We think almost every long-term expat has been asked how long they’ve been here before, only to see the challenge, throw down their card, and ask the inevitable: “How about you?” It’s an unspoken contest. But does it even matter?
Greg and Ed tackle this issue of status, noting that although they’ve been in Thailand TWENTY YEARS, that number is dwarfed by such legendary expats as Joe Cummings (soon to be a guest on the podcast), who arrived in Thailand in 1977. Ed jokes that part of the appeal of the podcast is that the guys love to talk about all their mistakes and misunderstandings, but certainly they have learned a lot in twenty years.
Greg throws out the distressing thought that simply being here twenty years may not lead to any more wisdom than being here ten, as Ed notes he probably is at his peak knowledge of Thailand now only because of his role as co-host of the podcast, which forces him to raise his game. The boys end up trading stories about various old timers they have met, with Joe C. leading the pack for Greg and a Catholic priest doing so for Ed.
In the end, it’s clear that the number of years you have in Thailand doesn’t really mean diddly squat unless you spend that time pushing yourself into learning more about the country and engaging with its endlessly fascinating culture and people.
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