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Home in the USA

Discussion in 'Travel' started by theanimaster, 3 Nov 2016.

  1. theanimaster

    theanimaster Thread Starter Windoze Basher

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    So my last update was sometime in April 2014 I believe. How time flies. Well, I'm happy to announce that I am now re-united with my wife and two sons, here in sunny Jacksonville Florida :)

    The journey back 'home' began on the 11th of April 2013 when I decided that I would not go forward with Thai residency status, thus ending almost-decade-long stay in Thailand. I literally just had a few more months to go before I qualified for permanent residency status in Thailand. I had grown tired and weary of almost ten years on the job, with no car of my own, no house of my own, but all the support of my Thai family. 10 years of that.

    My thinking was that, in America -- despite having only lived there for a year (when my US parent 'kidnapped' me and my siblings) where I was a citizen-by-birth -- would "enable" me.

    And enable me it did.

    It wasn't that I was given freebies or living off government assistance -- heck. I had zero of that (not because I didn't have access to it, I just didn't know where to go for it). I left with literally $1000 in my pocket -- which was pretty much all the savings I had from a decade of work in Thailand (keeping in mind the 2 kids and wife) and went about starting a new career from there. By the grace of my youngest sibling (who was raised in the States), I was able to get a foot in the door with my first job in the USA -- as an insurance service rep. I had ZERO experience with customer service and was genuinely surprised they would even think of hiring me at all -- well, maybe a bachelors degree from Australia and a post grad certificate from the UK helped establish that I was someone they could at _least_ trust.

    In any case, I was given a job, and easily passed the government exam for obtaining an Property & Casualty license (required for every insurance agent working in the US).

    Boy, the "review classes" here are about as much of a sham as they are in Thailand. Take note of that.

    In time I was butting heads at work and learning that, in America, people are not as free to voice their opinions as people overseas all think we are. Oh yeah. Things I could have gotten away saying back in Thailand? I'd pay dearly for over here. It wasn't immediately _apparent_ -- and that's the thing.

    Still, I learned to keep my thoughts to myself, and well, when in Rome... I learned, albeit grudgingly, to become a 'Company guy'.

    A year in the States and I had an insurance score higher than 60% of other Americans. It helps to have ZERO debt from student loans etc. etc. (that's part of The System, by the way). Half a year more and I got my own car (and now anchored down by monthly payments). Another half year goes and my visa paperwork for my family is coming together, and I decide to move from Virginia to Florida. I prefer the 'simple people' of the South to the politically-correct, 'complicated' Northerners. Also with the cheaper housing and climate that matched what my family would be more accustomed too -- it was an easy choice. Almost a year later the visa paperwork is approved and I'm finally reunited with my family. Three long years.

    Then we get a house.

    And another car.

    My wife of course, made it all happen. She put forward a considerable investment in the house (and second car). If there were a truly balanced union between husband and wife -- this was it.

    In Thailand I wasn't making quite enough to support everyone (despite having our own place to stay and all), here at home I am. It's good to finally be the main bread earner!

    Still, I can't help but concede that life here isn't perfect. We still have struggles. There are still ladders to climb, and report cards to be framed. At the end of it all, at least I know that in Thailand I have a solid place to return to, when the kids have carved out their own careers and it's time for the old bones to retire.

    Well, that's my update for now. I'll poke my head in here from time to time as I still have grand schemes and wanna-be projects that I'd love to start, and Thailand is a good staging point for all that.
     
    professeur, Stamp and sirchai like this.
  2. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    It is an interesting observation. In general, it is true.

    But America is so diverse that life is going to be different depending on where you are. The gorilla in the room is racial tension and violence: that is the main topic on most people's minds--and also the topic you cannot bring up at work or in front of anyone except your close friends.

    America is changing fast, Thailand is changing too, that is not going to stop. At least I got to see the traditional Thai ways a little, Chiang Mai in 1997, Udon Thani, Phitsanulok. And I got to live in the US when it was still honorable and wise: all those WW II veterans who were still alive, leaders like Jimmy Carter, fundamentally honest and decent; Admiral Fallon, a real leader, people like that.

    Not being able to voice your opinion sounds more like North Korea, and I wonder. I honestly wonder when the whole facade will come crashing down.
     
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  3. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for your post. It's nice to see foreign teachers in Thailand going home and succeed it what they were looking for.

    I recall you always had great teaching jobs in Thailand and even hold a Grad. Dip. In Ed. Is that correct?
     
  4. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    so you are saying that as a foreigner in Thailand you have never faced racial inequality?
     
  5. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if that's a fair one.

    It was about the States and we all know that we're only guests here in Lieland who never receive the green card many of us really deserve.

    No intention to start a war.
     
  6. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    Thank you theanimaster for an inspiring post its good to hear now and again a successful return to birth country
     
  7. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    Never.

    There is racism everywhere, and there are racists everywhere. But in some places it is systemic, deep, and horrible. If you would like to what real racism and violence are like, then go to Cleveland, Ohio. I can only imagine what some of the schools are like.

