Thursday, February 28, 2008


I've received a heap of different responses since announcing that I'll be heading over to live in Bangkok.

My parents, whilst seemingly a little reserved that another one of their children is venturing overseas, know and support how excited I am about finally being able to do something I've wanted to do since I left school. My sister Cass has been one of the most supportive people, recognising the sea of opportunity waiting for Clare and I when we touch down. And my other sister Amelia, well, I don't think it's so much Bangkok, more the movement. Judging by our final farewell the other morning before she flew back to Sydney, we'll miss each other's company like two peas being pulled from their pod.

My mates have all been really supportive too. Most showed some surprise at Bangkok being the city of choice, as opposed to London or Edinburgh. "Random", many have said...but all in all they know that Clare and I will have an absolute rip roaring time together.

Work was also a little surprised, with some superiors questioning Bangkok as a career destination, but understanding my adjacent personal motives.

There has also been the odd negative reaction as well. Whist at a recent family birthday celebration, a cousin of mine was incredulous as to why I would ever want to go and live in a city where the traffic, heat, taxi drivers, smells and food were beyond recognition. Needless to say, the poor bloke only spent four days in Bangkok...all of which being dragged from shopping mall to market to shopping mall by his wife in search of gifts for the kids and crew back home!!

After four days of continuous shopping anywhere in the world, I'd probably want to extricate my eyeballs with a credit card as well!! Maybe he'll come back and visit me one day for some $1 beers...

And I also went into a local sports store the other day looking for a mouthguard and a new set of studs for my footy boots (I'll be resurrecting my rugby career!!). The bloke at the store asked who I was playing for; I mentioned that I'll be heading over to Bangkok to play for a local rugby club. His response?

"You'll be able to smash a few of those slap-heads, eh?"


And one older guy also asked me the other day, "Do they had tar roads over there yet?". What the!!

Now those reactions are right at the other end of the spectrum. But it does demonstrate a small vein of ignorance that I've noticed in some people toward our northern neighbours. I wonder if Thai people with hold similar misconceptions about Australians?

Can the different reactions be segmented along generational, experiential or simply personal lines? I'm not too sure. Probably a bit of it all.

Either way, I can't wait to find out for myself.