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balance (2): sabai sabai

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

sabai sabai

i did not in fact move to bangkok though i had every intention this past week. i am still in thong nai pan (ko phangan, thailand). i had decided to buy the bar from pee dum (who offered to sell it to me for a mere 50,000 baht, or $1250) and start a small vegetarian restaurant with yoga and breakfasts every day, and continue the bar at night. however just before i made the deal (screech) i heard the gossip that the owner of the land plans to come back in august, scrap the bar, and build her 3rd house. argh. so i gave up trying to control it legally and decided to spend another month just enjoying what i can create in the meantime and partying as much as i can until i have to leave. ot and i moved into a small furnished apartment with a kitchen(!) for 2300 baht ($57) per month- not on the beach any longer unfortunately, but our back door opens to the jungle. we get mostly free food and all the free drinks we could want. we have a small group of mostly german friends who prod each other into decadence every night, and we haven't been to bed before 5am for the last week. i am feeling quite satisfied with my lack of responsibility, and if i can find a way to prolong it even further i will be ecstatic.


Blogger Nikolaus Heger said...


i kind of randomly stumbled onto your blog and, well, read a lot of it. couldn't you just make money writing blogs? anyway...

i live in thailand for now as well, same reasons, plus i fell in love with my thai wife. i am making money writing software for clients in the U.S. - isn't as easy as it sounds and i don't know if it will work out long term, but i am doing it, now.

now is a very important concept in thailand - everything can change in an instant at any time.

i do have legal advice for you though: the way to buy property in thailand for is as follows: foreigners cannot legally own land, so a thai person you trust buys land for you. they are the legal owner. at the same time, you lease it from them, for, say, 50 years at a nominal yearly rent of $1 (or something). i would get lawyerly advice for this so it's watertight, but it should be simple as it's done all the time in thailand. they must have pre-printed contracts where you just fill in the names.
you need to be careful that the land owner has a "level 4" paper for the land, all others (level 1 - 3) are kind-of-sort-of illegal to sell. but this is thailand, so they sell it anyway, for cheap. the lower levels are owned by the government and given to local people to develop it. at any time, some official might come by and kick you out.

do not "buy" a bar on land you don't own. thais do this, too, but it always ends up being a bad deal because the land owner, at his own discretion, can kick you out at any time. my wife actually had a cafe here in Pai (northern thailand) where just that happened. she owned the house, but not the land... too bad!!

also, i know from my wife that dealings with friends are best avoided. i don't know why but from my perspective, any deals between friends - if there is no legal backing - always end up being a huge mess with somebody getting the short end of the stick. it's not that they all want to rip each other off - i think it has more to do with living by the moment - deals change, and sometimes change dramatically and fast. the situation changes, and suddenly, they feel no obligation to stick to the original plan. whoops.

a notable exception are the local people here in the north, who are quite the opposite. a deal is a deal for them, and nothing can come inbetween. hand-shake quality up here. but not in bkk or the south.

esp. koh phan ghan. a friend of ours wanted to buy land there (she's thai) and ended up with gangsters and a crazy guy who abducted her at gunpoint and dragged her through the woods. she was lucky to get away with her life.

cheers! feel free to contact me at

12:00 AM  

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