Monday, 3 June 2013

7 years anniversary, Bangkok issues and early retirement.


It’s seven years exactly since I boarded an Aberdeen-bound bus from Newcastle at 5am on a dark damp Monday morning. I could never have predicted the path my life has taken since then. I have, to some degree, been as aimless as a rudderless ship, simply allowing seemingly innocuous events to chart my course. The intervening temporal domain has been filled with an animated journey through everything Asian. The highlights are too many to list but they’re all recorded here in a rich kaleidoscope of memories.

Anniversaries are a time for retrospection and as I peer down the murky telescope of history I can’t conceive of how my Brownian motion has rendered me teaching calculus in the heart of Bangkok – one of the world’s great metropolises. I’ve been here one year and feel I’ve experienced everything this beguiling, vibrant city has to offer. However, it’s not for me. I’ve come to realise that I’m not a city slicker; on the contrary. The biggest places I’ve ‘lived’ before are Taipei and Glasgow. Bangkok is a pulsating, chaotic, amphetamine-ingesting beast compared to those two bastions of sleepy organisation.

My beef with Bangkok is that I feel it doesn’t truly reflect the Thailand I know and love. When I think of Thailand my mind’s eye conjures up images of jungle-clad mountains, monks, beaches, rice fields and buffalos. Bangkok has none of this. Bangkok has traffic, malls, pollution and people. Perhaps living in rural Thailand before coming to Bangkok was too much of a leap for me. The differences are astounding. Standing on an underground train watching hundreds of people staring into iphones/ipads/ipods etc is still a shock. Thousands of souls rushing around going nowhere ad infinitum. I am ashamed to admit I became a part of this nauseous rat race for a brief period but I will soon be relinquishing my big smoke status.

I am missing the tranquility of more rural settings. I miss motorbike rides along empty winding roads through encapsulating scenery. Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams inching through endless urban concrete just doesn’t do it for me. It is with this in mind that I refused my school’s offer of a new one year contract. They offered 75K THB to teach 20 maths lessons each week but I declined. I didn’t fancy teaching key stage 3 again but most of all I want out of this city.

July 10th 2013 will be my last day at work. It may even be my last day at work ever as I have decided to retire before my 40th birthday in November. It feels good to be on the eve of something unknown again. I love the duality: a palpable sense of excitement combined with an almost imperceptible sensation of fear.

Retire? At 39?

Retiring early is completely possible provided you stick to a few simple rules from an early age:

1.   Women are the fastest money-reducing-agents known to man. Avoid relationships/marriage with them. I am not saying avoid sex. I am merely advocating relationship avoidance. Relationships impede mens’ dreams, finances and freedom. More on this another time.

2.   Avoid all forms of debt (with the possible exception of a mortgage).

3. Save >50% of your gross income every month. This is achieved through frugal living. Frugal living does not mean misery; more a rejection of the main-stream consumerist societies we live in. I have always lived frugally but have still managed to visit 50+ countries and drink when I want.

4. Invest these savings shrewdly. This requires research but nothing too intellectually demanding. I have everything locked into a Hong Kong-based litigation funding scheme. The aim is to create a passive income stream.

5. Find somewhere cheap to live.

6. Enjoy.

Why few people succeed is that they can’t adjust their psychology and learn to do without ‘things’. The three extravagances I have allowed myself in the last year are a motorbike (old bike + £800), a laptop (£180) and smartphone (£180). I own nothing else of value. I even had to wrestle with my conscience to allow myself to buy these items! Justification? The motorbike was a bargain and I can resell it and recoup the money. I am less certain about the laptop and phone but I have derived much pleasure playing with photos, videos and this very website. However, the fact remains I have no other valuable possessions.

Even though I earned £1500/month in Bangkok, my room was only £87/month. My work colleagues probably consider me to be somewhat eccentric since I’m the only Westerner living in a Slumdog Millionaire apartment. However, those guys will be working until they’re 70 so let them think what they like. Anyway, the key is frugal living and you need to make a lot of sacrifices and show a lot of determination to achieve your goal. Earlier I mentioned some simple steps; I never said it was easy! If it was easy everybody would be retired before 40.

