Mark Newman

Little victories - then and now

How things have changed for me over the years

Another year has rolled by... they seem to be rolling by faster and faster. Sigh!

I was a young and gregarious 'know-it-all' forty-year-old when I arrived in Thailand and I'm now in my late fifties. My life has changed enormously since the heady and adventurous days since my arrival - so I thought it would be a good time to look back and compare those exuberant and energetic days to my more sedentary life now...

Little Victories - Then and now #1

Professionally my life has gone through an amazing makeover. My formative years in Thailand were spent traveling all over the place on various ugly forms of public transport, seven days a week holding down several jobs and contracts. Schools, companies and private students all took a bite out of my time. I was a workaholic...

Fast forward to now - I work four days a week (Tuesday to Friday) and I'm on my way home by 14:30 each day. The frenetic years of investment, scrimping and saving during the first few years paid off.

Little Victories - Then and now #2

When I first came to Thailand I immersed my svelte frame into fine, swanky clothes and hit the clubs every chance I got. Those weekend nights were what made the horrible work week days just about manageable. Forty is a good age to attract attention from the dancing Thai angels and every weekend ended in a 'victory!'

These days I'm a 'stay-at-home' bore. It's a little victory if I can stagger into my underwear without toppling over or leaning up against the wardrobe! After the excitement of getting dressed, there's something on the telly I'll be watching.

Little Victories - Then and now #3

Going into Bangkok for a nice Indian curry once a month was a big treat for me a few short years ago. There were other nice eateries that I regularly called into, too... all Western - all expensive! From barbecued ribs to beef nachos, a full belly and a delicious 'victory' meal was mine!

These days it's beans on toast wolfed down standing up leaning over my microwave oven - and it's an accomplishment if I can remove the stubborn skin of a baked bean from my teeth with just my tongue! Although, I usually have to enlist the aid of a toothpick eventually!

Little Victories - Then and now #4

It doesn't seem that many years ago since my bed linen was a silent yet congratulatory testament to my libido. The 'victories' were beautiful, plentiful, and looking back, all forgettable, too...

Nowadays, as that particular wanting inside me has waned, the biggest victory in my bed is successfully throwing an apple core into the waste paper bin in the corner of the room. My scoring average is pretty bad, though, and more often than not I have to lever myself out of bed and pick the core up off the floor and deliver it to the bin from much closer range!

Little Victories - Then and now #5

In the first few years of my life in Thailand, I went to beaches, waterfalls, parks, resorts, mountains, temples and markets - both river and land types! My victories in exploration and adventure were too numerous to mention and I've forgotten more travels around Thailand than most people will ever have.

Moving forward to 2017 and I'll be found trudging the aisles of a Big C, looking for marked down fruit juice, stocking up with spaghetti sauce and cursing the inflated price of deodorant!

Little Victories - Then and now #6

Finally, as I age, I'm spending more time sitting on the toilet. Which means I can play my favorite game of enjoying a poo and seeing how many times I can swing the bathroom door up towards the magnetic stop in the wall and have it stick there. If I swing the door too hard it bounces off the stop. If I don't swing the door hard enough it won't quite reach and the door falls shut again.

Once I managed to get the swing just right on the very first go. What a brilliant victory poo that was. Usually though, it takes loads of tries. It's harder than it sounds!

Well, as you can see, my life is still pretty interesting and full of adventure - albeit in different ways!

Anyway - a Happy Christmas to all. I really hope that you get out of your life in Thailand exactly what you put into it... just like I do! I am getting slightly better throwing things into the waste paper basket, but aside from that, next year looks like being a lot like the last one.

Little Victories, eh...


Sounds like low T, and that you have settled into your lifestyle. I also used to be in "hunting mode" in my younger years, traveling and exploring both tourist attractions, beaches and more risque venues. Nowadays I enjoy a nice quiet cup of coffee in my desk while I watch the sun go up, then a large bowel movement to start my day. Priorities change as one ages. But really, talk to someone about LowT. Very common and cheap in Thailand.

By ChangNaam, Las Vegas, NV (13th January 2017)

It sounds like you're single. I didn't know that such a thing could be possible for anyone who'd lived in Thailand for more than two years!

By John, Bangkok (26th December 2016)

I hate to admit, but I can relate to most of this.

By Jack, Here, not there (21st December 2016)

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