Dear Mr. Mallon,
I found your videos very informative. I actually skipped dinner as I was more hungry to learn about your experiences of living in Thailand with a Thai wife and children.
I very much like your brutally honest approach. It is refreshing to see! THANK YOU!!
I am very much considering to not only live in Thailand (Bangkok) but also to marry a Thai woman.
The reason I am considering Thailand is that I have friends who are retired living in Phuket. Both are married to Thai ladies and like you, they have two children each. They are very happy and would never leave "paradise." I love tropical settings, the sand & sun, swimming, Thai food and a woman with dark hair. Do you think I am going to the right country. :)
The doors to one Chinese hangout, which happens to be above Tesco-Lotus, are tucked away and hidden from plain view. In fact, on my subsequent return, I only managed to find the entrance after walking up and down the street and looking at each and every door. One would assume any building with a Tesco Lotus has to be easy to find, right?
Take a walk through our not-so-new townhouse we rent for 7000 baht a month. Aside from the tacky decor, the place is starting to grow on me. Hopefully we can stay here for a couple more years until our kids go to college and we decide where we want to live — NOT in Bangkok.
Anyhow, for those of you who think you have to pay 15-20,000 baht a month for an apartment, you can get much more for less. Personally, I prefer living in a home or townhouse. Apartments are great if you're single and it's what you want, but for a family, a house is a must.
As I write these words, Barbra Streisand is singing The Way We Were in my head. Memories, like the corners of my mind. Misty water-colored memories, of the way we were. My deepest apologies for the dewy-eyed prose but moving from one house to another is like buying a new dog as a replacement for the one who got hit by a car. It doesn't work. Our new house is bigger, a little younger, and has a better design. The decor, a cross between country home and some Thai style from decades past, is atrocious, but this is neither here nor there. We can fix this. I hope. But it is still someone unknown.
We've already begun moving and I'm positive we really are moving. I know this because my muscles are constantly talking to me. They're sore and they do not lie.
My wife, bless her heart, is straight-forward and all business, like a tyrannical drill sergeant.
"Put the bed upstairs, move this box into the first-floor bedroom, slide those boxes up against the wall, be careful not to break that. You can move the bed by yourself, right?"
Apparently, there is zero correlation between my throwing around boxes full of our stuff that weigh as much as she does and my profuse sweating. Tell this to my aching muscles.
When we were told six months ago we needed to move, I didn't take it well. The hospital parallel to the street we live is expanding and two blocks of houses are in the way of progress. They made our landlord an offer she couldn't refuse and just like that, we're forced to look for new digs.
"I don't want to move!" I said. Of course, this sentence excludes my expletives in which I tell the hospital how I really feel.
Call me a sentimental sap but we've been in this house for eight years and even though we rent, I like to think it's my house. Every chair is molded to the shape of my ass (or someone's ass in the family), every piece of furniture is right where I want it, all the door handles and light switches have a certain feel to them, and my bathroom, especially my toilet, is the ultimate friend and fortress against human civilization.
My office...ahhh, yes, my sweet, sweet office. My office took years to evolve into my man cave. Will I ever have another man cave? Will it take another two or three years before it's just right? My kids grew up watching movies and playing games in my office. We slept in front of the TV in my office. The wife and I used the office to argue. My office is where I scoured over photos and wrote most of my published work. It is also where I learned HBO bought my photos. Twice!
How many phone calls did I make with the same crappy little fax-printer-phone? The phone, which only worked if you sat perfectly still, was used to match make fights, negotiate deals, call magazine editors, boxers, boxing officials, friends, families, enemies, and a hodgepodge of other characters. The FAX function ceased to operate years ago — but who uses FAX machines nowadays? Slowly but surely, the phone saw less and less action and the Magic Jack and Skype became King.
Our new home has no fixed telephone line. BUT WE HAVE INTERNET!
For the past two years, the little machine that could ensconced a cheap, rickety table and made it something special. Apart from the yellowed phone, the machine was perpetually covered with a thin layer of dust. Sadly, our fax machine is now sitting outside of the house atop a pile of rubbish, ready for the next chapter in it's once purposive life. Hopefully, some passerby with a penchant for turning worn out entities into like new again will give the ole-girl a good home.
I look up at the clock to check the time but the clock is gone, packed away. I am irritated. I do not want to move. If I'm going to move, let it be on my terms. Moving a family, even blocks away, is a costly pain in the ass. We are moving. We are halfway moved in to our new home. This however, is different than moving from the United States to Thailand. Two bags have turned into six truckloads of stuff. Appliances, furniture, clothing, electronics, camera equipment. Our move is linear.
Using movers to do the grunt work helps but the bottom line is MOVING SUCKS. Perhaps if we were doing the George Jefferson (Movin' on up!), moving would be easier. Maybe.
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