Thailand without stereotypes
I have been living for more than a year and a half (21 months, to be precise) living in Bangkok, thanks to my colleagues for the exact calculation, as well as the idea and introduction to this story :) And the story will be about how my life has changed and what I learned about the new about Thailand.
The decision to move to Thailand was not easy for me, do not get me wrong, but when you think about a career, and not about palm trees and coconuts, Thailand does not seem to be the best place for professional development. This was my number one delusion .
Thailand and Asia as a whole are a huge and very dynamic economy, a large number of IT start-ups and offices of large companies. I went to Agoda. Honestly, I did not know anything about this company before I became part of it.
Agoda, as it turned out, is a major player in the field of booking hotels in the Asian market, included in the Booking.com holding. The Bangkok office has about 2,000 employees from different parts of the world, the official language of the company is English. Very modern company in terms of work organization and technology used.
I really liked how the processes are built in the company from hiring to dismissal. Working here is very comfortable, the desire for new knowledge is encouraged, so if you want to try a new programming language or a new technology stack, you can do it during working hours and on real projects.
The company holds a lot of team building, for example, as part of one of our corporate trips, I was able to visit the island, which belongs to the military department of Thailand. The island is located near Pattaya, there is perfect cleanliness, there are no motorbikes, tuk-tuks, hotels and restaurants. Between the two beaches available for recreation, runs a special tram that takes you from one beach to another. The military work there, and their families rest.
Thailand - a third world country - my delusion number two. Most likely to blame the Russian media, which formed my misconception about Thailand and Asia as a whole. Russia, for me, seemed always greater and more powerful than it actually is, and Asia, accordingly, was seen as a place for the rest of us “rich” Russians, as well as part of the Earth, where rice and mangoes are grown. Yes, rice and mango grows here, and it is even exported in large quantities, but Russia is so great now it does not seem to me at all.
After passing Thailand from north to south, I appreciated the quality of the roads and the level of security, even in the most remote corners of Thailand. The stability of the economy and the Thai currency, which is only being strengthened in the world market. As well as young people who, after studying at foreign universities, return to work at home.
Of course, as in any state, corruption and other problems are present here, but I often see smiles on people's faces here.
Songkran, by Lumpu Kansanoh - A painting in MOCA, Bangkok, Thailand
Thais. Very peace-loving and good-natured people. At first, it is quite difficult to understand their accent, due to the large differences between our languages, but over time, your English also takes on the so-called Thai English, and the lexicon is complemented by stable expressions in Thai.
I'll tell you a couple of features about the residents of Thailand, which surprised me:
Thai wedding. For each category of guests it has its own. I managed to attend only the ceremony for colleagues. I was surprised by the showiness of the event, a small buffet table and a photo, a photo, a photo, even a cake and that one is not real, but for a photo.
Superstition. Before building a building, Thais build a house for the spirits, so much so that the shadow of the future building does not fall on it! Each taxi driver hangs a small wreath of fresh flowers on the dashboard, and various magic symbols can be drawn above the driver's seat.
Thais do not wear bikinis and do not like tan at all, so even men bathe in T-shirts. And yet, the Thais, and Asians in general, often do not know how to swim. With all the emancipation of female workers and workers of the night streets, Thais are very modest in expressing their feelings in public, although it is normal to have a toy in the form of a plush member in the workplace. Yes! In the office, every Thai has a soft toy, hugging that, everyday life doesn’t seem so gray, after a while, even I have got one and believe it is much more pleasant to work with a toy in an embrace.
Climate. It is stable here: about +30 at any time of the day and year, high humidity, sometimes rains occur: during the rainy season, respectively, more often in the winter less often - this depends on cyclones and other disasters. But the climate for me is rather a minus . Of course, at first, I was very keen on this, summer all year round, what could be better for a person born in Siberia. But over time, you begin to enjoy the night without air conditioning once a year, the cool breeze in the evening, the opportunity to throw a jacket and get some fresh air.
From the minuses of life in Bangkok - a high level of air pollution, this is generally a problem of megalopolises, and of southeast Asia as a whole. Did you know that Bangkok is 1.5 times bigger than Moscow?
As for everyday life, Bangkok is a very comfortable metropolis, there is food delivery in a couple of clicks, a cheap taxi. Entertainment, restaurants, shopping in the city for every taste and budget. In Bangkok, there is a huge market for new properties with excellent additional apartments for rent, such as a gym, parking, swimming pool, sauna, rooms for working with free WIFI, and so on. Due to the fact that new condos are growing like mushrooms after rain, there are many options, where you will be the first tenant, and the owner of the apartment pays real estate agents. The apartments here are already fully furnished. You can find an option for your liking and a wallet in a couple of days, if you enter into a one-year contract for a shorter period, the search may take longer and the rent will be more expensive. And most importantly, do not forget to bargain.
While living in Bangkok, I was addicted to a wakeboard, since here everyone is at the disposal of this for about an hour in a taxi and you are already in one of the best wakeparks in the world rankings . If you want to scream, then you can enjoy the world-famous beaches of Rayong, Hua Hin, Samet Islands, Chang Islands or nearby Larna.
Lovers of hiking and national parks here also have a place to roam: 150km from Bangkok and you are in Khao Yai , if you fly to Chiang Mai, Doyintanon , in my opinion, is obligatory to visit, note that there is the highest point in Thailand.
Bangkok Airport is another undeniable plus! Since it is a huge transportation hub, which in turn is an excellent reason to travel more often. During the time spent here, I put in the piggy bank visited the camp, about ten new copies.
How did my life change after moving to Bangkok? I can definitely say that it has become better and better! This is connected with the eternal summer and with the smiles of people around me. You should see the first guard of my condo, who greeted me every morning with a smile from one ear to the other and sang "Sawadiii kaaap" long-lastingly in my heart forever.
In Bangkok, the stress level is much lower than in Moscow! Sabay-sabay now for me is not an empty sound, but a vital credo. Why worry and chase popular ideals, because life is one. According to most of the others, I looked better here, and it was determined to smile more often - not for nothing is this “land of smiles”. Thanks to the relocation, I met a huge number of people from different countries of the world and pulled up my English consisting of a pair of stable phrases up to 5.5 points on IELTS (for me this is an achievement). Here I learned to drive a bike and avoid conflicts, here I am not judged by clothes and gender, here I learned to accept people as they are and not to make harsh judgments.
Thank you, Thailand, for this unforgettable period in my life, but it's time to move on. I am more than sure that I will come back here more than once, but still here I am only a guest, I am eternal Farang here. And yes, for farang there is a lot more expensive!