Chiang Mai


Jeg tager til Thailand i april – nærmere bestemt Chiang Mai. Jeg har tilmeldt mig et forløb, som starter med 4 ugers undervisning, efterfulgt af 4 måneder, hvor jeg skal undervise Thailandske børn i engelsk. Jeg er meget spændt, og egentlig ikke i tvivl om, at jeg har truffet den “rigtige” beslutning. Familie/omgangskreds har hovedsageligt sagt, at det da lød spændende. Nødvendigvis ser de min beslutning som en lille smule desperat – som følge af, at jeg ikke har kunnet få et job i DK. Det er okay.

Når jeg flytter til Thailand, vil jeg starte denne blog op for alvor, og beskrive mine oplevelser derude. Jeg er ganske sikker på, at der vil være flere interessante hændelser at fortælle om, end tilfældet er p.t. Det er min hensigt, at tage til Thailand for minimum 1 år. Men det er ikke rigtigt en bekymring på nuværende tidspunkt. Det vigtigste er at komme derud og tage udfordringerne med hævet pande og smil på læben. Jeg føler mig beredt på dette. Hvis nogen spørger, hvad den bedste grund er, til at jeg tager afsted, er svaret: Dette projekt er det første større projekt, som jeg 100% selv har truffet beslutning om. Det er også det første projekt i årevis, som jeg 100% ærligt kan sige, at jeg har lyst til at give alt hvad jeg har.

Der vil komme meget mere om Thailand her, og der vil også komme meget mere om mine tanker med at tage afsted, mine følelser omkring, og mine forberedelser. Der er ca. 4 måneder til jeg skal flyve.

Drak mig fuld igår. Første gang i 4½ måned. Det var fint nok, indtil jeg jeg skulle sove, hvor jeg gentog tidligere tiders rutine. Havde ikke store forventninger om, at det ville gå specielt anderledes, eller være specielt anderledes. Fint nok at konstatere det. Konklusionen er ganske enkel – alkohol er ikke en ven af mine. Jeg vil kunne tillade mig selv at drikke ved ganske sjældne lejligheder, men som hovedregel vil jeg praktisere afholdenhed. Anyways – nu står det her, sort på hvidt: alkohol er min fjende.

I visited Chaing Mai in January 2001, when backpacking around the world with my, then, girlfriend. We drove up there by an overnight train, and spent almost a week there, before trekking down south for a bit of beach-time before flying back to Denmark. Thailand was the last country on initiniary.

I do not remember too much from the city. I remember the clearly marked city walls (are whatever they were), the temples and the nighly market, which we visited a number of times.

Now, years have passed and the reason I bring up Chiang Mai is this: Recently I returned to Denmark from Spain because of a broken relationship. I do not have a job and I do not have a permanent place to stay. I am currently job-hunting, but so far have drawn only blanks. This does not really worry me at the moment, as I unemployment insurance. However, give it enough time, and this will become a real tough issue. Both moneywise, identity-wise, and vis-a-vis surroundings.

I am well-educated, fairly young, friendly by nature, and I do not really have any serious vices. So the future should look bright, right? Well, not necessarily so. I feel fairly stuck already, even though I have only been in this situation for 2½ months. I have been to a couple of job interviews already for positions that I would have taken. They have not led to any job offers, and while that is not in any was a disaster (outta five qualified applicants that have been called in for an interview, four are let go each time) these rejections take their toll. Not in a major way, of course, but with each experience you naturally start to think in terms of “what will and should happen down road in case I do not succeed in landing a job?”  

Your brain performs some weird tricks, sometimes. And the trick mine pulled today, brings me to Chiang Mai.

chiangmaiweb.jpg

I spoke to a guy online, and it came up that he currently lives in Pataya. A place I do not know anything about, outside what the rumors say. I asked him a couple questions how it was to live in Thailand, and what the cost of living was. Turns out decent accommodation was about $200. My guess is that Chiang Mai is about the same. Translated into European currency and language: A little dough will get you a long ways in that part of the world.

After speaking to this guy, I did some googleing. There are quite a few blogs online with diaries written by Westerners who have relocated themselves to Thailand, and who are making a living by teaching English. Reports about how easy it is to acquire a teaching job may not be 100% accurate or objective for that matter, however, it was exhilarating reading. Going off to a foreign country with no booked return flight has always been a boyhood dream, and I actually did it this summer. A broken relationship ended this adventure prematurely, and effectively cancelled most existing dreams.

My thinking is this: If I do not, within the foreseable future (7 months) land a good job (one I geniunely want) I think I should relocate myself to Chiang Mai. I have a degree in English, teaching experience, and so nominally, at least, my chances of landing a job should be fair. Financially, as I am not currently earning anything, it would be a challenge, but now impossible. I have some savings right now, and while they might dwindle ocer the next year, if I do not get a job, I should have some left come next summer. Additionally, there will be an unknown amount coming once my old apartment gets sold.

Move to Chiang Mai – would it be possible? Yes, I think so, this is mostly a financial challenge. Airfare + get settled + living expenses for a min. of one year would be required, I will need to do the math and figure out exactly how much that adds up to. Would it be desirable – i.e. not just a mind-trick performed by my brain because of my current situation? The answer, I think, is a little more hazy on this one. Yes, it is desirable from a number of perspective, and I genuinely feel that such move could be the right thing for me. Total independence has its attractions. Total loneliness is the risk.

More thoughts are swirling, and more will need to get down on paper. More tomorrow.