However, anyone can do this. I left home at 16 (with nothing) to join the Royal Navy and 23 years later (even after some huge career breaks to travel and go to University) I’m looking at living in Margaritasville – all by my own effort. You don’t need to be in banking, medicine or law to achieve this; I have never earned more than £2000 (net) in any given month during my working life! I simply followed the rules.

The importance of minimizing your outgoings can’t be stressed enough. You should aim for a savings pile 300 times what you spend in a month. Invest your pile and withdraw from it at 3-4%/year. All the information is at:

It’s all about lifestyle choices.


The best part is I have only vague notions on what I’ll do or where I’ll go next. Initially I will go to Don Sak and Trang to chill on some beaches and see some old friends. My Thai visa will expire on 31st July. I will mosey on down to Malaysia at that point, possibly by bike. I will chill in Penang/Cameron Highlands/Perhentian Islands for up to 90 days before returning to Thailand with a tourist visa. After that I can obtain an education visa to remain in Thailand or sell the bike and move to Cambodia where the visa situation is friendlier.

India and Nepal could also be an option after Malaysia. I’ll have to see where the wind takes me. As for long term it is a choice between Thailand and Cambodia:

Cost of living
Strong THB
$$$$ cheaper!
Awkward and expensive
Simpler and cheaper
Read and speak very well
Already own a great one

Tough call. I am still deciding.

Women and $$$$$

After watching a 1hr video on youtube called ‘My Thai Wife’, my focus has recently shifted to women, misandry and feminism. I have met many divorced Western men who have come to Thailand ravaged emotionally and financially by women in their home countries where divorce laws are heavily skewed in their favour. They then proceed to get ravaged emotionally and financially by Thai women. The ‘star’ in the youtube video is called Ted (standing for Total Economic Destruction). It looks like he contracts AIDS (Assets Invariably Depleted by Slag) during his time in Thailand. It really is food for thought.

Another one of my friends got married last week and another lad at work is planning on marrying next year. All I can picture is lemmings jumping off a cliff. Here are some facts:

50% of weddings will end in divorce. Fancy your chances?

Once married you are locked into career slavery. (She isn’t).

If you get divorced (flip a coin) chances are the woman will initiate it (70%) with no reason needed. She will then take you to the cleaners with help from the feminized courts. Hopefully she won’t slap a false rape accusation or abuse charge on you (which helps to maximize her claim to your salary for the next two decades).

You will lose your house, savings, access to your kids AND have to pay her alimony for the next two decades.

Can someone please explain one advantage for a man to marry or any risks a woman incurs? It seems all the risk is with the man and all the benefits are with the woman.

See Understandably, some men are becoming disenfranchised with the whole thing and marriage rates are dropping as men view modern marriage as a bum deal (take the red pill a la Matrix and read: ). Traditional gender roles have been pulverized and I feel that men are becoming obsolete. Our boys are being emasculated at school where 90% of primary teachers are female (you never hear feminists banding that figure around).

However, one intriguing article predicts the pendulum will have to swing back before feminism destroys our civilisation: Quite lengthy but really worth the time.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever had was from some bitter-and-twisted old submariners who warned me of the perils of marriage back in the 90s. We were coming back from sea and I invited them for a beer. They declined stating that they had no money. “But we’ve been at sea for three months, I’ve got 3 salaries sitting in my bank”. “Yeah, we haven’t, we’ve got wives”. They made me swear that I wouldn’t marry until I was 40. I am still thankful for their advice to this day for it has afforded opportunities for extensive travel, early retirement and other possibilities beyond my wildest dreams. Things a wife would have impeded.

I still shudder when I think back to one relationship (circa 2003) when an exgf coerced me into walking around IKEA to purchase a new sofa (we already had a perfectly serviceable one but to resist would've been argument hell). I still have nightmares about it. Show me a man of sound mind who wants to spend a Saturday afternoon in f*cking IKEA? The compromises in relationships are ridiculous. I am very happy to say I have never ventured into a furniture shop since.

However, I should stress that being single does not mean celibacy. Far from it – I’ve never had so much fun. Being single means money in your pocket, no nagging, relaxation and the freedom to be polygamous, the way nature intended.

