65 Reasons for Living in Thailand

I think about visiting the USA, but normally that’s as far as I get. I’d love to see my friends and family, but I’d miss the cost of living in Thailand.

Come To Thailand

Come To Thailand

My American friends have homes in town and cabins in the country with mortgages the size of the GNP of some Asian countries. For the same amount as one of my former monthly mortgage payments, I can rent a house or apartment near Chiangmai for a year, plus cover a hundred days lodging at cabins throughout Thailand and I don’t have to clean the cabins.

To obtain a Thai driver’s license, you need a medical certificate to verify that you have a heart beat, height and weight, and that you don’t have any dangerous diseases if you choose not to tell the nurse about them. Without an appointment, the entire process takes an hour with a flock of smiling, respectful nurses and one friendly
doctor the same age as the ancient ruins outside his window.

In America, you have to schedule a physical exam six months in advance, suffer an hour in the lobby while reading three-year-old beauty magazines that are a stand-off between recipes for fattening foods and articles promoting the latest dieting fads, then wait alone for an eternity in a sterile, white observation room with nothing to read except the packaging on the Q-tips, scalpels and needles you find while rummaging through the doctor’s drawers, then a prepubescent nurse leads you into the hallway to weigh you while you’re barely wearing a flowered, pastel, see-through gown enabling you to moon the rest of the staff, then sends you back to the boring room to bend over a sheet of butcher paper like a piece of meat until the doctor comes in, who snaps on the official rubber gloves, spreads your cheeks and plunges in, searching for your prostate, appendix or upper left lung, the perfect time to remark, ‘Doctor, I’d like you to use two fingers this time,” and the doc asks why, and you say, “I’d like a second opinion,” which sends him into hysterics, causing him to rip out a section of your rectum, and while he’s trying to breathe through his protective mask, you finally escape by giving the cashier a couple hundred dollars so she’ll return your clothes, and you can go home to wait a week for the test results that cost another hundred dollars, which refer you to another clinic for more tests, probably involving drinking a sinister, glowing, blue liquid excreted from a nuclear power plant, the night before a specialist, wearing thick goggles and dressed in full-body, plastic, protective gear, will shove—sans anesthesia, pain-killers or the offer of several shots of Jack Daniel’s—a long, shiny, metal Roto-rooter into your not-quite healed anus, until it touches the back of your eyeball, as you watch the entire procedure on a TV next to the torture table, while talking to your banker about getting a second mortgage on your house to pay for this latest excursion up your butt.

Would I rather have one pineapple in America or 65 goodies in Thailand?

Would I rather have one pineapple in America or 65 goodies in Thailand?

The charge here for my physical while living in Thailand was 50 baht = $1.25.* I offered to pay them double, take them out for dinner and give them all a ride on my 1100cc Kawasaki bike. If a 125cc Honda Dream can carry a family of four, I should be able to get at least thirty-two nurses on mine. One a day for a month would be ideal.

During my last trip to America, I vividly remember picking up and not buying a grocery store pineapple that cost $6.75. In Thailand, $6.75 = 270 baht buys a night’s lodging in a beautiful bungalow in the mountains of Pai (100 baht), a steaming dish of Pad Thai (10), fifty, count ‘em, fifty stems of orchids in the flower market (50), a bottle of green tea (13), a whole BBQ chicken (40), two ears of roasted corn on the cob (10), several fresh mangos (5), a cup of iced coffee (10), a stick of bamboo filled with sweet sticky rice and black beans (2), a garland of jasmine flowers (5), a baby bee omelet, yes, baby bee, not for me, maybe for a friend, anyone else but me (15), a peeled, pared and cubed pineapple (10) and a free pineapple plant in front of my mountain bungalow. In this paragraph alone, there are 65 reasons for living in Thailand.

* This article was written while living in Thailand in 2004 when the exchange rate was 40 baht to the dollar. As of 2009, it’s around 34-35, but I’ll bet the price of the pineapple has gone up…

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