We're chatting to expats who live and work in Thailand about the pandemic situation here. Hans has been in Thailand over 30 years and runs his own tour company.
Could you introduce yourself (where are you from? how long have you lived in Thailand? and what do you do for a living?)
My name is Hans Deckers from Holland and I am 55 years old. I have been living in Thailand for 31 years. I have worked in tourism all this time, starting out with a cafe and restaurant in Chiang Mai. Later I opened my own tour company organizing tailor-made tours throughout Thailand.
In general, how do you think Thailand has handled the pandemic up to now?
I have contact with a lot of people from abroad and their stories convince me that Thailand is doing much better than they are.
If you were put in charge of things right now, what would be the first rules or things you would change?
Relax travel restrictions, because with a two-week quarantine, nobody will visit.
Let’s talk about you personally. What is the most regrettable thing that the pandemic has robbed you of or changed about your life?
Income has obviously dropped considerably because we solely depend on tourists with our business.
From a work point of view, how has your situation changed (if indeed it has) and has there been any significant financial impact?
Luckily, I have savings so I've been relying on that.
Has the pandemic had any positive impacts on your life?
Enjoy the little things.
When do you predict the world will return to some sort of normality and we will be able to travel abroad and maybe get to remove these damn face-masks, etc?
I think the beginning of 2022.
Things started to go pear-shaped in March 2020. Over the past year or so, has your enthusiasm for living in Thailand increased or decreased?
I still enjoy living here. My enthusiasm has not been dampened.
When we get to the light at the end of this long tunnel, have you promised yourself to make lifestyle changes or do some things differently?
Lifestyle changes had to be made already. Now I am more focused on health and want to continue that.
For someone who doesn’t know how to get through the days and is perhaps suffering mentally, what would be your advice?
Find something to do that excites you. It does not have to be a business.
Scoot Chiang Mai offers tours in Chiang Mai by electric scooter and they have special introduction discounts for people living here in Thailand.