From Buying A House With Your Thai Girlfriend To Drinking Alone In Bangkok

Happy Sunday, Bangkok!

Another busy week in old Thailand, what with the news that the government has started to offer ‘marriage training’ courses to Thai women marrying foreigners, the story of the man walking 1500 km across the country to spread his dead wife’s ashes, and this mother of all leaks on the BTS:

Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

News

Drunk American arrested after stabbing wife in front of child

Unsettling news this week from Pattaya when 49-year old Nicholas Dana Hillman was arrested after allegedly stabbing his Thai wife in front of her 7-year old son.

His wife managed to escape the attack with her son, running downstairs to alert the security guard of the apartment complex where they were staying, despite bleeding from the head and chest.

Alcohol, knives and crystal meth were found at the scene.

Motorcy drivers demand Grab start playing by the rules

In the latest episode of Grabtaxi vs everyone in Bangkok, hundreds of motorcycle taxi drivers descended on the company’s Thailand headquarters in order to demand it start operating in accordance with the law.

The issue appears to be that the motorcy drivers have been forced to follow the strict regulations handed down by the government, but that Grab drivers continually ignore them. They apparently lack the appropriate licences and vehicle registrations to operate within the law.

This march on Grab is simply the latest hoo-hah in the last couple of years that have seen street brawls between the company’s drivers and regular motorbike taxis, and other large scale demonstrations against the ride-sharer.

Student charged after uploading video of ‘sexy’ Pattaya pool party

More news from Pattaya this week after a 23-year old Thai student was charged by police for uploading a video to social media of a British man and Thai woman engaging in what looked like sexual activity at a pool party.

The student, Tatchakrit Wonglaemthong, has apologised for uploading the video and for tarnishing the image of Pattaya. Ahem. He could face a maximum jail term of 5 years and/or a fie of 100,000 baht if he is convicted.

Police are also on the lookout for the stars of the video — a 33 year old British man and a Thai woman, who will be charged with obscene behaviour in a public place if found.

Blogs

Searching for simplicity in Isaan

A truly fascinating interview here with Martin Wheeler, the Brit turned Isaan farmer on the choices he’s made in his life that took him to where he is now, how it feels to be the ‘farang who lives like a rural Thai’ wheeled out for public speaking events, and why he’s abandoned organic rice farming for pesticide-heavy sugarcane.

Wheeler comes across as a man who’s had one goal: to live a simple life. Something he couldn’t find in the UK or even in Bangkok. Everything that’s happened to him along the way — the media coverage, his farming practices, even his family — seems to have happened just by way of him searching for that simple life.

Despite accidentally making a name for himself as an organic, sustainable rice farmer, he’s now growing sugarcane — yes, it uses more pesticides but, in keeping with that simple life he’s after, requires less time and energy to harvest. And, as he says, “I don’t think it’s the job of Isaan farmers to help the world by not using fucking chemicals.”

Fascinating interview, even more interesting man.

Things I admire about the Thai education system

We usually hear expat teachers moaning about the various failures of the Thai education system, so this blog post on what it gets right is really refreshing. Included are features like plenty of activities, the level of patriotism and the sense of community — features that are often missing or at least dwindling in the ‘progress at any cost’ educational institutions in the West.

Bangkok’s best bars for drinking alone

There are few pleasures in this life quite like taking an hour for yourself and enjoying a solitary tipple.

Go forth, and drink alone.

Forum Threads

Buying a house with your Thai girlfriend…

A long and comprehensive Reddit thread here on the opportunities and pitfalls that may come when you buy a house with your Thai partner in Thailand.

There’s plenty of advice here on house buying in Thailand in general — namely regarding financing, the fact that you will never own more than 49% and that you’ll probably lose everything if the relationship heads south — but also on relationships more generally, and the things to look out for when you start buying assets together.

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And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!

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