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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, heres the deal. I have a Thai girlfriend on shes on a student Visa. I'm thinking of moving to Bangkok very soon. Currently, I work for a US company and make about 80,000 (American) a year. I don't have a huge amount of savings and I don't have a job lined up in Bangkok. What are the rules if your dating a thai girl and she's not an amercan citizen and I want to move there? How do I get a job? Can I get a job? I'm really starting to look into this very deeply. She can't stay here much longer and I don't want her to leave. However, we're not ready to get married yet...Well she is, but I'm not. Typical american. Also, one general question. I understand most Thai don't show much emotion on their face, often times when I'm speaking to my girlfriend when I ask her a question she won't respond, she claims she understands what I'm saying, but says in Thailand most people don't have to respond all the time if the agree, etc. Like in america, we say "Okay", "Yes" and make eye contact, etc. Is this normal, or does she not understand me and is too embarressed to tell me??

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Subtle Expressions

Like many Asian countries, Thailand places considerable emphasis on politeness, particularly for women. Also Thai is a tonal language and a slight variation in tone can completely change the meaning of words. Whereas Americans use tone to indicate emotion, Thais cannot change inflection without changing meaning.

I’m working on a series of Thai language self-study DVDs with lessons built around short comedy sketches. To aid comprehension, I asked the actors to over-act, to use more expansive gestures, exaggerated expressions and more vocal stress to help clarify the meaning to students. I cannot claim to have been overwhelmingly successful. Despite constant exhortations, the performances were very subdued by American standards.

I tried to use pocket translators to communicate with a Thai girl I met in Phuket. I once tried to tell her she was spoiled in the sense of pampered, or over-indulged. I think the little electronic marvel gave me the word for putrid or rancid. Her feelings were hurt, but she did not display her displeasure and it took a while for me to fathom what was troubling her and to straighten it out.

The question of working in Thailand is addressed thoroughly by more knowledgeable persons than I on this forum and elsewhere on the Internet. It would probably be easier for your girlfriend to get a work permit in the States than for you to get a permit in Thailand. In terms of regular salaried employment, you’re largely limited to teaching English. The wages aren’t very good. Jobs at THB 30,000/month (about $900) are typical. It’s possible to earn about twice that if you can find a better paying job and supplement your work with private lessons. Wages are significantly higher in Bangkok than in the provinces, although Chiang Mai is considered by some to be comparable to Bangkok. You can live quite comfortably in Thailand at THB 50,000/month, but probably not as comfortably as you can live in Chicago at $80,000. You might check out Cost of Living | Help & Guides | Ajarn.com for some case studies.

Actually, another possibility that isn’t discussed much is to get a job with the State Department or a multinational company with offices in Thailand. But this generally requires fluency in Thai and you would be competing with Thai-Americans who know the language and culture.

As you probably know, Thais are expected to support their parents, so that would be an additional expense.

If you’re pulling down eighty large and dating a college student, I’m guessing you’re probably in your thirties and have a professional career, possibly as an engineer or a lawyer. I could be wrong. You could be a salesman or manage properties you inherited. But I’m guessing you put in a lot of training and you job means more to you than a paycheck. Again, I’m not the authority, but odds are the work you do won’t be available to you in Thailand, unless you happen to be an English teacher or successfully self-employed in a field where you work autonomously, possibly as an author or computer programmer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. They don't make it easy. Also, my girlfriend and I are the same age...so I'm not some creepy old guy as originally thought. :) :). Just a successful business person.
 

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Off on a tangent

I did not say anything to suggest I thought you were creepy or decrepit.

I think it’s great when two people manage to find their soul mates, irrespective of their absolute or relative ages. Different people look for different things in a partner. Some find comfort in commonality – same age, ethnic background, religious beliefs, etc. Others are attracted to their complements, if not their opposites.

The notion of age-appropriate relationships is a shallow fallacy perpetrated by jealousy. Women who, particularly after childbirth, let themselves go to pot and become centered on childrearing to the point of neglecting their husbands feel threatened by perceived or imagined competition from younger girls. Men trapped in loveless marriages are jealous of the attention that young ladies, who won’t even give them the time of day, dote on their more successful peers. These jealousies are less extreme, but not unlike the prejudices that led to the lynching of Emmett Till.

What hypocrisy! That old guy shouldn’t be dating that young, beautiful, sexy girl! He should be dating somebody old and decrepit like himself. Why is it okay for him to date an old person, but it’s not okay for her? Why must we judge all relationships on some shallow notion of beauty? What about other “imperfect” partners? Is it okay to date blind people and amputees? What if you’re in love with an able-bodied person who becomes disabled?

A few romances/marriages are made in heaven. The rest are built on skilful compromise and often a self-test that turned blue.

Even “perfection” is no guarantee of longevity in a relationship. Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio. Lee Majors & Farrah Fawcett. Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston. On the other hand, some of the celebrity sex scandals mystify me. Hugh Grant, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Ted Danson. I don’t see the attraction. There are limits to my appreciation of femininity.

But I’m a shallow guy who places a high premium on beauty. I’ll favor the illusion of love with a ten over true love with a three any day. But I also believe a successful lie has an element of truth. One cannot maintain the illusion of love without some genuine affection. And how critical is true love? I’m not looking for somebody to donate a kidney or take an assassin’s bullet for me. I want my romances to play out on late-night Showtime, not afternoon Lifetime.

On the other hand, I draw the fantasy line at emotions. Femininity must be real. I like natural beauty and don’t particularly care for colored hair, augmentations, acrylic fingernails, tattoos, body piercing, extensions, tinted contact lenses or affected urban vernacular. For that matter, I’m not crazy about make-up or foundation garments.
 

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Hi citizenkang,

A bit difficult to say "how" or "if" you can get a job in Thailand without knowing what you are currently doing (education, skills, experience...) and what you intend to do here. There are always opportunities, of course.

Similar situation with your girlfriend: one cannot judge her reactions if he does not know her, at least her background.
My personal experience however is, that if Thais do not reply to a direct question, it is usually an indication that something is "wrong", and insisting on getting an answer might make things worse. You may have to find a more subtle way of finding out what is going on then.
 
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