Take This Blog and Shove It, Part 2

Hey everyone, it’s Seven again. Back with a deep dive (God, I hate that phrase) into someone else’s idiotic take on Bangkok. It’s the second installment of a series where I point out the flaws in a “Why I don’t like Thais/Thailand/Bangkok” blog. It would be one thing if the people who spew this nonsense had a valid point, and sometimes they do. But the dude who wrote the drivel below did not. And while that person will remain anonymous, his dumb statements won’t. This guy 1–erroneously believed he had something worthwhile to say about our favorite Asian city, and 2–thought it would be a good idea to put it on the internet, so I have no choice but to take issue with it. His assertions are in italics, followed by my responses in bold. I kind of hope the author never reads it, because I actually feel a bit bad about some of what’s to follow. But I do hope you find it entertaining.

Before I moved to Bangkok sometime last year, I did my due diligence. 

Wait, what? You’ve been here less than a year? And you’re going to advise readers who’ve lived here for 10, 20, 30 years? Are you mentally disabled? You know nothing. Your opinion is crap. Why do you feel compelled to give us your baseless opinions?

 I did as much research as I could about the culture, the cost of living, and even picked up some basic Thai phrases so I wouldn’t look like a complete buffoon once I left the airport. 

That’s actually awesome. It’s more than what 90% of the idiots who come here do.

However, when I eventually landed and got to know the way of life here, I was shocked that so much information online was inaccurate.

That sentence is grammatically incorrect. You should say “when I finally arrived…” Moving on, what websites were you looking at? How old are they? All of Asia has experienced wild economic upheaval over the last several years, Thailand more than any other. Bangkok is the most expensive city in Thailand. Everyone knows that. If you didn’t know that, you did a bad job of researching. Although having said that, “expensive” is a relative term. If you live in a cheap neighborhood, use cheap transport, and eat like a Thai person, life here is much less expensive than every other major city in the world.

I’m sure if we were comparing Bangkok to London, the cost of living wouldn’t be worth talking about.  But most of us aren’t from London, Berlin, or Paris. Most of us are from regular, less wealthy areas of our respective countries. Let’s also bare in mind the average salary (≈฿25,000) as we jump in here.

I think you mean “bear” in mind. And wait—did you just use a straw man argument? First you correctly point out that compared to London, Bangkok is quite cheap. That’s where the comparison should end. Compared to other major world cities, Bangkok (another major world city) is really inexpensive. Blog over. Sign off. Find a new hobby. But instead, you then compare Bangkok to whatever backwater shit town you came from. None of the blogs you read about cheap living in Bangkok were comparing Bangkok to your shitty hometown. And voila! We’ve found the flaw in your entire line of thinking.  You’re from some tiny burg somewhere in the West where everything was cheap because no one wants to live there. You should’ve relocated to the Thai countryside or a small village in the south. Bangkok is too big for your small-minded sensibilities.  Having said that, though, it is possible get by on 25k per month. You know how I know? Because millions of Thais living in Bangkok do just that. So when someone says “you can live cheaply in Bangkok,” they don’t mean “You can live like a king cheaply in Bangkok” or “You can live cheaper than you did in your hometown.” What they mean is, you can get by. And that’s accurate. Your problem seems to be that when you previously read about cheap living in Bangkok, you conjured in your mind a fantasy of living well. You imagined a life of luxury that nothing but money will buy. You made a mistake. In your mind. Also, if you’re making 25k a month in Bangkok, you’re getting shafted. The average salary for a farang is much higher.

The BTS can cost up to ฿59 per journey, making your monthly commute over ฿2000.

WTF, where’d you come from? 2000 baht a month is stupid cheap compared to every other major city in the world. Also, the BTS only costs 59b per journey if you’re literally taking it from one end to the other. Nobody does that. Instead, they move closer to their place of work. Because they’re not idiots.

One of your first encounters with money when you get here will be the taxis, buses or the BTS.  Americans may have never heard of walking to work, but if this is the norm for you it could take you the better part of the day in Bangkok and you’ll stink, get heatstroke, or both.

