Renting a house in Khanom Thailand

Finding a place to call “home” for a few months or a few decades requires patience and certain skills. It is difficult enough to find a house to call home in your home country of Australia, Great Britain or the USA. Throw in the language and cultural barrier and the task becomes tricky at best.

After the language obstacle comes the double pricing standard on many things. Foreigners to these exotic paradise beaches and towns come with local people that have a very interesting view of all us Westerners and the biggest myth is that we are all wealthy! Certainly the average Brit as far more income and material possessions than the average Thai person. However, a retired Westerner has an income far less than his working younger friends “back home” and his or her savings may well be far less than the Mexican, Thai or Ecuadorian that wants to charge the foreigner more because “they look rich’. There is a preconception that Westerners are all living a lavish lifestyle and so can easily afford more rent than a locally born person could afford.


I am strongly against such double pricing especially on the topic of rent. My landlord in Khanom Thailand owns 6 homes, and about 5 more acres of land close to the ocean. He drives a nice car and has a good life in general. He has been very fair to me but thinks it is funny that the local barber charges Thai people 60 Thai Baht and charges me and other foreigners 100 Thai Baht for the same haircut. I see no humour in this and I find it offensive.

Getting back to my house in Khanom: it is a one bedroom, with a slightly Westernised kitchen, a living room, a bathroom and both front and rear covered porch areas with seating. The rent also includes the furniture, electricity, water, internet and cable TV.

khanom house rental
Thai kitchen, khanom,nst thailand

The construction is 4 years old and includes an air conditioner in the bedroom which can cool both the bedroom and the living area with the doors closed. The beach is a 200-yard stroll and the closest convenience store is about 3 km away. It is a very modern style home and even includes a washing machine. easy enough to dry a load of laundry outside in the sun in about 2 hours!

There are plenty of electrical outlets and the aircon works great! The kitchen is stocked with everything that I need. When I needed something my landlord actually supplied it!

An important thing to consider renting a home in a hot climate is shade and a breeze. A long roof overhang should keep most of the direct hot sun out off the house, trees next to the house are good, as is a shady spot for a car or motorbike. A breeze is fantastic if you feel like sitting outside and oftentimes found at a slight elevation or close to the beach. I do not like a home right on the beach. Far too much salt and wind. On a stormy day, the wind can carry salt spray to your house and can prevent you from looking out of your windows. The salt is also very bad for your electronics and will ruin them in a few years.

My landlord has 4 other rentals in this town and treats everyone with respect and is very fair. I imagine the electric costs that he absorbs for my usage is probably around $1.400 Thai Baht or about 43 USD per month March 2018. He also rented me a 125 cc motor scooter for 2.000 Thai Baht per month

Its a beautiful house in a very beautiful quiet beach town. Outside of my home, there is not a lot going on! hanging out at my local coffee shop with other Farang (a Thai slang word for foreigners) can take up a few hours each day, but once a week for me is just fine.

 

Meanwhile: Thailand 2018

Hello and welcome, again perhaps, to my blog about retiring in paradise. It has been a very long time since I wrote anything here. I am not exactly sure why this is, but probably a combination of reasons. Without further ado, here is a quick update about me for the last 18 months and my retire in paradise for less events:

Since January 2015 I have actually travelled to Thailand 5 times. For the first 3 trips that I left Thailand, it was to “move back to  Mexico”. I was very hard on myself (aren’t we all?) and was disappointed with myself for not being able to choose a home country. Looking back I now know how ridiculous that thinking was.

First of all the fact that I COULD travel between Mexico and Thailand was in itself a wonderful thing to have. Second, I had the GUTS to do such travel. I am now 66 years old and I still enjoy the adventure with all its challenges. Fortunately, my health is still excellent, because I know that having poor health is a real game changer in our lives. How lucky I am to have this “problem” of choosing which country to live in!!

So about 18 months ago I decided never to say to myself or others that I have decided to “MOVE” anywhere. I simply say that I am travelling to such and such country or city and I am not sure for how long. having said this, I have decided to return to Mexico next week, for good. Ha ha ha. Uups, did I just break my own rule?

Khanom, nahkon sii thamorat, nst thailandI enjoyed living in Thailand this past year because I am/was living at the beach in Southern Thailand. The beach here is idyllic, coconut palms, smiling Thai faces and a very relaxed small town on the eastern coast of Thailand called Khanom. No Starbucks, few shops, a nice marketplace and a population of about 20.000 in the town itself. I rented a house here, 1 bedroom with a kitchen, bathroom and living room for 280 USD per month. This includes electricity, cable TV and an internet connection. Very inexpensive. I will write a separate post about this house and Khanom later.

