Saturday, July 11, 2009

Despite All Its Faults Thailand Is The Place For Me

I am writing this from the UK. I have come here for three weeks and those three weeks are to long. I want to go back to Bangkok NOW. Thailand has its faults but the UK seems to have more.

I didn't realise things were as bad in the UK as they really are.

The way Gordon Brown has brought a once great nation to its knees is outrageous. For over a decade he has systematically ruined Britain's economy and many, many people are extremely angry. Ok, many people were spending beyond their means but they were allowed to, and were actually encouraged to. Why ?

I am convinced that Brown and many others in power were well aware what was going happen and did absolutely nothing to prevent it or lessen the resulting damage. They wanted the people of the UK to suffer for political reasons, and as a means of social control. They should be tried for treason.

If the recession had come on gradually things would have been a lot better, but an overnight collapse of the economy has caused mayhem and many believe the rapid collapse was preventable.

I am staying in an affluent area of England, but I still see all around me many depressed and worried people. I have met up with three friends this week. All have their own businesses.

One has a roofing company that used to employ 24 people. Since October last year he has had to reduce this number to just 4. Not because of the lack of work, although that is a concern, but because his bank reduced his working overdraft by 75% overnight. He has banked with the same bank for over 20 years and has never caused them to doubt his credit worthiness. He must have made them hundreds of thousands of pounds in profit over the years and this is what they do.

Another has an online home furnishing business - his turnover dropped by 75% more or less overnight. The two staff he employed have had to go, and he is having to sell his house. With the current state of the housing market this is proving to be near impossible, so his downward spiral continues.

The third friend has a plumbing business - his trade has fallen off dramatically. The only work he gets is repairing bodged jobs where people have tried to do some plumbing themselves but made a mess of it ! He has also reduced his staff - from 10 to 3.

Now this is just three of my friends - I hate to imagine how many are in the same position throughout the country. I don't want to think about it.

Yes, Thailand has its faults, and the Thai economy is in decline, but I would prefer to be there instead of the UK. The positive sides to Thailand outweigh the negatives. In the UK it all seems to be negatives. Bangkok is my home. But I just wish the Thai authorities would make it easier for foreigners with an income from overseas, to live there. I don't want to buy land there, I don't want to work there, and I am not going to get married there. I just want to live there without the need for border runs every 90 days, or worrying about re- entry permits.

I can understand that some undesirables are drawn to Thailand and that the authorities don't want them, but there are many more people in the same position as me. We make a significant contribution to the local economy, take nothing out of it, and are of good character. If you read this Khun Abhisit, please help :)


  1. Unfortunately most Asian countries have restrictions of one kind of another (with very few exceptions such as Singapore or Hong Kong, but there the selection is determined by the economics - if you can't make a living ther, you simply cannot afford to live there). Even ultra modern countries such as Japan don't make it particularly easy for foreigners to live there. You have to understand things in context - their historic fear of being colonized, cultural protectionism, and so on. It is a deeply ingrained trait that will take a long time to change.

    I am not justifying it, I am just saying it is not a Thai-specific phenomenon.

  2. Thanks for visiting Julian. I understand its not Thai specific, and I understand their fear of being 'taken over'. I can undertand restrictions on foreigners, but I cannot see why people with a Non Immigrant O Visa - valid for 1 year, have to do border runs every 90 days.

    What purpose does the runs serve apart from giving a few baht to the Immigration Police at the border ? I would be happy to pay the same to my local immigration office instead.

    The excuse that the law is the law only goes so far, the law can be changed :) Any forward thinking new government would do it I am sure.....

  3. Great post. I left the UK some eight years ago because I was fed up with paying 40% direct tax and 11% NIC and getting nothing back - couldn't even make a doctor's appointment in less than two weeks. I haven't been back in five years and have no intention of going back. It's a dreadful place: unhappy (and often unfriendly) people taxed to the hilt, lousy public services, stressful jobs (if you can find one), lousy weather, and expensive.

    Agree Thailand has it's ups and downs but on the whole it's much better. I work here but for many who need to leave on border runs I think this situation is unworkable in the long-term - if only because of the hassle and the fact that it's difficult to make a stable home here if you have to leave all the time. It's unlikely the situation will change since the authorities and police make money from it being this way - they will not benefit by making it easier for foreigners who are not working to live here.