KC/DC Cycle

Ride to live... live to ride

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Thai Riding

These are scenes of riding in Thailand. Top is my first apartment in the middle of a small town where the road forms a loop. My place was in the middle of the loop. It had a carport where I am standing in the picture. Across the street is where there were different banana trees which people harvested occasionally. This is a photo of the reflection in the glass sliding door. The bike pictured is my utility bike which has the wide geared triple in the front, a large Carradice Camper saddle bag and a generator hub which powers my front and rear Cree LED lights. I've pulled up next to cars and my light output rivals theirs. It projects light quite a ways front and rear. The Busch and Muller system is recognized by the German government for the mandated light output.

Typical leg tattoo from the chain ring on the bicycle.

Below are scenes from my typical ride. First is the top of the mountain. The grade on this slope is very steep. It may be 10-12% or so. It's much more than any slope I normally rode in the US. This is facing north viewing the ocean on the west side of the island of Phuket ( no, it's pronounced poo - ket). Just sayin'. This is a beautiful island. Don't disrespect it.

This shows how beautiful and shady the route is in the morning. There's plenty of shoulder and not too much traffic. The drivers here are not very forgiving. I was hit by a motorbike on my third day. That was over a year ago now. This current entry is July, 2018.

This is a small ascent on the route again showing the abundance of shade at certain times of the day on this route.

This is on the far side of the ride looking back toward the hill I traverse. Often when the inclement weather comes in it gets stuck on top of that hill. The British International School is along here. There's also a park with a nice lake.

This is a shot facing the same direction toward the BIS but closer to the BIS near the lake and the park. The view is always extraordinary. It's a fairly popular spot for cycling. The road is much wider and very little traffic. My round trip ride is about 13 miles with that huge climb in the middle. At one point I was able to climb that hill on my racing bike without standing up or stopping. I've had some physical issues so I've been using my utility bike which has lower gearing like a mountain bike. I can stay in the saddle again. A few times on the racing bike I was walking. In the last 50 years of riding I have not had to walk a hill. This is a killer.

Interview about living in Thailand

Here is an entry from Facebook about my living in Thailand -

Bending is so hard to do, especially if you’re older. I’m not talking about physical bending. I’m talking about adapting. In my case I’m trying to adapt to a new culture in one of the deepest senses. The deepest sense may be adapting to a foreign marriage which is fairly common here. Otherwise the next deepest sense may be in the workplace. As a foreigner or farang we’re subordinate to a system of doing things both in the workplace and at the various government institutions where we must get various permissions. We don’t have the ability to read contracts without a translation, so getting cable or phone service puts us at a disadvantage every time. Simply getting a bank account is a hurdle. But in the workplace environment it’s all about culture. We talk about workplace culture in the US, but that’s a layer on top of national or regional culture. Locale culture determines how one pays respect and when it’s due. It determines how problems are solved, how we communicate, when we can expect results and what results we may expect. Combining workplace culture and regional culture there’s a lot of latitude. If we do it right and have reasonable expectations in line with culture we have a chance of survival. If we get our gut wrenched enough times we’re in culture shock and we go off the rails.

Eric from KC interviewed me:

Eric:  Why did you move?

MeA lot of reasons. Trump moved to my town. Early retirement, my daughter is in China, I always wanted to teach, International experience...

Eric: do you like it there? Are people kind to you?

MeWe love it here in a lot of ways. We’re getting benefits we didn’t expect as well as the ones we did expect. Healthcare is exceptional and cheap and easy to get. Food is extraordinary. I grew up in the DC area so I was familiar with various cultures from early on. Languages are fairly easy for me. I’m creative and self sufficient so that’s helpful

MePeople are mostly really nice. There’s been a huge effort over the years to learn English. People have gone way out of their way on several occasions to help

Ericare you there by yourself?

Me: My wife is here.

Eric: so really no culture shock?

Me I think the shock has to be understood in context. There are certain things that shocked me. I am a very flexible person by nature. I adapt well. In another parallel I have camped my whole life so I’m comfortable making do and living with less. That’s been one of the benefits here. I wanted to jettison a lot of accumulated life debris. Done!

Ericso exactly where are you?