So was there anything wrong with my newfound paradise? Well yes actually, there was not enough opportunity for social interaction. As I age I have found that I need companionship more and more. It’s not because of my age, its simply knowing what I need now. In the 3 years that I was living in Thailand, on and off, I had met 2 ladies who were very nice and I pursued relationships with. However, thier lack of English skills and my almost zero Thai language skills meant that conversation beyond daily pleasantries was impossible. For many, this sort of dialogue is sufficient, but not for me. I have also missed laughing and chatting about things that are American or British, an opportunity that would be impossible with Thai people. Thai men interact with me very very little, as opposed to Mexico where Mexican men with their families often would see me sitting alone enjoying a coffee or a beer and they would invite me to join them. This never happened in Thailand.

Laughter is a very healing fun thing to have in one’s life. Finding like-minded people to share similar situations and events from our younger decades is a powerful connection for me. Wit and sarcasm cannot be found in the Thailand language and trying to converse with Mexicans and introduce wit and sarcasm is very difficult for me at my Spanish level. I really miss this sort of banter with Brits and Yanks.

So next week I am flying to Mexico City to be at least closer to the opportunity of having these types of friendships. My friends and acquaintances in Mexico are many, many times more than I ever met in Thailand. It is my opinion that these cultural differences can make or break a lasting, healthy life in a chosen place to live.

A closer look at San Miguel de Allende

san miguel de allende, street scene, sunset, mexico sunset, sunset in san miguelMeanwhile, back in San Miguel de Allende, the sun is shining and the days are beautifully filled with a festive tone most (all?) of the time. Yes. San Miguel de Allende. If you’re keeping up with my blog, you might remember that I had given up on San Miguel. Turns out I was wrong to do so.

What is the most important thing to you right at this moment? OK, not including your coffee if it’s only 8 am. Your family right? Or your friends. Since I am a traveller, explorer, digital nomad and expat then my friends are the most important thing in my life. My sisters, children and extended family all live in England and Scotland. I am an orphan here in Mexico, like most expats here and others corners of the world. I returned here last December to attend a wedding that a nice Mexicana friend had invited me to. That event deserves its own article and post. Oh my god!! Anyway while attending the wedding I was enjoying their friendship, the hugs, the familiar faces that I had no name for and watching all the people smiling and feeling the love and happiness in the reception room.

Events like these in Mexico, I have only experienced in Mexico. Maybe they do exist in Thailand, where I lived for 14 months, or Ecuador and 1 of the other 40 countries that I have visited, but I never had any such experience. Getting those hugs, feeling that friendship and experience being part of this beautiful community made me stop and think and realize just how important this aspect is in my life and has been missing since I left Mexico. Perhaps you have also had the realization? It also occurs to me that many people can never take the big leap into the world of an expat for these very reasons.. love and friendship keep them exactly where they are. The grandkids are often handcuffed to them.




San Miguel de Allende has a lot of faults: the gossip (chisma in Spanish) drives me crazy. The lies that are told about each other, border on a Steven King and 50 Shades of Grey combo novel. Some of the people here just decide to leave their manners and ethics behind when becoming an expat and feel free to gossip, lie and criticise, even about people they have never met. Add to this that often they are drunk when offering advice or being critical of others. This happened to me several times. It does not feel good at all. Which brings me to: My happiness should not rely on what other people think about me.key-to-happiniess

So at this time, I have no intention of leaving beautiful San Miguel de Allende. With all its faults, this is my home, for now.

 

Places I have lived or travelled to

Places I have lived:

England: Birmingham (my birthplace), Plymouth and Tavistock

Australia: Sydney and Parramatta.

USA: Santa Monica, Inglewood, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest CA, Corona del Mar, Santa Barbara, Garden Grove CA, Huntington Beach, Raleigh, Chelmsford MA, Moltonbourough NH, Westchester OH, Batesville IN, Alexandria LA, Dunedin FL, Oro Valley AZ and Victor NY.

Thailand: Chiang Mai

Places travelled to:

Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia (Yugoslavia), Greece, Monaco, Italy, Jamaica, US Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Badlands, Sedona, Ecuador, Canada, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand….and…