Walking through the Night Bazaar to buy a shirt last night we bumped into our friend Glen. He took us to a little bar in a side street and we were just having a glass of wine when his expat friend Pam turned up with her daughter, son in law and grandson. A very pleasant night ensued and Pam was able to fill us in on a lot of things about Chiang Mai. They were all going to a Chiang Mai Expats Club lecture in the morning so we decided to also attend.
Turned up at 10am, met Glenn and headed up to the meeting room. They served nibbles including yummy smoked salmon sandwiches, croissants and good coffee. We certainly consumed more than our fair share! A large crowd of all around retiree age and above had assembled. Into the meeting room where at least 150 expats were seated. Several newcomers spoke from various countries including USA, New Zealand, Britain and Australia. Some had sold up like us and others were testing the waters. All very interesting.
The Guest Speaker Brad Walker, an expat American and the author of a book gave a humorous dissertation of his life over the years in Thailand from the Girly Bars to marrying and divorcing a Thai lass, his life in a small Thai Village and his health problems and how he has coped with it all. It was very illuminating. Several expats who were offended by his stories left the room but we thoroughly enjoyed it.
One of the things he talked about was health Insurance (that he believes is a waste of money). He is currently booked in for open heart surgery next week and is using the public system as the best heart specialist from the Bangkok Private operates in public health as well. His cost in Private would be 800,000 Baht or $30,769 Australian but in Public system only 200,000 Baht or $7,692 Australian. This would be the cost of a year’s Health insurance if he had it so he claims he is better off banking the insurance premium amount and paying out himself when he needs it. I tend to agree with his thinking.
Chatted to several expats who all had interesting stories to tell. The Expat Club offers advice on everything from relocation cost, learning to speak Thai, Legal matters, US Pension Changes and Visas. They are on Facebook under Chiang Mai Expats Club. A very valuable resource for anyone flirting with moving to Chiang Mai.
Went on to Glenn’s pad where he cut Erica’s hair. He did a great job and bought his cutting kit from Australia just for this purpose. I learnt a lot about cutting techniques while watching. The result could only be described superb. The master had not lost his touch!