Thailand - Retirement Escape from Marxist Amerika
May 24, 2014
Here in Thailand, I rarely see a policeman. I have no idea what the police do all day, but they don't seem too eager to prey on the freedom of the local people. There isn't the heavy hand of government here, so you can sense a joy of living, a positive outlook, that has disappeared in our Western countries.
There isn't the heavy hand of government here, so you can sense a joy of living, a positive outlook, that has disappeared in our Western countries. - See more at: https://www.henrymakow.com/thailand_is_paradise_found_for.html#sthash.ODq8TyuZ.dpuf
Having retired to Bangkok 10 years ago, P.F. offers a guide to men who wish to escape the toxic culture of Amerika.
Editor's Note: This completely revises and updates an earlier article from Sept. 19, 2010. I am not endorsing brothels and am frankly curious about how they could become a normal part of life in Thailand.
by P. F. (for HenryMakow.com)
Are you retired? Do you want to escape from the "homeland"? Do you want to live in a place where white men still get respect? Perhaps Thailand would be a good fit.
I retired to Thailand 10 years ago. By writing this, I hope to offer encouragement to other retired men seeking a better life.
Escape the Insanity of Cultural Marxism
One element of the Marxist insanity affecting Western nations is the negative attitudes toward white men. When searching for a retirement location, I specifically wanted a country that has mostly avoided Cultural Marxism. Thailand fit that goal nicely.
Everything here is not idyllic, far from it, but the overall mood is that life is good. People have a positive outlook, a quiet joy of living. I see weddings, new homes being built, and lots of pregnant women ― all examples of people placing personal bets on a positive future.
In Thailand, the government doesn't solve problems. It is so paralyzed by corruption that it can't do much of anything, good or bad. So, people here take care of themselves and their families. As a result people are mostly self-reliant and, often, helpful to each other. To some extent, a person's social status is influenced by his helpfulness. There is a spirit of generosity that we used to have in The West, prior to about 1965.
Recently, I bought an exercise bicycle at a store just down the street from my condo in Bangkok. To bring home the large and heavy box, I used a wheeled luggage carrier. Along the busy street are curbs and some steps. In my short walk back home, six people - total strangers - politely offered to help me get the load over the curbs and up the steps. That kind of helpfulness doesn't happen everyday and everywhere here, but it does happen.
In turn, it's my responsibility to offer help when I can. When I do that, the warm smiles confirm that I have, indeed, escaped the sullen hostility that now pervades Amerika.
Freedom from political correctness
People here are free to think and converse as they wish, limited only by good manners rather than government dictate. As a white man in Amerika, I would be a prime target for the festering resentments of females, negros, Muslims, homosexuals, and all the other "diversities" which are promoted by the Illuminati bankers.
One day in Bangkok, while I was in a taxi stopped at a red light and chatting with the driver, a negro walked in front of the taxi. Negros are rarely seen in Thailand, but there are a few. Shaking his head in disgust, the driver said, "Africa people no good. They ride taxi but no pay money. Finish ride then run away. No good! No good!" And I've heard similar comments from other taxi drivers here. In the "homeland" these days, observations like that could bring harsh consequences. In Thailand, it's just a simple conversation.
Two topics are taboo here: the royal family and the state religion, but those don't concern retired expats. On all other topics, people are free to face reality as they wish, and to discuss their thoughts with others. I value living in the midst of that kind of freedom.
Women and their men
Thai women seem delighted to help and encourage the men in their lives: father, brothers, husband, employer, co-workers, and neighbours. Service in restaurants, shops, and offices is respectful to men, especially to older men. As I enter a nice restaurant, the hostess will usually bow gracefully. Last week, at the insurance office to renew my health policy, the clerk bowed as I approached her desk.
In most shops, adorable, young women clerks often smile and flirt as they wrap up my purchase. (Store clerks are usually adorable, and mostly young, because business owners here are free to hire whomever they wish.) The attitudes of women here provide an extra measure of enjoyment in daily life.
It's not all perfect bliss, of course. For example, "Women's Studies" have appeared at a few colleges. But in the overall context, that depravity of Cultural Marxism is still insignificant in this country.
I live in Bangkok, so I'll focus on that, because it's the place I know best.
If you've only passed through Bangkok as a tourist, you probably found it overwhelming in many negative ways: noise, crowding, pollution, traffic, and seeming chaos everywhere. And much of Bangkok is downright ugly. You might wonder why a sane man would choose to live here. Here are some of my reasons.
