Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chan poot tai mai bpen

And here I was thinking I wouldn't have any fodder for an April Fool's post this year!  Those of you who guessed it was true were right on - there is indeed a possibility that we could move to Thailand a year or two from now.

So obviously I've been thinking a lot more about the practical side of living there - starting with the weather.  Oh, the weather! And the humidity!  During my last trip, I was out on site in the middle of nowhere for a week and working in 110°F/43°C with no fan, while wearing long pants and rubber boots and no about gross. Let's just say it was a killer and I was in major need of a hose down when I was done every day.

And then it comes down to a place to live.  What is the housing like? Is there reliable internet access?  Are gyms popular?  Will I be able to adapt to the food?  What kind of budget will we need?  How will we pay our mortgage in Paris?  So I've been asking a lot of questions about how much a 2 bedroom apt would cost, where are the best areas, how do people get around, where do they buy groceries. And of course the visa/work permit question comes into play, as it seems like a pretty complicated process (although to be honest - is it ever an easy process??).

Then there's the language. At least when I started learning French, I was able to tell myself that I already knew about 40% of the language, I just needed to learn how to pronounce it properly.  That doesn't really work with Thai. My brain is pretty much already full with English, French, Finnish plus the basic communications I have learned in Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin, etc, and for whatever reason, Thai is just not sticking. I cannot seem to get past Hello (Sa wat dee kah), Thank You (Kob Khun Kah) and Water (Nam).  The words are just so darn long.

Plus there's the whole issue of tones....the Thai language uses long and short tones, high tones and low tones to change the meaning of a word. For example: "kao" can mean: nine, knee, rice, come in, news, etc depending on the tone used.  And to my farang (hey, wait, I know a 4th word!) ears, they all sound exactly the same.  Though I guess it's similar how many Americans can't hear the French nasals, and have trouble distinguishing between vent/vin/vont.

But of course Bangkok would be a great city to be based out of, and my work would likely require a lot of travel elsewhere in SE Asia, which could also mean some fun side trips for the two of us.  Plus the people are absolutely lovely - even though I stand out like a sore thumb, I feel like much less of an outcast in Thailand than I did in Bretagne. I'm also lucky to have a wonderful husband who totally supports my career and is willing to follow me anywhere in the world.  And I guess at least one good thing is that it would give me a lot of new blogging material, which has been sorely lacking as of late.

So who knows, we'll see how things play out over the next 12-18 months with our Asian market expansion. We could continue living on in France, or a year or two from now, I may need to make a blog name change to "Totally Bangkok'ed Out"...although that sounds a little dirty.  Maybe "Totally Thai'ed Out"?  or "Totally Thai'ed Down"?   A voir !

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Blogger Bee Ean said...

That sounds pretty exciting! Thai food, the beaches are to die for, in my opinion. I had some trips to Thailand from Malaysia, and I found Thai people very friendly. Looking forward for your Thai adventure.

April 2, 2015 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

That sounds exciting! :)

April 3, 2015 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger A Tank said...

This is very exciting! I was wondering if it was an April fools or not :) The issue of paying your French mortgage aside, I know some people who've lived in SE Asia for varying time frames and really enjoyed it. The people I knew working as contractors for the CDC in Vietnam enjoyed it a lot, and had a really high standard of living because everything there is so cheap. One Brazilian contractor had a maid who went shopping for him and cooked every day and cleaned, and he paid her something like twice the prevailing wage and it was still very affordable. Another friend worked for about 6 months for a summer study abroad program as a photographer in Thailand and loved living there. As for visas, I am pretty sure they just skirted the issue and renewed them every 3 months by leaving the country, but you'd probably want to find something more permanent. In any case, Spencer and I have been playing with the idea of a vacation to Thailand at some point, so maybe you'll have some visitors :) Good luck with figuring it all out if it happens!

April 3, 2015 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Mil said...

Wow! I'm totally impressed by all the languages you know. It's amazing how you've reinvented yourself in France. I bet you could do it again. The language would scare me, too. But no doubt you could get by a lot on English in a city like Bangkok. And once you get on the ground you'd probably pick up more. Lookong forward to hearing about more adventures.

April 4, 2015 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

My sis lived there 5 years and really liked it. I could put you in Touch if you have questions.

April 5, 2015 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

How fun! I was in Bangkok on business nearly 20 years ago, and even then it was fairly advanced - not as much so as Singapore and Tokyo, but I'm sure it will be easy to get around, get Internet, etc. I lived in Taiwan for 2 years and it was not as hot as Thailand, but it's hot and humid. I guess you do get used to it, but yes - getting hosed down at the end of the day pretty much sums it up!

I would love an expat life. France doesn't seem to count as expat anymore. :-)

April 10, 2015 at 8:18 AM  

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