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Thread: Every day i think about thailand
06-11-03, 11:18 AM #11delawang Guest
Annabee, thank you very much for this insightful post. The issue is far from solved, but we have several months to go before we have to make the decision. We have so much to think about. In our village there are many people who have gone overseas for a few years and come back. My father-in-law is one of them. He worked in Saudi for 2 years and this was in the days before cell phones so he couldn't even call.
It is a hard topic for my wife to discuss. She can talk about it for about 5 minutes then it becomes too much and she shuts down. I know she doesn’t want to be someone who leaves and never comes back. She also doesn’t want to separate the kids; we live with a cousin three years younger and the kids are like brother and sister. I am going to show my wife your post and see if we can talk about it a little more.
Atalderic, thank you as well. Your guess was very much like what Annabee remembered. As for asking our daughter, that is also a good idea. We have not discussed this with anyone other than my brother and sister in law, and they are more than willing to take care of Um. I wish we could all come to the USA, then it would be a very easy decision.
31-12-03, 04:37 AM #12sbxabyss Guest
I definitely can relate to the earlier posts about being born in Thailand, Udon, to be exact and growing up in another country (America). When we moved to Japan & then to the US, my mother did not speak Thai to me as much... she was focused on learning Englishs so I didnt retain much. I always knew I was half Thai but I related more to my African American side.
It was a wierd dichotomy for me - I didn't exactly look African American but I surely was not considered Asian by other Asians. Anyways, i grew up in in the suburbs in a mixed community but my closests friends were African Americans - get in where you fit in. That is not to say my relationships with people were limited to just "black folks". I interacted with any and everyone. The only thing I judged people by was their individual merit.
When I was younger, my mother had always asked me to go back with her but I felt i couldn't really relate beyond "the food". As I got older and moved out of the house, I was trapped in trying to achieve the trappings of the "American Dream"...focusing on career goals, life in general with Thailand being an after thought.
Every year, my mother and sometimes my father would make the sojourn to Thailand to visit family, help out with various financial matters, tamboons, and just get away from American life. Upon return, she would tell me how my family asks about me and longs to see me, how disapposinted they were that I hadn't made the trip.
Occasionally I would feel compelled to go but something would come up that would distract me and Thailand would be relegated to my inner recesses. However, this year was different. My parents bought me a round trip ticket to Thailand so I had no choice but to go. There were moments that i thought i might not go. i had set aside the vacation time but I was still leary about leaving the office for 3 weeks.
I'm forever grateful to them for reintroducing me to my Thai heritage. It an was eye opening epiphany like experience. I felt a sense of belonging although i hadn't been there in 27 years. There was this spiritual, emotional and psychological nexus to Thailand.
Upon visiting, I expected my complexion to be a lot darker than most Thais and to some degree expected to experience some racial discrimination but when i got there, i found a people to be of the same hue or darker. To my surprise, I saw people that looked like me and I felt right at home. Though, I knew very little thai, i found myself wandering the streets of Bangkok, Phukhet, Trang by myself during the day and night. Maybe this wasnt the wisest thing to do but i never felt threatened or in any sort of danger. I was able to move freely about without attracting much if any attention. However, when I spoke, it was obvious that I was a "farang" but yet the "the land of smiles" showed me so much love and embraced me as one of their own.
On that trip,we were able to visit many cities in Thailand: Bangkok, Ayuthaya, Phukhet, Trang, Udon (the place of my birth), Nong Khai, Kon Kaen and Pattaya. I was able to see and appreciate the beauty that Thailand had to offer but what struck me most was how hard life can be there for the average Thai especially in Issan.
I spent a week in Udon at my parents house. My aunt and uncle moved to Udon to watch over my parents houses and property there which actually worked out well for everyone. Their kids are able to go to decent schools and have a nice place to live with my mother's help. My mother has put a fishpond on the property that they stock annually and the family has rice that they grow to earn a living and my mother sends money back to Thailand as often as she can. She stresses to all my younger cousins, the importance of education and has promised to send them to university if they so choose to do so but she insists that they must take some initiative, be good thai kids, and resist the temptation of getting married or pregnant at a very young age and to believe that they can have a chance at a better life.
I am very proud that she does what she can for her family but furthermore it gives me great pride and joy to know my Thai heritage and family. Since that fateful trip last February, I've been back to Thailand twice this year, in the process of learning to speak Thai again (my family there only speaks thai & issan), and planning another trip to Thailand this coming February 2004. Thailand forever remains in my mind and is no longer an after thought.
I can't wait to get back and see my family. i too hope to continue on my mother's tradition in helping out her family and hope to someday move there.
07-01-04, 02:58 PM #13delawang Guest
Awesome post, sbxabyss! I know a half-Black/half-Thai woman in Colorado. She speaks Thai and English fluently and I believe she learned most of the Thai as an adult. She wants to move back to Thailand, but like most of us she can’t walk away from the opportunity to work and make money in the USA. You have seen how hard life in the NE is and know the incredible difference money can make. I am glad you appreciate your Mother’s efforts and understand the hard decisions that she and your father had to make.
About the fish pond, we have one too. They are a great idea. If you want to raise catfish, you don’t even have to stock the pond; the fish just come. You have to dig a pond on the lowest part of the farm. During the dry season the fish dig deep under ground and hibernate. When the rainy season comes, the pond fills with water and the fish come to swim. They stay as long as there is water. It is also a good idea to put another pond in the highest part of your farm to collect water for the rice. Fish will not come into this pond, but it can make a difference between a good year and a bad year. Last year was very dry. We lost 50 per cent of our crop. Some people, those who planted earlier than we did, lost even more. I think next year we will dig the second pond.
As far as learning Thai and Lao, you have a huge head start because you grew up hearing Thai sounds. Have you tried to keep up with anyone in Thailand? Are you planning on another trip back?
23-06-04, 10:43 PM #14Ajink Guest
This is quit interesting .....may be one day u could go there and live ......but r u used to Thai or it will be big hit for uagain..becasue in Thailand there r some custom and tradition to follows which r totally opposite to Farangs...:(
28-06-04, 02:39 PM #15Forum Member
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well, i'm 25% Thai but i'm born in Thailand so i kinda more than 25% thai. Well, i'm was living in states for about 13 years and my relative in Thailand say that the way i behaviour or whatever i do, i was more like an american than thai.
01-07-04, 11:01 PM #16Ajink Guest
hhahaa....Ic see certainly u have been living in USA abt 13 years.....this will change u American Life..:laugh: I am living in London only 8 months already am missing Thailand lots.....:( I am country sick:p
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