-- high level of personal safety -- considerable respect and politeness from local people -- easy to find rentals of houses, condos, apartments -- magnificent food -- endless variety of entertainment -- reliable Internet access -- good variety of gyms, swimming pools, golf courses, fishing, even a shooting range -- reasonable variety of Western products, from Skippy Peanut Butter to Mac computers -- opportunities to meet delightful, Thai women, who are equally eager to meet retired, white men
But don't expect to just arrive here and have all that served to you on a platter. In Asian culture, the most attractive elements are always subtle and usually hidden. It takes some searching to find what one wants and needs here.
One of the less-obvious joys of living in Bangkok is the comfort and convenience of living in a real neighborhood - rather than suburban sprawl next to a freeway exit. In Bangkok, because of the terrible traffic, going any distance is difficult, so neighborhood shops and services have arranged themselves to provide for nearby customers. I don't have to travel far to find most of what I want or need. For routine errands, I can walk, or take a taxi just a short ride.
In my neighborhood, within easy walking distance, there is a medical clinic, several dentists, four pharmacies, five 7-Eleven stores, two large superstores (similar to Target or Walmart), three supermarkets, and two big department stores similar in style (and price) to Nieman-Marcus or Marshall Fields. Also, several book shops with a variety of books in English, a small health food shop, several camera shops, tailor shops, at least a dozen shops selling gold, barber shops, massage shops, several travel agencies, and a variety of brothels.
Yes, you read that right: brothels. Here, sex is considered a normal and healthy part of life. Brothels are out in the open. Most neighborhoods have at least one brothel, usually more.
Don't expect Shangri-La
Outside the big city of Bangkok, you can find island beaches lined with palm trees, quiet mountains with cool mists, and rural villages surrounded by emerald-green rice fields. Just like the travel posters and web-page photos.
But be sure to look behind the posters and web photos. The beaches can be littered with plastic bags and empty beer cans. The mountain cabin may too far away get any mobile phone signal, so there is no way to call out in an emergency, and no Internet either. The lush rice fields surround villages of poor, uneducated, peasants who may think nothing of taking what someone else has, which they want but can't afford to buy. It's not some mythical Shangri-La.
The more one looks behind the surface here, the worse things can look. Medical care in Thailand (including dentists) is touted as "world class", but its not. Some doctors/dentists are good. Most are barely adequate, because educational standards are low . A significant percentage of doctors and dentists are awful - degrees obtained with under-the-table payments to universities and licensing authorities. But you learn on whom to depend, and whom to avoid.
On a web forum for expats in Thailand, one man described his Thai wife's visit to a dentist in the small up-country city. She had a painful tooth, so he brought her the local dentist expecting her to get a filling. When the wife came out of the dentist's clinic she was clutching her jaw in even more pain than when she went in.
"What happened in there?" the husband asked. "Dentist he pull out tooth. Hurt bad now, but better tomorrow, sure." "Did you want that? Did he ask you about that???" "He not ask. He just pull out."
The expat husband stormed into the clinic demanding to speak with the dentist who pulled his wife's tooth instead of putting in a simple filling. The dentist explained, "People in this town can't afford fillings. It's cheaper for them to just have the tooth pulled, so that's what we do."
Another disadvantage to Thailand: In general, things are not clean. Especially around food. The taste can be magnificent, but it discourages the appetite to see food left out in the tropical sun for hours and then served in restaurants. And to see restaurant workers returning from the toilet without washing their hands. It takes some experience to learn where to find clean food, and what kind of medicine to take if you don't.
Another negative factor here is sloppy construction. Really sloppy. In doing minor repairs in my condo, I've seen the awful construction behind the thin veneer. Most new construction is so flimsy that it starts decaying as soon as the ribbon-cutting ceremony is finished.
And doing any maintenance seems to be a sin. Cars, tools, equipment of all kinds, are used until they break - with no thought of grease, oil, or tune-ups. That's not serious for riding a bicycle, but buses, trains, airplanes, elevators, and bridges are all treated with similar disregard for maintenance.
During 2013, the State Railway of Thailand averaged one derailment per day. Yet, in all of Thailand there are only four main train routes. For rails, they buy cheap steel from China. The quality of the steel is further compromised by corruption in the purchasing process. Then, in the tropical heat, the cheap rails bend and trains fall off the tracks.
Cost of living
Thailand has a reputation as a cheap place to live. In the past, yes. But not any more.
Now Thailand suffers from steady inflation, while at the same time the currency is getting stronger against Western currencies. That means retirement pensions get squeezed from two sides.
When I arrived here 10 years ago, a simple meal cost about a dollar. For example: a plate of rice, topped with crispy pork and green kale, stir-fried in a light gravy. Not a lot of food - the Thais are small people - but enough for a light lunch. Today that same dish, in the same restaurant, costs two dollars. An extra dollar doesn't sound like much, but in percentage terms the price has doubled. Apply that to many items of daily life.