Me Phuket. You gonna come visit? You’ll come for the visit and stay because you love it
EricI would love to visit but I'm just a poor black child living in the ghetto. Lol People there are used to living light. You fit right in.

Me How old are you?
Eric: ,lol funny question. Why do you ask? What do you think? LMAO

Me If you don’t have a college degree you can teach in Cambodia
Me: With a college degree you can make really good money in China where my daughter is
Eric: You live on a tiny little island. Did a little research. There is a girl from Kansas there. You know each other. I actually have two

Me It’s not easy being black in China but the money is amazing

Thailand requires a degree to teach. If you come you could secure a teaching position pretty easily

My wife is from Kansas
EricTo get there. I could not stay forever 6 months Max. I have responsibilities here. What a beautiful idea. You got me dreaming. That's nice.

She is a singer?

Me Yes. Small world?

EricI friended her. I'm in kansas city.

Me One way flight last year was $388
Eric: I told you I did a little research. I went to Rockhurst.

Me She is starting at the school doing IT work. Yes. I had a girlfriend who graduated from rockhurst.  I lived in KC 10 years

Eric: I have a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology. Small world

Me Lived mostly in Hyde park
Eric: East side. Van brunt area. This is super kool. Can't stop smiling. 

Me We lived on myrtle for a year in northeast
Eric: I lived on Myrtle too 3206 Myrtle. I lived in northeast too
Me I believe our address was like 419 myrtle

Eric: I lived half a block off the avenue. This is crazy coincidences.

Me I used to ride my bicycle on cliff drive
Eric: I lived down there too in Riverview. At 305 Paseo. You are reading my mind. Scary stuff. Lol. How did you find out about moving there? I hope I'm not bothering you.

Me  I read and researched on the web. My daughter is in China so she gave her insights. She went to ecole longan charter school in Hyde park.  It’s late there. You should be sleeping

Eric: I graduated from Westport. So was it you wife that initiated the move or you? I know. I take care of my mom and I keep strange hours. 1:48am

Me  I did
Eric: What a great idea of moving abroad. You got my head spinning.

Me  It’s 1:50pm here

Eric 12 hour difference

Me  I hope spinning is good. Yes

Eric Definitely. Is living cheap. I have lived in NYC, Philadelphia, Florida and LA. So you teach English?

Me I teach Computer Science in English to high school students

Eric Wow!

Me They love to have teachers with American accents

Eric My education is usable there?

Me Definitely

Eric So you are one of the kool kids? Lol. Are you popular? Mr. Kool Teacher.

Me I’m old but we have fun.  Of course

Eric You would never guess but I may be older than you.

Me It’s an interesting culture. My daughter says Thailand has been good to me

Eric I would love to visit. Getting there? What are the incomes like? Clean living I love the air and water

Me I am a little above average at $1400 a month

Eric What is the median?

Me I support my wife and I on that

Eric Rent etc

Me I used numbeo to estimate. I don’t know where to get median income

Eric You are on a small island. Me I pay $500 for a beautiful furnished 2 bed 2 bath. It’s like new

Eric I mean is it village life or city life? That's good. Kinda like KC.

Me The island has a lot of resorts so there are a lot of tourists. There are areas where it’s more village and some more city

Eric Did you go through an agency? Tourists spots are expensive. They know the value of American money.

Me For Thailand I’d go through ajarn.com

Eric Thanks. My head is really spinning. Do you live in a city? I mean in the center city or outside?

Me I live in Kathu which is very close to Phuket town

Eric Is English very widely spoken?

Me You could get a place for as little as $125

Eric What? Sorry I am asking soo many questions. It's fascinating.

Me You’ll have to do some research

Eric We come from similar backgrounds and you are there.

Me I know. Lol. You can do it

EricI have responsibilities here. Are you under contract? Like for  Certain period of time.

Me Yes. Annual contract

Eric Oh, they attend school year around? I'm going to research this. Won't bug you anymore.

Me  We get 8 or 9 weeks off paid

Eric During the summer? It's always summer there.

Me Research

Eric I apologize again for asking soo many questions. Thank you for your time. We have not really got to talk since finding each other.  This is our introduction. One last question. What is the name of their currency? I found it. Thanks. Blessed be my friend

Me Keep me posted

Eric Promise