PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Jéandré Sonnekus
 
Comments: 56
Article views: 3
 
 
Latest Badges:
 
 

Thailand: Land of the Smiles

15 November 2010, 13:01  - Jéandré Sonnekus
Firstly let me start off by saying this is not written to make South Africa look bad or to have a go at people that still live in South Africa. I will, however, try to present the facts as experienced by my living in Thailand for the past four years.

My family and I left South Africa with no money after an extremely sour business deal, so to clarify we did not leave for political or crime related reasons. Unfortunately when you move to another country you automatically start comparing and I am afraid that South Africa does lose out to Thailand on many issues.

1. Crime
Now I can only talk from my own experience but I never felt as safe and secure as I do at this very moment. Yes we were affected by crime in South Africa (1 hijacking, 3 thefts in our house,2 cars stolen) but our reaction was always the same, “thank goodness no one got hurt”.

That is the sad fact is that we were no longer outraged by the fact that the crime even happened! Well in Thailand of course there is crime; however, the nature of the crime is very different. I guess that is the Buddhist mentality but crimes are not as violent as South Africa.

My house is never locked, I keep forgetting my key in my car and bike and I don’t even have insurance on my household goods. To give you an indication of how safe we feel, my wife has just walked to 711 at 03:00 in the morning (about one kilometre) and I never even thought something would happen to her.

2. Cost of Living
This is what it all comes down to for us as a family. My wife and I earn a modest combined income of about R20 000, but we live extremely comfortably in a so called “Posh” neighbourhood and my rent is R4 000 per month for a three bedroom house.

I just bought a brand new Pajero and was absolutely amazed when the interest was calculated at 2.75%, and it did not lose 25% of its value the moment I took delivery. We are able to save about 25% of our money per month because a) income tax is 7%, interest is low and daily things are just that little bit cheaper.

We travel quite a bit and tickets are about R2 000 return to the tropical islands for two people. You tend to use taxis and other public transport instead of driving. Petrol is about the same but trust me getting around just feels so much quicker and cheaper.

3. The People
Yes, there is a language barrier in most cases but you will be amazed how quickly you pick up the basics in order to survive. But the best thing about Thailand is the people, they are respectful, modest and really do seem to care for each other and especially foreigners.

Sure you may have to pay more sometimes as they see you as an ATM but I have never felt cheated. I love South Africans and have many friends there, but trust me Thai people just treat perfect strangers better.
 
I will admit that the political situation in Thailand is far from perfect and corruption is ripe, the police drive the nicest cars and get ready to pay your tea money if pulled over. You cannot legally buy land as a foreigner (can lease for 99 years) and to get any credit is really difficult, but this has made us work mostly on cash which is a good thing I guess. Buying cars made outside of Thailand is very expensive (try R500 000 for a Mini Cooper) and like I said you will have to pay more than Thais for most things.
 
I miss many things about South Africa (Supersport especially) but having been back this year I just cannot see myself moving back there.
 
This is obviously my personal opinion and I guess I will get called for many things in this piece; please just remember this is written to inform people that  not everyone leaves for crime reasons and that you don’t have to move to Europe, North America or Australia to have a rich and fulfilling life as an expat.
 
- Are you a South African living abroad interested in sharing your views? What is it like for a South African living in a foreign country or how do you view South Africa from a distance? Send us your columns to feedback@news24.com and you might get published in our new Beyond Borders section.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
56 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Howard Sackstein
Bomb Hatred with Love: the advert...

In an audacious move, Zain which has 45 million cell phone subscribers throughout the Arab world and Africa, tackled the issue of Islamic extremist terror head on.  Read more...

0 comments 1737 views
Submitted by
Revelgen
Eskom's 'dog-in the-manger' act i...

Why does Eskom not want to sign new deals with independent power producers? Because it wants to hog all the profits for itself - and is thus inflicting far higher future costs on all South Africans who use electricity. Read more...

0 comments 351 views
Submitted by
Lisa Marcelle Hold
The cancerous tumour that is slow...

We no longer have the luxury of being complacent. We need to take action and to continue to take action until the cANCerous tumour is completely eradicated. Read more...

0 comments 275 views
Submitted by
Thabisile Mkhize082
Youth must pave the way for futur...

Each and every individual young person must question him or herself to what mark am I going to be endorsed with or remembered for. Read more...

0 comments 40 views
Submitted by
An observer
Who does Zuma serve?

It is a sad reflection of the ANC’s governance that they have failed their mandate that was given to them in 1994 by the electorate. Read more...

0 comments 156 views
Submitted by
Lebo Mashishi
CR17 and NDZ divide the ANC

The leader that must emerge in December must be one that can steer the ship away from the iceberg, unfortunately CR17 and NDZ cannot do that, their contestation is hurting the ANC a party that is in need of a messiah.  Read more...

0 comments 134 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.