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Moving To The Country..


mssabai

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So far in my life in Thailand I have had it pretty easy, managing to get jobs in touristy places that allow me to have a good balance between western and thai friends/life. But I am now taking the bull by the horns and getting me a job in proper Thailand. Mr Sabai wants to go back to school, and I'd quite like to save a bit of money.

After living in a non touristy town in Samui, I have fooled myself into thinking I am equipped to deal with the culture shock and have convinced myself that getting myself UBC will be a good enough substitute for my western life.

It's not all bad, friends are very near by and I have chosen one of the most beautiful spots in Thailand. I am really looking forward to learning more Thai, getting a life away from La La land and generally having a slower pace of life.

But for those of you who have done it - what should I expect? What am I gonna miss the most and what should I do to prepare? I have already bought myself a minute espresso machine and lots of tampax...hmmm...

ps we are starting off living with mama. Methinks that won't last too long tho :o

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You don't say where you are moving to mssabai?

TBH I would be hard pressed to live with my mil, I lived in hubbies home town for a few months before we moved to UK & I lasted 5 days before I needed my own house. Nice as she is & no matter how great she thinks I am (and she does :o ) I can't get used to living with other people so my advice is to think long & hard about that & make sure there is the option to renting your own place. You only need to read any of ruefang posts about her mil from hel_l to know what a bad idea it can be :D

I lived for years in samui, first in Lamai & then in Hua Thanon & I learned more about Thai people, Thai culture & Thai language in those 4 months that I had in 7 years on Samui. It's a steep learning curve but a positive experience that allowed me to become incredibly close to my husbands family & best friends.

Best of luck with it.

Will you be able to find work?

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No the mil's is just a stop gap until we find somewhere - my bf is already ready to leave after a few months there while I am in the UK! She is a mad PAD supporter and likes the radio on 24 hours a day! She is lovely but I moved out of home when I was 17 so am not prepared to do the opposite 10 years later...

My year in Samui was fairly cultured - as I was teaching at a Thai school in Nathon - but it was still of course still Samui. My couple of years in Phangan were not!! But fun all the same. But I am definitely feeling a need to have more of a real life rather than continue living in the weird bubble that you end up in tourist areas (western friends, food and drink etc). I have visited a lot so it isn't all completely new territory. And his family are very good at letting me have my own space and don't drag the neighbours round to have a gawp...which is nice.

I have a job in Trang already - hence why we are moving there...I love the town... but I am worried about not having enough western girl friends around me. I know that sounds really shallow but I guess I have been spoilt!

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ooh, Trang, it looks lovely. One of the women lives there, meme perhaps? Or was it Rue Fang that lived in Trang? hmmm...

Anyway, sounds like Koh P when I moved here but Koh P was even more primitive. No phones, no electricity during the day (on from 6pm to 6 am), no hospital, no bank, dirt roads. Everyone thinks "ooh paradise" but it was tough adjusting. But, adjust you do. I have to say it took me at least a few years to get used to it, and to being the only farang at most local social occasions. Interestingly enough, I am still the only farang at local social occasions but everyone is used to me now and I no longer stand out like a sore thumb. Or perhaps I do, but I don't feel like a sore thumb anymore. :D

I still don't have tv (UBC is crap) but am addicted to the internet and my computer (nobody is surprised there, i guess :D ) and could never have lived with my MIL longer than it took to build our house. :o

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meme was /is in Trang (but is moving or has just moved to canada) & ruefang is now in Australia but it might be worth pming meme for some tips as I think she was linked to a local network of women (if there are any) in that area

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Well hello :D

Yes I have to say I love Trang to pieces and having a partner from here has made life a lot easier (although I did move here solo). As you know madam sabai food is the best, living is cheap, people are nice and surroundings are beeeutiful. I have been here for 5 years now with a little korean break in the middle. I honestly could not imagine living anywhere else in Thailand. I love not living on the tourist path but being close enough that I can get my fix when I need it. HOWEVER the hardest part is the lack of females. It has improved since I first moved here but females that live in Trang are scarse. There were about 3 of us this year that would get together and there were a couple others who I had not met but heard of as if they were mythical creatures :o. However all 3 of us will be leaving :D. I think you will definitively miss your island girls and you will not find replacements for them in Trang that is for sure, but you will be very close to them. Also you can have them come stay with you once you have a place.

