Every day I get emails from people from around the world asking questions about life in Thailand. The vast majority of time they are about three subjects; relationships, money and visas. In the past ten days however, the questions have changed to, "What's going to happen now?" Now I know it might seem extreme, but it is illegal to talk about this in Thailand. What I have responded with to many of the people asking the question is what does it matter to you as long as Thailand is safe?
The Thai government has had problems for as long as most people have been alive. Tourists still keep coming and expats keep living here. Can Thais be difficult, rude or downright nasty? Of course. Where in the world are there no people like this though? The King's passing, although expected, was and is still hard for many Thais to fathom.
One guy wrote me and made a big deal of how Thais are to foreigners. For all the negativity talked about here, Thais can be very tolerant, forgiving and gracious hosts. If you are worried about what's going on here, it's simple...do not come. If you live here, leave. Seriously.
Another man asked me what I thought about the current situation here and then asked if it was okay for him to ask his Thai friends. If it isn't okay to ask them, why is it okay to ask me? Why does he need to know anything more than what the news is telling him? Anything else is unimportant.
"I am highly considering a move to Thailand for my retirement so I want to know!"
If you are considering making a move here and are so worried you might cancel your move, then move somewhere else and stop worrying about it! Many of my expat friends have said the very same thing. The last thing Thailand needs is more expats crying out "The sky is falling, the sky is falling."
If the sky is indeed going to drop on us, we will know soon enough. Maybe I'm just a tough guy; I do not think so. Maybe I'm an idiot; maybe sometimes, but not in this case. Be respectful and considerate here and you'll be fine. Start talking smack, even in passing, and eventually you are going to have problems.
I've been here through the 2006 and 2014 coups where soldiers walked the streets. In 2006 I walked the streets as a photographer in what was considered the most dangerous areas in Bangkok. Once I showed my press pass, the soldiers were unconcerned with me. Considering most people have no idea what they're going to eat for dinner the following day, why would anyone know what will transpire here in Thailand? You can guess, but in the end, no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
Is Thailand safe in it's current state? Big brother is everywhere. Plus, the final presidential debate. It's reality TV at it's finest.
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