And the food on the plate is not the same as 10 years ago either. Only about 2/3 the amount of pork, and not so fresh and tender as before. The gravy has less meat juices but a lot more MSG to compensate for the lack of flavor. The rice is lower quality and from an old crop that has been in storage for a long time. Everywhere in Thailand now, prices are going up, while quality is going down.
I've adjusted by eating almost all meals at home. My maid does the cooking.
While most food still costs less than back home, other things are similar in price, or even more expensive. Anything imported is always more. My MacBook computer was made in China, then shipped to America, then shipped back here. The exercise equipment that I bought last year was made in Germany. The cost to ship it here was more than the purchase price of the equipment. One more example - one of the essentials of life -- a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream at a supermarket in Bangkok today: $US 11.07.
On a monthly basis, I spend about 70% of a similar standard of living back home. With the constant inflation here, that margin of savings is decreasing steadily. At this rate, in another 10 years, there will be no cost benefit to living here compared to living in the "homeland".
One man, living in Bangkok, at a middle-class level of comfort, will easily spend US$ 2,000-4,000 per month. "Entertainment" is on top of that. Living in a small cities up-country will be about half, but the level of convenience will also be far less. For example: up-country no Haagen-Dazs.
In thinking about cost of living here, there is one other important factor. To get official permission to live here, the Thai Immigration Department requires retired expats to have a minimum pension of US$ 2,000 per month. Or, as an alternative, to show a balance in a Thai bank of US$ 24,000. You don't have to spend it all, but Immigration requires every retired expat here to verify those funds every year. In the future, the required amounts are likely to increase. So, for those needing a cheap place to retire, Thailand is no longer a good fit at all.
You may have seen news reports about coups, riots, and army troops in Bangkok. Events like that happen every few years here. In the past 80 years, the country has had 18 coups. Other than the politicians, few local people take that very seriously.
The protests here are really just "street theatre" with paid actors. Each protest is carefully scheduled, and locations announced well in advance. Unless you lived in that exact location, it is certainly possible to avoid any problems. Everywhere else in the country, life goes on as normal. It's just a political show
The "protesters" are poor people who are hired and paid by various political parties: mostly rural peasants who are bused in from the country side and some lower-class housewives with time on their hands and wanting the extra spending money. Most all of them have very low education, so they don't comprehend what the protests are all about. But they do comprehend getting paid at the end of the day.
One month they'll put on yellow t-shirts, and join the protest group that wears yellow shirts. A month later, they'll change into red t-shirts, and join a different protest group. Nobody else likes the protesters, but everybody understands that poor people are desperate for any money they can earn. And protesting pays more per day than any other jobs available to the lower classes.
In most situations, Thai people are very polite. Even when they are rioting, they are still, basically polite. They won't chase after a white man who happens to wander through the area. Instead, they'll probably smile and offer a bottle of cold drinking water. (The water is provided free at every riot by companies who support the political party promoting that scheduled protest.) Yes, some people do get hurt, and a few get killed (guns, hand grenades, and small bombs are popular), but it won't happen to you or me if we simply avoid those locations.
I'm confident that this year's protests will end sometime in June. My Thai neighbours are sure of that, too. Even the protesters know that their last payday will be in June. Why is everyone so sure?
In June, the tropical rainy season begins. Protesters must return to their rural villages to begin the rice planting. They only come to protest after the year's rice harvest is finished, and there is no more work to be done in the fields.
In spite of all those disadvantages, I've decided to take my chances here. Better that, than endure the certain insanity of Cultural Marxism in the "homeland".
If you want to discuss retirement living in Thailand with me, here is my email: [email protected]
If you send email, be sure to include the word, "Thailand" in the subject line. Without that, your email will be deleted by my automatic spam filters, and I'll never see it.
Thank you for reading.
-- P.F. Bangkok May, 2014
First Comment from Dan:
The author must be having so much fun escaping Marxism in Bangkok that he hasn't heard that the Thai military junta declared martial law four days ago. Or that two days ago, they tore up the Thai Constitution, arrested political leaders and imposed " rule-by-decree". Media and internet censorship are so effective there that residents of Thailand haven't heard about it yet. The junta shut down CNN Bangkok four days ago.
Sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but according to CNN the coup has been so low key, mainly carried out in government offices with arrests of key officials, that the tourists and most of the Thai public really don't know it's happened yet.
Thailand wakes to military rule: What it means - CNN Thu May 22, 2014
Thai military tightens grip, bans more than 150 from leaving country - CNN Friday, May 23, 2014