My advice is take your weeks as time to relax, eat well, veg out and your weekends hop on over to Lanta, Koh Mook or krabi town/Ao Nang and do what needs to be done there. Or on long wkds and holidays you can get anywhere in the South really. However if you do want to save money then you would have to stay put some weekends. I am a creature of routine so I find I just fell into the life here and then every time that party hardy urge kicks in then it can be met easily just a bus ride away. Koh Mook is only 1.5 hours away. It's hard living here without females, it is, but I also think it has made me that much closer with my hubby cause we do hang out a lot and best of all its all island drama free!! There are also a couple of cool lads who are here that you will meet, they are better than nothing I suppose :D And you never know, more ladies may find jobs at the other schools.

Also just FYI,Trang has a cable package for half of UBC cost, it has a movie channel, BBC and a couple other English channels. I have found having internet at home has saved me and makes a world of difference.

As Boo said it is a steep learning curve but well worth it.

You will know when you are a true Trang girl when you look forward to your trips to TESCO and your heart beats faster as soon as you walk in the door....sad but true.

I am leaving but only cause hubber and I have to make a go at Canada for a while but I will miss Trang to death and we will be back to live one day....great now Im all sad :D

Edited by meme
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Thanks Meme,

I think I am really gonna enjoy Trang...but after four months away I am having the five month's glitch. Been aching to be back, but now it's so soon away I am starting to realise what I am gonna miss...not just on the islands but back at home too. Been having great times with my 94 year old Nana, and I guess kind of resenting that I am leaving it to go and spend time with his!

But I know that Thailand is where my heart is and where my life is - And I am really nervous at the moment, but once I am back it is gonna feel great...just eek!

What else do I need to bring with me? I am now thinking maybe 5 litres in red wine...and phone credit...

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The Meeting Point in Thanon Sathanee seems a cool place to meet tourists - you could earn a bit of a name for yourself (even start a small business) as a friendly, local Farang who can show tourists where to go if they only have one night in Trang en route to the islands. That happened to me on a fairly remote island and it filled a lot of gaps when I was lonely for Western company :o

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Our local Tesco and Mackro have a lovely wine collection :D

Proper coffee shops are the new fad here! Trang is so trendy :o

I think the things needed to survive are internet, TV seasons on dvd (can rent movies) and

a kitchen.

Leaving family is so hard. While saying good-bye to my mom at the airport, on my last trip back from Christmas in Canada my mom, who is so supportive of me, loves my hubby, loves Thailand etc. said to me, "I'm getting to old for this." I have made my friends and family say bye to me so much I can't believe they still get so emotional. You would think we would all be used to it by now. Anyway when she said that it crushed me. I have constant guilt about not living in Canada, most of which is self afflicted. However to not live in Thailand and live in Canada also makes me feel horrible for leaving my family here and that hubber must now leave his home. It is a rough situation. The good news for you is that you are only committed to 10 months here, that isnt even a year, so if it is not for you then you will figure that out and you will move on to whatever is next.

I am off to Pattaya for the next 2 months for work and all I am going to be doing is wishing I was in Trang!! :D

Edited by meme
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meme why on earth are you working in Pattaya dear ?

I shouldnt say I am in Pattaya, I'm about 20 min outside. I was offered a job I could not refuse...It's a whole other world up here! :o

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meme why on earth are you working in Pattaya dear ?

Some questions are better left unasked :o

He he...Soooo definitely starting to get excited again about going back. Just find it very hard predicting my feelings at the moment (which is not like me). Thought with a month to go I would be wetting myself with excitement but I am waaaay more apprehensive than I envisaged. At the same time though I really dreaded coming back to the UK, but once I had found a job, it was much easier than I thought.

