stolen. Don't hear the chickens, speakers and muffler-less motorbikes any more. My brain has tuned those noises out.

Biggest problem I find is dealing with the simple mindedness of the locals. They refuse to do anything differently than their fathers did, but when I say if you want western things, cars, TV etc you need to do things in a better way, they just shrug. FIL puts bills in the car clove box with a Buddha medallion on top. They will go away, then there is a panic when they come to cut the power off or the bank is phoning demanding payment. I maybe different then many as I make my living here and know if the workers started think of tomorrow instead of what's happening now, things would be much easier. Won't hold my breath. Every thing is living in the moment, don't bother to put the rifle away, just leave it in the baby's cot. why bother having brakes on a motorbike etc. That's life. Jim

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Village life, good and bad, most farangs are just not cut out for it. My village is a closely backed border village of around 300 homes [huts ] and everyone is related. Great for my 2 little ones as it is really just one big family. We have no front door, only doors are on the bedrooms, people come and go all day and night. Keep my ice box in the front of the house on the soi and never had one beer stolen. Don't hear the chickens, speakers and muffler-less motorbikes any more. My brain has tuned those noises out.

Biggest problem I find is dealing with the simple mindedness of the locals. They refuse to do anything differently than their fathers did, but when I say if you want western things, cars, TV etc you need to do things in a better way, they just shrug. FIL puts bills in the car clove box with a Buddha medallion on top. They will go away, then there is a panic when they come to cut the power off or the bank is phoning demanding payment. I maybe different then many as I make my living here and know if the workers started think of tomorrow instead of what's happening now, things would be much easier. Won't hold my breath. Every thing is living in the moment, don't bother to put the rifle away, just leave it in the baby's cot. why bother having brakes on a motorbike etc. That's life. Jim

Jim, I enjoyed reading your comments. In trying to relate and understand your point of view I came up with these thoughts:

#1. You say your house has no front door. Our house is just a simple conversion of an old house on stilts. Ma and Pa live upstairs – with no front door. Me, the wife and two kids live downstairs in the converted section that does have a front door. Yes, locals come and go, but they make a beeline for the rear steps to the old house without intruding on our space downstairs. If invited they join us for a beer or whatever.

#2. Quote, “Don't hear the chickens, speakers and muffler-less motorbikes any more. My brain has tuned those noises out.”

Good on yer! Same for me.

#3 Quote, “They refuse to do anything differently than their fathers did, but when I say if you want western things, cars, TV etc you need to do things in a better way, they just shrug. FIL puts bills in the car clove box with a Buddha medallion on top. They will go away, then there is a panic when they come to cut the power off or the bank is phoning demanding payment.”

I haven’t encountered that situation – yet!

#4 Quote, “I maybe different then many as I make my living here”.

I’d never pry, but wonder how? No need to answer.

Finally, Jim, I still can’t quite work out why a man with your foresight dismissed my comments this morning in the thread about land prices in Isaan where I asked a perfectly straightforward question – what’s the best advice to give to help a simply-living Thai family regarding how they can get the best advertising for land they wish to sell. You suggested staying well out of it, but I was only looking for ideas to help my family find a decent way to find potential buyers. They seem to think a few posters and relying on word of mouth will do the trick.

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That is a beautiful view! I have similar but no mountains. Does it get cold there in the winter?

It hasn't gotten really cold yet this year but it is chilly at night. Walking the dogs this evening, my wife had on a light jacket but I just felt cool and refreshed. :)

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Jezz, not hard to see what I do, I am on the farming forum and if you Google my name with Thailand I am on there. As for the land thing. They sell and buy land illegally all the time, it's just the way that things get done here. If they are selling big dollars worth of land legally then there are land agents. Mostly in this area, if someone is looking to buy [ big money land ] they will approach a land agent. He will phone around the district headmen to see what;s up for sale. As I said keep away from involvement, it's nothing to do with you and things can come back and bite you. Last thing a farang wants to get caught up in is a land dispute and they will blame you if it goes wrong. Jim

PS you can always put the sale on barhtandsold, but be sure of the titles. Jim

Edited by jamescollister

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Jezz, not hard to see what I do, I am on the farming forum and if you Google my name with Thailand I am on there. As for the land thing. They sell and buy land illegally all the time, it's just the way that things get done here. If they are selling big dollars worth of land legally then there are land agents. Mostly in this area, if someone is looking to buy [ big money land ] they will approach a land agent. He will phone around the district headmen to see what;s up for sale. As I said keep away from involvement, it's nothing to do with you and things can come back and bite you. Last thing a farang wants to get caught up in is a land dispute and they will blame you if it goes wrong. Jim

PS you can always put the sale on barhtandsold, but be sure of the titles. Jim

Thanks, Jim. I can only repeat I am not, do not want to be, and will not be involved in the process. I simply asked for information that might be of assistance to the Thai family - not myself. I did think myself that a land agent might be a good port of call. ( By THEM - NOT me - I'm out of it!) It's just that the value of the land has increased a lot due to a new highway to be constructed commencing March 2012 passing along it's borders. This would seem to lift the prospect of selling approx 60 rai of potentially sort-after development land above the realms of selling the odd rai to a fellow villager for farming purposes. It's one of those things they don't stumble upon very often and seem not to quickly grasp the opportunity or how to handle it. Thanks anyway.

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Village life, good and bad, most farangs are just not cut out for it. My village is a closely backed border village of around 300 homes [huts ] and everyone is related. Great for my 2 little ones as it is really just one big family. We have no front door, only doors are on the bedrooms, people come and go all day and night. Keep my ice box in the front of the house on the soi and never had one beer stolen. Don't hear the chickens, speakers and muffler-less motorbikes any more. My brain has tuned those noises out.

Biggest problem I find is dealing with the simple mindedness of the locals. They refuse to do anything differently than their fathers did, but when I say if you want western things, cars, TV etc you need to do things in a better way, they just shrug. FIL puts bills in the car clove box with a Buddha medallion on top. They will go away, then there is a panic when they come to cut the power off or the bank is phoning demanding payment. I maybe different then many as I make my living here and know if the workers started think of tomorrow instead of what's happening now, things would be much easier. Won't hold my breath. Every thing is living in the moment, don't bother to put the rifle away, just leave it in the baby's cot. why bother having brakes on a motorbike etc. That's life. Jim

`Jim ,

see ye in January , a dram maybe ?

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Village life, good and bad, most farangs are just not cut out for it. My village is a closely backed border village of around 300 homes [huts ] and everyone is related. Great for my 2 little ones as it is really just one big family. We have no front door, only doors are on the bedrooms, people come and go all day and night. Keep my ice box in the front of the house on the soi and never had one beer stolen. Don't hear the chickens, speakers and muffler-less motorbikes any more. My brain has tuned those noises out.

Biggest problem I find is dealing with the simple mindedness of the locals. They refuse to do anything differently than their fathers did, but when I say if you want western things, cars, TV etc you need to do things in a better way, they just shrug. FIL puts bills in the car clove box with a Buddha medallion on top. They will go away, then there is a panic when they come to cut the power off or the bank is phoning demanding payment. I maybe different then many as I make my living here and know if the workers started think of tomorrow instead of what's happening now, things would be much easier. Won't hold my breath. Every thing is living in the moment, don't bother to put the rifle away, just leave it in the baby's cot. why bother having brakes on a motorbike etc. That's life. Jim

`Jim ,

see ye in January , a dram maybe ?

I would hope we can kill a bottle or 2 of single malt. Jim

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