Saudi boys

The last week of May was a complete drink-fest with Mike, Karl, Alex, Matt, Duran and my good self. Some of them had come from Saudi, some from the USA and some from the sticks. We all coalesced on Sukhumvit and proceeded to binge drink from Saturday morning until Sunday night. It was horrific. I smoked hundreds of tabs after months of abstinence. Thankfully, it was a long weekend and I had Mon/Tues off because I was ill. I never got out of bed. I am now back on the wagon and normal service has been resumed. I definitely have a drink problem. That is certain. Perhaps a wife might mitigate the effects of alcoholism?

Love life

Ice (Phuket ex) was meant to come and see me last weekend but failed to show. She didn’t ring to say she wasn’t coming as is the Thai way. Katy from Bang Kapi invited me to go to RCA which is a big Bangkok disco street but I never bothered. I ran into another old gf in Bangkok a few weeks ago when I took Bee to Club Climax on soi 11. I have stumbled upon a new massage on Soi 14 which I can heartily recommend (Som’s) if you have 700bt burning a hole.

Other than that I’ve started to relax and embrace my singledom. One notices one’s sexual drive diminish slightly as one approaches 40. I had a curious experience in McDonald’s on Sunday as I was drinking a morning coffee. I like this little restaurant as it is quiet at that time and a good place to relax. There were plenty of empty tables when a blonde western woman in her 20’s sat diagonally opposite me. Her nonchalant confidence made me guess American? although I never found out. Feeling a little unsettled that she had sat right next to me in an empty restaurant I decided to carry on drinking my coffee and ignore her as was my wont. She kept looking at me and I kept ignoring her. Eventually she left and I felt, bizarrely, empowered although I don’t know precisely why. Possibly because I didn’t fall victim to my dick and start chatting her up?

Haway the Lads?

Apparantly, Mackems spell it ‘Haway the Lads’ and Geordies spell it ‘Howay the Lads’. This peculiar spelling ambiguity seems to have only recently manifested itself and appears to bear no resemblance to the phonics. Wey aye man.

Having a laugh with one of the staff at a well known medical center on soi 7/1.

Geordie Neil finally found his perfect pussy down soi 22.

The writing on the laundry bag says 50bt and 'Farang'. Even though my name is Steve they still call me 'The Farang'. This is akin to writing 'The Nigger' on a black man's laundry. Wonder what the PC crowd would make of that back home?

The only screwing I've done in a while. Helping Matt move into his new condo.


Yang gamlang tat sinjai – I’m still deciding
Deng ngan – marriage
Lert gan – split
Sue baan samrap pom gor kwai mai sabai – buy a house for me in Isaan and pay for my sick buffalo


  1. I don't think it's true that anyone can retire early. Children make a big difference and so does the luck of the breaks. A big lump of money from a house sale AT THE RIGHT time in your life can make a lot of positive difference. The only thing you skimp on is the cost of your apartment. I don't have a smart phone and have had my laptop for 4 years. I am not sure farang is anything like 'nigger' . . . they don't necessarily use the word to denigrate us whereas people who use the word, 'nigger' definitely have some problems. The thing that interests me most about this post is just what will you do when you retire early? Will you remain loveless and hermetically sealed off from the world and if so what's the point. Living without love . . . .some would say that's no life at all mate!

    1. Anyone can retire early provided they make the right life choices like I said in the article.

      Living a bachelor's life no life at all? Hermetically sealed? They are curious opinions.

      Thanks for the input

  2. Hey there, Stevie,
    Sorry for taking you out of the Facebook friends. But since we haven't met personally, i just can't afford to look through some comments that don't mean anything to me. But i do enjoy reading your blogs. This one is especially revealing since you are about to embark on the whole new adventure. At least this is how it looks from here. Feel like switching gigs again? haha. All I can say is that single life was never an option for me. It is for some. I crave for some longing, perhaps since I'm an only child. i know that you are pouring your thoughts on paper, and i think one should reconsider about spending the life along. But what do i know?
    I only have a few friends since I've systematically cut everyone off who was even remotely interested in me. Living in Phuket is no picnic, as you know. This island just kinda gets under your skin, slowly but surely. Can't wait for the 7 week holiday so i can spend it with my family. Mom and dad is all i've got left. Good Luck with everything and keep 'em coming.


Please be nice.