1 August 2016

Paul Meng - Expat in Bangkok, Thailand

Paul Meng - Expat in Bangkok, Thailand

Paul Meng is a Freelancer living in Thailand. He is a native of Argentina and is currently 35 years of age. Initially, he went to Thailand for a travel trip, and at that time, his brother, who has been living in Thailand for years suggested that he live and study in Thailand—and so he did.

Mr. Meng has been living in his host country for 18 years now. When asked about the hardest aspect that he has experienced in his expat life he said, “The hardest aspect already passed, since it is always about the beginning and how well you can adapt in order to lower the frustration. Another aspect to mention is about getting a job, since not all Thai companies are willing to do a work permit for you. So unless, you are really good enough, then finding a job might be a bit hard sometimes,”

Relocating to a new country can be overwhelming—especially when you know so little about the country you are moving to. Finding job opportunities can be difficult, but there are many ways to make it easier. Online classifieds can be of huge help, as well as your host country’s local online ads.

Find out more about Paul Meng’s experiences in Thailand in his full interview below.

 

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: I’m originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

Q: What made you move out of your home country?

A: It was going to be a travel trip, but then my brother who has been living here for years told me to stay and study here.

 

Q: Where are you living now?

A: I’m currently living in Bangkok, Sukhumvit area.

 

Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A:After graduating here, I thought that I have a more competitive advantage over average Thai nationals so I decided to stay here.

 

Q: How long have you been living in Thailand?

A:I have been living here for 18 years.

 

Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Thailand?

A: Surely it was the culture, coming from South America country which is a very open and loud place, it was very frustrating for socializing and adjusting the different manners here.

 

Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance was particularly difficult in Thailand? What was your experience with these?

A: You will find out more on the second, third, and etc… visits. But luckily over the years, I did see improvement. And the more Thai you try to be, the better they will treat you.

 

Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: I’m currently living alone.

 

Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in Thailand? How did you manage to find a social circle in Thailand?

A: At first, most of my friends where foreigners, as it was easier to find something in common. I would find Thai people a bit hard to interact since many of them might not have very depth insights about life. But then with time, I tried to adjust myself in order to lower the daily frustration and made more Thai friends. I think university and work place are the easiest places to start your social circle.

 

Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: Well, once you become Thai, then it’s just coffee shops and shopping malls. But lately I have been traveling a lot and there is a lot more to see. Using google map, I would just point to a green outdoor area and check out new and exotic places.

 

Q: How does the cost of living in Thailand compared to your home?

A: It has been a long time and due to the depreciation of the Peso, now is hard to compare. But overall Thailand is a much cheaper place to stay than my country.

 

Q: How do you find the local culture and people in Thailand?

A: Thai culture is very interesting indeed. At first, you might think that is funny and nonsense. But once you really try to understand the roots of each tradition, you will have a better understanding and respect to it. Some may say that Thai people seem to be lazy, but is just the culture of being laid back and easy going. Once you take a break from the rushing working life, you might actually smile when you try it for once in a while.

 

Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Thailand?

A: The positive is that it really gives you a wider perspective about life, since you get to experience different religions, culture, and thinking that you might didn’t even know that existed before.

The negative is that you surely feel lonely at sometimes when you realize that you are not really from here and of course all the frustration during the initial stage.

 

Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes?

A: I do sometimes, especially the food.

 

Q: How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Well, now you have internet, so everywhere seems to be just so near. Try to think of what makes you homesick and bring it to Thailand!

 

Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: For the moment, I will stay in Thailand.

 

Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: The hardest aspect already passed, since it is always about the beginning and how well you can adapt in order to lower the frustration. Another aspect to mention is about getting a job, since not all Thai companies are willing to do a work permit for you. So unless, you are really good enough, then finding a job might be a bit hard sometimes.

 

Q: What tips can you give other expats living in Thailand?

A: Stay positive. The more you reject, the worse you might feel about it. So, just try to go with the flow and adapt as soon as possible.

 

Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Thailand?

A: Amazing Thailand by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. There is lots of great information about places to go and things to try that may be even the local people don’t know since they think they know as they are living here.