OK first, that’s a run-on sentence. Second, compared to every other city in the world of similar size, the cost of your commute in Bangkok is minuscule. You’d know that if you traveled more. Also, after a couple years, you will acclimate to the heat. You’re a newb. By the way, do you know who walks to work? People who live close to work. Everyone else takes the bus or the bts. It’s starting to sound like the root of your entire blog can be boiled down to the distance between your home and work.

A beer in Bangkok will likely cost you over ฿100 for a bottle, or if you’re lucky, draft.  Even if you get it from a supermarket, it’s still going to be over ฿50. 

You know how I know you moved here less than a year ago? You don’t know how much beer cost 4 years ago. Do you even research global economics? Do you know what’s been happening with the baht against the yuan? Did you know that Thailand’s currency is being deflated on purpose? Or are you living in your own little world comprised of the tiny, myopic view just beyond the end of your nose? Also, there are half a dozen beer brands that cost around 30 baht at the supermarket.  By the way, if you’d been here longer than a millisecond, you’d have found bars with drink specials. On my block is a bar with 40b Singha drafts before 8:00 pm. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Speaking of the supermarket, do you know how much your weekly shop will cost?  You could be looking at ฿2000, not even including any Western products or alcohol you might buy. 

You say this as if everyone who lives here has never shopped for groceries. Here’s a news flash, buddy: you’re the last person to figure all this out. Having said that, WTF are you buying? My weekly grocery bill is 600 baht. If I were back in the US, it would be 10 times that amount. Bangkok is definitely cheaper.

Rent can be cheap here, but you really do get what you pay for.  I live in a 25m2 studio apartment towards the edge of Bangkok with my girlfriend. But the same price would get me something double the size back in the UK.  It could even get you a three bedroom house in Thailand if you’re willing to leave the city.

You’re incredibly naïve about the prices of apartments in different parts of Bangkok and the UK. Write about this after you’ve lived here longer, been around, and learned more. My first BKK apartment was 50 sqm and cost 1,500b per month. You’re bad at this. By the way, are you surprised that you “get what you pay for”? I mean, did you expect to get a mansion for the price of a broom closet? Just how fantastical were your initial dreams about Thailand?

Let’s also give an honourable mention to haircuts.  They’re hit and miss.  I’ve paid more here but I’ve heard rumours of cheaper places.  How much do you pay?

Holy crap, you’ve lived here less than a year. You know nothing about the city. Why did you write this? You sound like a rube. On my street there are half a dozen barber shops ranging in price from 40 baht to 500. The place I go to charges 200. By the way, that sentence makes no sense. You’ve ‘paid more’ compared to what? ‘Cheaper places’…than what? You provide no point of reference.

Bangkok is not a great place to take advantage of low prices.  In fact, it’s the second most expensive city in ASEAN.  A local farang salary can be enough to support you, but don’t expect to make any kind of savings without working yourself to death.  If you do want to do more with your money, head elsewhere in the country.  Bangkok isn’t Thailand.

The obvious stuff that you’ve pointed out here is old news to Bangkokians.  And you’re wrong on most counts because you simply haven’t been here long enough to figure things out. You actually can take advantage of low prices in Bangkok. The tradeoff is, in order to do that you have to live like a Thai. You’ve written about a topic that you have very little knowledge of. You’re the last one to the party, son. Also, you kept confusing the concepts of “cheap” and “cheaper.” At times, you compared BKK prices to other big cities, but then switched to prices in your Podunk town which is a false equivalence. Then other times you seemed to be comparing BKK prices to your preconceived idea of what you thought the prices were or should be. Basically you wrote a blog about how you miscalculated the cost of living here. “Hello, I’m a blogger, here’s my blog about how I thought something and it turns out I was wrong.” Awesome, thanks for sharing. Also, your grammar and syntax are bad. Your teachers must’ve sucked. The good news is, you can still be a successful Bangkok blogger, because most are shitty writers with nothing accurate, interesting, or worthwhile to say. You fit right in, congrats.

Personally, I’m looking forward to tearing apart more of this moron’s retarded Bangkok-related bloviating. Check back on Friday for a frowback, and cheers to everyone who has a working brain and a positive attitude in the greatest city in the greatest country on planet Earth. Peace!