Leaving Mr Sabai has followed the same sort of pattern...when I was first back we got along like a house on fire and were seriously soppy on the phone...but now we are managing to annoy each other (me cos he moans about being bored constantly...him because I am working two jobs and am therefore completely unsympathetic). But I am still pretty impressed with how we have dealt with the split that I knew would make or break us...just hope picking up where we left off isn't too hard when I get back.

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  • 7 months later...

Yes, I also wonder how you are doing!

I took the bull by the horns and went to Mr Redfish village in Pattani province for Hari Raya for 5 nights. The villages we were in were easily the nicest parts of the area, and his family lovely, though huge! (I no longer think he is a bit crap for forgetting names and how many of them there are) Have been back for another 2 nights and am currently in Bangkok with Mr Redfish and his young nephew who we took to hospital so will go back again in a few days. His parents want me to stay forever, they are fabulous.

Quite an experience seeing your man through the eyes of his family and home town!

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:) redfish, my husband has 41 first cousins alone. I made a little family tree to keep track of all the aunts, uncles, cousins and the children of the cousins. As for the rest of the massive extended family, I'd say I know a good few of the second and third cousins, as well as a fair number of his parents cousins as well :D
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redfish - are you in the town or smaller village of the province?

do you speak the language?

can be hard, but seems you are doing very well :)

mssabai - yes would love to hear how you have adapted

and always wondered what happened to Meme after her wedding excitement :D

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sbk, how did u manage to do a family tree? i tried this past april. u know, israelis are really big about family roots and family ties so family trees are doen by kids and by families for birthdays, weddings etc.

so i tried by asking anon but got zilch. then i tried askig his mother. she was sort of taken back by the questions but it was illuminating as i think this was the first time the grandkids heard any family history at all. thais dont seem to discuss family history as such...

so i started by asking about her sisters/brothers. she couldnt remember some since many had died at early ages, and also, thought it was totally not important to remember the dead relatives. to me with our israeli 'death worship culture' where 'REMEMBERING' is very very important (holocaust day , vererans day, memorial day, blalbalba) i found this wierd, but kind of refreshing, but i digress...

when that tactic didnt work, i asked how her births were (at home? etc etc): it turns out that she had had many more kids then there are now: 2 died at toddler age, anon had a male twin!! that died soon after birth, plus a few miscarriages and she counted them ALL as poeple so she told the kids that if all the babies had been alive now, the whole room would be full of people.

but when i tried to draw up a real family tree, who married who, etc. it was a no go once again. i know half the village is one family (what we here call a hamula i.e. clan) but still dont know who is related and how. it also turns out that anon's father doesnt speak to almost any of his pi/nong as they fought over land rights, but he does talk to the children of his pi/nong. plus one uncle is a katoey living with a husband (katoey not draggy queen style but i guess old fashioned village style). and an other is gay (we met, but no one clued me in on anything personal about anyone in the way of : this is aunti lek who has 15 children, or this is uncle noi who does wood carving, like we would do here).

so i am going to try to do a family tree once again but anon doesnt even know birthdates of parents, nor full names of people. i cant figure out if its thai, bannork issaan thai, if its a buddhist thing (life is impermanent, death is inevitable, the past is not important) or just anon's family .

slightly off subject but it piqued my curiousity, and its getting dark very early here now so more time to spend indoors doing stuff.

bina

israel

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No birthdates, my MIL doesn't even know her own birthdate! Just a tree listing all immediate relatives. I left it at that as the parents cousins (while considered close) would be too many and would not have fitted on the page. Asked my husband, he is close to his entire family so pretty much knew the score. No feuds, thank goodness, but one uncle with 11 kids so we had to ask one of the kids in that family to list all the children as he couldn't remember all their names :)

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Aw thanks for thinking about me gals!

Well I would have to say that I have definitely made the right decision moving here. The job is an absolute godsend (thanks Meme!) my agent and my boss are fantastic, the kids are great (neither spoilt nor rebellious) and the hours and holidays are ridiculously good. If anything I feel like I am too lazy, and I am trying to do some side projects to keep my brain active.

