Last week I went to meet my friend to play some squash at the Racquet Club. As I was stretching my hamstrings to avoid injury on the court while waiting for my friend, I started to think who else I could invite to play.
As I was going through the list of friends in my head I realised something – they all have some sort of element of being ‘weird’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m normal, just look at this blog , I too am grouping myself with the cluster-f*** of people that are my friends.
My Thailand expat demographic
As I used to play poker many years ago, a lot of my friends are poker players living in Thailand or friends of poker players. Already there’s a problem there, as the average poker player spends most of their day in their room alone in front of a computer, some are socially awkward because of their job.
Okay, but I also have other friends who run businesses, some are school teachers, Bangkok digital nomads, while a few just come here for 6 months of the year to holiday and another 6 months back home to work.
As I was rolling down the list of names, I didn’t find one person who I thought was totally ‘normal’. Then I started thinking about common Bangkok expat places like the rooftop pool parties, RCA on weekends and the famous expat bars around Sukhumvit – nope they were all full of fruit cakes too.
However, maybe these are not the best places to form opinions on Thailand expats given the environment.
Are expats who move to Asia of lower quality?
If I had the money, I would not be living in Thailand. I would be somewhere like Madrid, New York, Sydney, Berlin, Rio De Janeiro or Tokyo.
Why did I pick Thailand? Because I don’t have the means to live in the cites above, and Thailand is by far the best country in the world (in my limited opinion) to live in terms of value for money and western amenities on offer. I can fly to several countries for less than $100 and I have all the options in Bangkok as I do in England.
Just head to Chiang Mai and you will see a ton of digital nomads who live off $500 per month or less.
Maybe that’s it? The cheapness of Thailand attracts ‘lower quality expats’?
Is my idea of normal wrong?
Maybe me and my friends are actually normal, and my current notion of normal is incorrect?
What is normal? If I go by what I learned in England, normal is doing a job you don’t enjoy, then buying a house and car you can’t afford by taking out loans which put you in debt, then marrying someone who will get fat and you’ll end up living in misery and debt together.
Is that normal?
What’s normal in Bangkok? Well for some Thailand expats it’s going out a few times a week, sleeping with girls in questionable industries, constantly cheating on their girlfriends and not being able to hold a decent conversation.
For others it’s working 40 hours a week for 35,000 baht a month, not having enough money to do the things they enjoy or eat out as often as they would like. Their spare time consists of fighting with their girlfriend and wondering if they have enough money to make their next Thai visa run.
Is that normal?
I know some Thailand expats here make very good money and live fulfilling lives with their families, but I don’t think that’s true with the new wave of expats coming here.
Perhaps humans as a collective are all f****** in the head, and only because of living in Thailand for 3 years have I been opened to a new way of thinking and doing things?
Should I network more?
At the moment, I do 0 networking to meet new people (ain’t nobody got time for dat), although I think I should challenge myself and think about things in others way by meeting people I would never normally hang around with. Or will that make me a hipster?
Don’t get me wrong, the friends I have at the moment (hey guys!) are trustworthy, fun and a cool group of people who I’ll always have time for.
But what if what I’m saying isn’t total bull s*** and there are a huge amount of ‘normal’ expats in Thailand, where do I find them? Better yet, will I even fit in?
What are your thoughts about expats living in Thailand?
Am I not networking enough? Am I part of the problem? Is Thailand a fresh start for people and they decide they will be who they want to be, whereas being their actual-self back home would result in problems?
What are your thoughts on the ‘average’ Thailand expat, am I right? Am I wrong? Am I limited in my thoughts because I don’t have a wider circle of friends? Are the French the problem? They probably are, but I’m sure there’s more too it than just them.
For me personally, if a friend was moving to Thailand I would tell them to be careful about who they make friends with. The average Thailand expat is not what you’d expect. What do you think? Leave a comment.