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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
I'll happily admit that I seldom drink alcohol. I'm only 27 years old, but I'm already very burnt out on drinking. I'm not against others drinking, but I learned in a hurry that drinking at bars and nightclubs is a sure-fire way to senselessly burn a hole in your pocket. This is even more true in Thailand than it is in China. If I go to bars or nightclubs, I usually just order cola or water. If I decide to drink, I never drink more than maybe three bottles of beer. I usually only go to these types of places once or twice a month max. I completely avoid "hi-so" venues, because those places are mostly just for being seen and conversing with the group of people you came with, rather than mingling with new people. I dipped into a few hi-so types of places in my early Bangkok days, but I quickly learned they aren't for me. Way too pretentious for this introvert. I prefer go to quiet places with relatively few people that are ideal for soaking up the atmosphere, relaxing, and chatting. I don't like these loud as hell, overcrowded, and overpriced places that so many Asian people seem to enjoy.
As for my visa: I had to pay for my non-imm B visa (1,900 THB), but my school payed for my work permit. I don't have to do border runs, but I do have to report my current address to Thai immigration every 90 days, and I do have to go to the giant Chaengwattana immigration office once a year to renew my work permit. Sure, it's a royal pain in the ass, but that's the way every "legal" person has to do it in Thailand.
As for medical insurance: my school deducts a small amount from my paycheck each month to pay for my medical insurance. 34,250 THB is the amount I receive each month after both tax and medical insurance have been deducted. Sorry, I should've made that more clear. I haven't had to use my medical insurance yet, so I'm not entirely sure what it covers. Hopefully that doesn't change [fingers crossed].
Forgot to say I got medical insurance for less than $200 for a whole year. I'm covered for emergencies, but for more routine stuff they expect me to fly home (where treatment is free). Just the thing if you're going here on a long term vacation type of thing but don't want the full expat lifestyle.
I do drink alcohol but Thai beer is strong so I don't drink as much as I did at home.
And I keep finding new ways to keep the budget in order.
Tonight I found a bar where you can also get a massage. There, that takes care of two things in the same place. And walking home in tonight's torrential rain, I got my clothes washed for free.
Went to Suzy Wongs again tonight, it's 175 baht a beer but how much would that kind of entertainment cost in London or New York? Well forget it because you won't see that stuff anywhere in these kinds of cities, so if you're living here you might as well enjoy it.