Trang is a great place to live and I honestly don't know why it hasn't been discovered by more people. It has some interesting places to see like a great Chinese temple with views over the whole area and some lovely parks. The food is crazy good and they are always opening new funky coffee shops and bars. It actually some times feels quite hi-so - there is quite a lot of money in Trang, and many families send their children to BKK to study so during holidays the town is filled with trendy Bangkokites. The countryside around is amazing too with loads of waterfalls and mountains. But I think the best thing about it, after living on islands for two years, is that I can fly to BKK for about 1500 baht from the airport 10 mins from my house. I feel a lot freer to travel around rather than relying on a 5 hour trip to Surat Thani before I could go anywhere.

In terms of me and Mr Sabai, it has been the best thing we could have done for our relationship. There are exceptions, but I think in general island life is not conducive to a great relationship - especially if you do not have a business to immerse yourselves in. Most importantly my work had dried up, but also the booze, late nights and nubile Swedish girls in bikinis I don't think are great for many relationships. When we go back Mr Sabai's eyes are on stalks de to all the exposed flesh...but then again so are mine...he he!!! It wasn't so great at first though, he found it hard to find work at and got quite depressed, that was hard as I felt it was unfair of him to be unhappy when I was having to work to support us. But he has found work now that he really enjoys and is back to his normal self.

And actually adapting to life with his family has been far easier than I could have imagined. We are lucky in that he has a nice, fairly big house so it is quite pleasurable living there. But also the family are great. Before I always found his mum a little overbearing, and to be honest I wasn't that keen on her. But now I am living there I have started to understand her a lot more, and realise that she is a lot softer than her manner suggests. We are also living with Mr Sabai's teenage daughter and step daughter (he was a step dad at 15!!!) who are both amazing girls in their own right... very different. The eldest is such polite, responsible girl and the youngest is just bonkers and my personal favourite. Obviously my Thai is coming on leaps and bounds (though I am definitely picking up more southern thai than Bangkok Thai...."gin khao leao mai?" "mai ti"....etc etc).

But there are some negatives, which were basically exactly what Meme warned me about. The biggest is not having girl friends around. I work with some lovely guys who are English too and similar ages. I am lucky with that because most of the teachers in Trang are a bit older. But there is definitely a lack of girls. I do know of a couple of others, but haven't met up with them. I still have my island girls so my phone bills are big. I do sometimes feel a pang to be back there for that reason, but at the same time there were many times when I felt lonely on the islands...like when people went home. Often I felt like my friends there were on completely different time scales to me too as I was the only on getting up for work in the morning whilst they were either partying or working in the evenings. I think I tend to idealise my life there and when I go back I feel relieved I am not there any more, but I do really enjoy seeing my friends.

And the only other downside really is the lack of many farang foods. We can get some things, but the selection isn't great. But I can always stock up on my trips to Bangkok or Krabi, and without the temptation, I can save more money.

So overall life is good. Discovering mininova has been a high point so I am now addicted to loads of TV series. And I look forward to my Bangkok Post fix every sunday and parcels from home. If I didn't have the internet I think life would be a whole lot harder! Generally feel like I have got a much better balance in my life here. I have a good job with low hours, I tend to exercise 4 times a week, eat out a lot with the boyf, and usually go on one night out with the other teachers a week. I miss my family as ever, but I also understand now that the quality of life I have here is just not possible for me in the UK at the moment. Even when I was back for 5 months last year, I saw so little of my friends, I realised that I totally idealise life there too.

Saying all that, although I find life with the family fine, Mr Sabai is finding it a little unbearable now! I guess exactly how I would feel if I moved back with my mum at 28! We are looking for a place of our own now, which will always be open to family (especially the girls) but that we can start making our own. Very exciting.

As a side note - I have 45 first cousins sbk (just on one side as well) so maybe this is why I find Thai family life very easy to adapt to!!

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Sorry about the length...

no need to be at all

I enjoyed reading every word of that post :)

just not eloquent enough to address every part of it the way Eek tends to :D

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