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Health, Wellness, and Survival Skills living long term in Thaialnd.

As in any endeavor there is the honeymoon period. Like the kid in the toy store who can play with anything. And then after awhile boredom sets in.

In Chiang Mai during my travels at times I notice these doom and gloom characters. Some of which I detect some reason for me to keep my distance. Then there are others in which the people look like they could use some help. Also, it doesn't seem to be unusual that some of these people are not exactly looking after themselves. It's one thing not to shave for a day or two, beyond that you stop looking like a movie star.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm asking here. But I do notice that some people get themselves into a bad way, not financially but socially. Is there any advice out there to be given to Newbies on how to more enhance their Thailand experience?

One thought I have is that there can be something called too much freedom. One has so much freedom that they don't know how to manage it. There's a section of Chiang Mai called Le Kroy Road that can help with some of those people. It's the bar girl district. That's a road wise men usually avoid.

Then there are other things. How does one integrate and develop satisfaction. Some times I fail to do this but so be it. But I start my day with a hot cup of tea, hot shower and a hot shave every day. It's a very simple process but it gives me some backbone and the start of a purpose for the day. In another way it's give me a structure to start with.

Then there are those days when I might not be as chipper as I want to. I then look at my motor bike and say to myself - time to look or start a new adventure.

Perhaps the point that I am making is that it is very easy to fall backward and develop non productive and unsatisfying activities. There was a time when going to bars and meeting people seemed like fun. After awhile I found it boring. As time progressed I developed my own activities.

I'm posting this not as a downer but as a resource for newbies to refer to when they are looking for a means to got over some of those tough times. I would guess that every expat has gone through those days of self doubt or depression. What do expats do to over come that? What kind of health and wellness skills does one use?

Just a thought for the welfare of others.

Finally a topic I am actually interested in but alas I have found most men ill equipped to discuss, let alone deal with.  If you can’t quantify or measure it, if you can’t yell at it or hit it, then the solution for most seems to be drink until you stop thinking about it.  I think that is one reason I have always preferred the company of women.

Of course it is less of a problem if you are still working, unless you hate your job.  When you are young there never seem to be enough hours in the day.  Even then there might be another coup or a break between jobs or girlfriends and you might start asking those old questions about what am I doing here, a foreigner in a foreign land.  Were those who insisted that you eventually have to go home, actually right?  Fortunately for me those episodes passed quickly.  I found those times great for introspection and regaining focus, something mindless activity doesn't lend itself to.

Being married to a younger active beautiful woman, surrounded by nature, pets and hobbies makes it a lot easier but still there can be moments.  When I was single I spent a lot of time in my favorite hotel lobby, at my favorite table before going upstairs to the health club.  Hours of squash, weightlifting, sauna, Jacuzzi, and maybe a massage, left me feeling a peace with the world and ready to make my nightly rounds.

These days my thoughts focus more around the issues of getting older and eventually dying.  I debate with myself the merits of pursuing a bucket list or focusing on developing my own little self-contained Shangri-La and forsaking the outside world and all its misery.

On days like today when my wife is away in Bangkok at another seminar I grind my beans, make my espresso just the way I like it, peruse the internet  and wait for the rain to stop so I can walk the dog.

I was just reading an expat news letter. It was addressing health and wellness. It reminded me of a topic that should be put on everyone's wellness list.

What kind of network have you developed? Developing a network can provide ease and comfort, and at some point in time could mean the difference between life and death. I had the misfortune if being admitted to a hospital in August. Within three days I had people calling to find out if I was okay or if I needed any help. (That too is part of living in Thailand.)

I'm grateful that i found this website !! Also, a brilliant topic :)

I for one, question my choice of place to call home. Unfortunately, it's been Phuket Thailand for the past 3 years... Here, it's more of clique's and caste system... Never can i find nor see people genuinely assisting one another, unless there's some benefit coming along... Thailand feels like quicksand, wrong step in every corner... But i feel blessed that i managed to find a small cute house with the missus and here, we get decent honest people as neighbours...

If you are single and live alone with little social interaction then you definitely need to find someone to handle emergencies.  It also makes a big difference if one learns how to speak Thai.  If people can actually talk to you and you can relate to them directly and not through a translator, it has a tremendously humanizing effect.

When I was single I wondered how long it might take for someone to find my rotting corpse but the one time I was laid up with a broken leg I was surprised at all the people who showed up.  Thais can be amazing.

I too was hospitalized, in August. I found it amazing that people, Thai and Farang, were contacting me because I wasn't following my so called normal routine. This was after being in the hospital for three days. There was even a local shop owner who went out and bought groceries for me. She even had a cleaning lady come over and help me around the house. It's hard to express my appreciation and good feelings and Thai's and Thailand.

Yes, being single and not learning the language can certainly generate that unwanted isolation.

Perhaps it is just my perception but there seem to have been more deaths that usual this last year or so.  Everything from cancer, chronic illness, accidents and suicide as well as people dying locally or on a trip back home.

Two funeral extremes stood out to me.  One was an older gay gentleman who lived alone and ended up having one of those low-cost assembly line cremations with only a handful of us present for him but surrounded by the multitudes there for all the others scheduled for that day.

The other guy had been married for many years and was quite active at a local Buddhist temple.  Again there weren’t all that many farangs but the outpouring of respect from the Thai community was very moving.

I guess the point is, they were both very nice guys but one of them spoke Thai, got involved with community activities, had a loving longterm relationship and the other guy had none of those things.

When you are dead you’re dead and it is left to someone else to clean up the mess but whether it is done grudgingly or with love and compassion depends on how one lives their lives.  Even if your body ends up being sent back home it all goes a lot smoother is you have some Thai friends and have endeared yourself to the Thai community and not lived entirely in a farang bubble.

(Granted, a bit off the topic of living, but this is the bit that come right after.)

Greetings, I will be visiting Chiang Mai next September for 11 days and I  want to learn and experience as much as I can within that time frame because, I am considering retiring there. Of course I have a thousand questions about day to day living but also, the best places to reside.  Any insight you can share will be most appreciate. Maybe I will meet some of you all while I am there having the time of my life.
Peace
Vastina

I have a lot to say on this subject, because I live, presently 10 months a year. Right now I don't have time to fully reply. But I do have one suggestion. Look Look up CEC.com, Chiang Mai Expat Club. At the end of the month there is a general meeting. There might be in the neighborhood of 90 expats in attendance, with CEC members being houses for first timers. They also ask you if any first timers would like to introduce themselves. In additional there is a bimonthly CEC breakfast buffet. It is scheduled for the first and third Friday if the month, from 9:30 - 11:30. They too have greeters and a greeters table. The greeters table will give you a lot of first timer information. (There is one greeter, a grey haired man, with a Van Dyke mustache, and glasses, who comes on a little strong and pother things.) One cute suggestion is that you start at the greeters table and then switch over to another table of the regulars. That's one suggestion, more later.

Perhaps a question should arise. What might you be looking for relative to living in Chiang Mai?

Thanks Bill!

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