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A question I can't answer.

This post is in my head for quite some time but I did not have the energy to pin it down in writings.  After I told my mother that my wife's status has changed, she pop the question again "So when are you moving them back to Singapore?"  So I gave her my usual response (its not the first time) but I know this time it won't be easy to win the argument.

What happens usually is I would reply that I wish to go over there, but I can't, because of my wife's statelessness (so I can't apply for an 'O' visa).  And I just say wait her status is changed then we discuss on this.  So here we are again....

As I have a feeling I no longer could use the argument above so I just stay silent..... and she continued to grill me what I plan to do and what's wrong with Singapore.

"Too expensive for them to stay here, I can't earn enough to support them here" I replied
"I can chip in a bit and the way you fly to and fro also expensive"she countered. 

"I got no house." I replied.
"Stay at my house lah" she replied "Not like I mind" she countered.
"But you and my wife would fight, and (my elder) sister may get disturbed by the kids!"
"She won't mind, she like the kids too!"  mum countered "Not like you can look for a work in Thailand"

So in the end, I just say I would think about it and close off the conversation. 

So after the debate.  I did started to think about this option but its a no brainer.  My heart is still in Thailand :) .  And there are of course, various other reasons..

First, my wife can't even speak english and she can't read or write in Chinese too.  So practically she can't find a decent job here in SG.  If we only have girl girl then still possible but with ah boy around.  It would be tough for both of us. I don't wish to depend too much on my mum in this too.

Second, girl is already 4 years old and all her friends and playmates are in Maesai, Thailand.  She enjoys it there too.  Its possible she might change if I bring her here too but I think it would most likely be a culture shock.  The kids in SG are waaay different from the kids she knew back home.  If she is younger then maybe.  And she can't converse in English.  She speaks mainly Thai and Chinese. 

Thirdly, what would happen to our stuff and house in Thailand?  Sell them off?  Leave it and no one take cares of it.  My wife's closest relative is her sis whom is in Hatt Yai working.  Its a home to us and we just can't leave it. 

There are more but I think the 3 listed above are the major ones.. So yes, I definitely would go back.  But the question I can't really answer now is WHEN?

Recently due to the new car and baby,  I need to work harder here to earn more money to pay off the car loan and other extra expenses that the new baby has incurred.  This means I need to find a job in Thailand immediately if I were to go back now, which might be tough as I still can't read or write Thai scripts.

So most probably I will continue to work in Singapore for a few more years.  I still have my dreams of opening a photo studio in Thailand but the location is important (thinking of Chiang Mai or Bangkok) and it might take some years to plan and source for resources.

I could give my answer to my mum.  But I guess grandma misses the kids and want them over :P.  So I am prepared to be nagged for a few more years.. huhuhu... not her problem but mine...


Cool said...

Dear Jingsheng,
After reading your dilemma, i kinda look myself in the mirror...quite the same as me before (i wouldn;t say total reflection similarity). Who says without the knowledge of Thai writing and reading you can;t find a job in this land of smile?..I am..and i conquered. Till today, I still do not read or write Thai (apart from memorising those symbols on the car number plates...). There are hundred of jobs (mostly foreign firms) waiting for foreigners to fill in..and yes...this time the reputation of sillypore kicks in...efficiency...trilingual, etc..and you are looking into pay as good as Singapore (Mostly Foreign Firms i meant). I did encounter this kind of family dilemma when i first settled down in Thailand, especially from my mum. My dad is kind of supportive (he is quite liberal in fact), but not for my traditional mum. At the end of the day, i just psycho her abit..."Mum, Singapore and Thailand is only about 2 hours flight away...if you stomachache, i can still make it back to fetch you to the clinic..I am a Thai, Mum (This part is a little too much now come to thinnk about it), Singapore society doesn't fit me, I am more glued to Thai, I do not want Ah Girl to grow up to be a snobbish bitch, nor do i want to torture my wifey to fit into sillypore ..."....
Talk about kids, i guess at the end of the day, Thailand could still offer the best of both world (east and west), but if you consider international school, fees will be high, but somehow alittle manageable...and you would be surprise, kids will graduate speaking more american then fake the end of the day, is not which uni they graduate from, it is how happy kids will feel and how memorable their childhood lives are and how much they can contribute to the society (and of course how much $$$ they can make and feed their parents too too..ieieieie...). I do have car and house to feed too...but expenses in Bangkok is low compare to Singapore, let alone maesai. Its best for you to find a job in bangkok (or maybe not so much on Chiangmai, not much foreign firms there and economy is pretty dead over there), while you could still visit your family in Maesai and Singapore..(you are 1/2 way between them). If you are seriously considering settling down in Thailand...bangkok should be the place (though i kinda hate this pace sometimes), where the economy runs here.
I have been here for almost seven years and come to think about education with Dunman High and ACJC at that time was not wasted, but I have not much confidence about the society back in Sillypore now. 20 centsfor a bowl of mee rebus, marble games, chee-koo-ba and playing ping pong on the stone table were my time...shelfishness, society pressure, nintendo, mobile phones are what prevail now. This current phenomenon exist even in Thailand, but at the end of the day, they have culture, they have innocense which what sillypore has lost.
We only live what we like if not we will regret later.
Yours sincerely,

Michael said...

Hi Lee Jing,
We had corresponded before if you can remember. I am seeing someone with a Thai Yai status just like what you had been through. Everything still in standstill, I had been hanging on strongly on this relationship for a year now, transiting between Malaysia & Maesai. Perhaps like you mentioned in one of the email before, I do not have kids like you but I would love to one day.
The previous posting by Colin really been a motivator, I am still searching & hunting for a job in Thailand. My gf's status had not changed for a bit and at times it can be real frustrating.
Keep in touch my friend. I guess I can learn a lot from u & Colin. Just droppin a message here to let u know tat you are not alone...