A Retiring Attitude: you’re not a newbie anymore when …

 |  September 30, 2009

When we first come to Thailand we go through a phase when everything is new, confusing, and strange. All Newbie Expats go through this stage. Eventually we become more comfortable in our new home. The check list below might help you identify if you have made the transition from a ‘Newbie Expat’ to an ‘Old Asia Hand’ yet. Send me your ideas and we can add to this list.

You know you aren’t a Newbie Expat anymore:

• When house lizards don’t freak you out.
• When you don’t get angry in traffic.
• When you have stopped waiing the waitress, the market lady, and little children.
• When you aren’t in a panic when immigration day comes around.
• When you have stopped believing those young girls when they tell you how handsome you are.
• When you stop using your ATM card from the bank back home and now draw on a Thai bank account.
• When you stop wearing shoes with socks and start going sockless and wearing sandals instead.
• When you don’t kill every snake you see.
• When you answer the telephone with ‘Sawasdee krup/ka’ instead of “Hello”.
• When you go for a month without checking to see how your favourite sports team from back home is doing.
• When bugs stop bothering you.
• When you eat rice with a spoon instead of a fork.
• When you eat sticky rice with your fingers.
• When you start speaking Thai to your maid (gardener, taxi driver, caddie, girlfriend, etc.) instead of speaking to them in pidgin or broken English.
• When you can sleep without air conditioning.
• When Thai music on the radio starts sounding good.
• When you can do nothing on a hot season afternoon without feeling guilty.
• When you stop telling the waitress ‘mai phet’ (not hot) when ordering Thai food.

And most of all, you know you are not a Newbie Expat when you look forward to the stinky durian season and can eat one without crinkling up your nose and gagging at the smell.

Hugh’s advice for the month:
When you have someone doing construction, gardening, or other work at your house, occasionally bring them out some cold water or drinks, some fruit, and maybe some Thai sweets. If you like the job they are doing let them know. You’ll be surprised at the hard work they will put in and all the little extras they will do for you if they are treated well and with respect.
For further information about retiring to Thailand check out Hugh’s site