    I know all about gunfights. The worst one I ever heard about was in Cleveland. Two cops started a gun battle with two completely innocent people--who were unarmed-- as the unlucky citizens sat in a car. OVER 150 SHOTS later, involving more than a dozen police, the innocent people in the car, who happened to be black, died.
    It is pure racism, and don't let anyone lie to you.

    30% of black kids in some areas of Cleveland do not graduate from high school. Well, good luck with that. I'll stay in Asia. Blacks and whites generally despise each other, the city is like a checkerboard, and it is a sad situation. And all those kids who have no future, who will not finish school, do you think anyone really cares? Do you think Obama cares? I can tell you that he did not do a thing, but his golf game improved!

    It is a divided country, and it is shameful.
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2016
  8. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    Respectfully, my comments were not about the troubles in the US which I know only what I read in the media. Not being from the States I have no basis to comment nor was my original post about the US. Racism, as disgusting as it is, takes many faces and many degrees, as you say.

    Being treated differently in Thailand is part and parcel of living here. Some accept it while others can not. To reiterate, I am not comparing the degrees of racism, only that in Thailand there is racism.

    It would appear you have been fortunate in escaping differential treatment based on your nationality in Thailand. I, unlike you have experienced it and continue to experience it each and everyday. The dual pricing policy for foreigners is a blatant example of government sanctioned racism, to give you one example. Preferential prices offered to Thais in shops is another. Having to report every 90 days is akin to racism and please don't get me started on the yearly visa process which I, as others, have to endure each and every year. In my own case despite having lived here for 16 years having a family, operating a not so insignificant tax paying business and contributing to the education of the next generation of Thais all mean nothing. I have very little chance of becoming a Thai citizen even if I wanted to be.

    There are those who would say "So why stay". That is a separate issue, since we are talking about the existence or otherwise of racism, not the level of my own tolerance of it.

    It would be naive to consider the apparent trivialities above with the example of shootings in the US. To reiterate, I am not doing so. Having made that clear, racism is alive and well in Thailand, don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Some suggest that it not racism just Nationalism, a pride in the country, its heritage, traditions and 'specialness'. Nationalism and racism, I would suggest, are on the same continum and the borders of each are at times blurred. Left unchecked, racism grows and as history has shown in other countries it is fanned by the needs of a governing elite.

    Since this is now a total thread hijack an apology to the op is deserved and made.
     
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  9. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! What the duck ! Staff Member

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    Well done on your move back, thanks for your personal story, and home is where you make it eh. Just to add, nowhere is perfect and we all struggle a little or a lot, that's just life eh.

    Good post BF and the above is a good conclusion. If you wish to read further, find some 'Western Universities' e.g Cambridge,Harvard, SOAS, Hull, Leeds and look up the topic of 'institutionalised racism' concerning LOS.

    You may surprise yourself, do some homework on this ... where there's a will there's a way.
     
  10. theanimaster

    theanimaster Thread Starter Windoze Basher

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    Well, I only taught in and stuck with one school :P And yes I did eventually finish my PGCE -- but that was completed after I had already left.
     
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  11. theanimaster

    theanimaster Thread Starter Windoze Basher

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    I've faced racial inequality on both sides of the fence in Thailand, and sometimes even benefitted from it. The biggest one of course, is earning more than the average Thai teacher. Other times I've had the option of getting by with lower visa fees by using my Philippine passport than I would have if I had used my US Passport.
     
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  12. theanimaster

    theanimaster Thread Starter Windoze Basher

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    Tell me about it. My Thai wife got her US greencard in a year with the only condition being she can't stay more than a year outside the US (unless she gets permission to). I'm pretty sure she can take a test in another 5 years to get full US citizenship. My kids got automatic US citizenship when they stepped off the plane (they didn't by birth because of my domicile status). In contrast, if I went along with the 10 years just to get Thai permanent residency I'd still be treated like a criminal having to face the required 90-day reporting to immigrations.

    Imagine the uproar if the US imposed similar sanctions against foreigners.
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2016
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  13. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot for the post. Yep, it's quite annoying how many migrants, even some guys from Maroc made it to Germany and received Asylum and the German passport soon in their hands.

    I'm living here for almost 15 years, work in my 12th year and got the feeling that the same procedure every year without even offering a two, or five years visa, is quite annoying.

    I've read the Thai SS act where I also pay in for many years. Only a short example of how we're treated here.

    I can't take my Thai wife and /or son into the SS insurance, while a Thai teacher who marries a farang will automatically cover the foreigner as well.

    Fourth Class Citizen in a Third World Country? You can't make it more obvious that they only want our best. And that's our cash.
     
  14. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    If we get upset every time we run into a knucklehead, it is going to be a tough life. That is a paraphrase of Ajahn Chah.

    Grasp onto the positive, work hard, make more money, take care of yourself, and everything else will fall into place.
     
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  15. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, that is why I made the distinction between the existence of racism and ones ability to tolerate it.
     

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