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Is going back home easier said than done?

Before I start this blog let me be clear: I am a happy expat. Previous blogs have allured to the possibility of a return back to the UK, but I was just being open in sharing some of the questions expats, like myself, inevitably have had. What is our end game – will we ever return back ‘home’ and will there ever come a time in the short term where one would need to go back?

The longer I spend living abroad, the less likely it is that I will ever go back to live again. The reality is there is very little back in the UK for me to go back for, I have my two brothers but see them when they come over on whenever I go back to the UK for a vacation. I have friends but we have all moved on from when I last lived in the UK over a decade ago. We are certainly still friends, but our mindsets have shifted in opposite directions.

Can you fit back in with a society that you left?

One of the biggest reasons for why I don’t think I will end up back in the UK is that I no longer fit in and no longer think aligned to the UK culture, friends and family. During August I saw on my Facebook feed all my friends back in the UK having their summer holidays – as it was half term for their children. So, every family gets away as the kids are off school. And they all jump on plane to British areas abroad in Europe and surround themselves with fellow Brit holiday makers. If ever I wanted reminding of the structure and routine to UK living that was it.

Let’s face it, no one really cares about what you have been up to living abroad, at best you will get a luke warm interest. Your experiences are of no interest to your peers back home.

After uprooting and moving abroad to then return back home means acclimatising to a different social ecosystem all over again. There is even terminology for this, it is called ‘Reverse Culture Shock’ when you return. Will you feel like you belong when you return, I am not convinced you will?

I am also quite sure you will be in shock with a whole raft of things from the weather change to increased taxes.

Never say never

I would certainly never discount returning back to the UK, preferably in a financially secure position, but looking into the UK from afar I really am not sure it is something I would want to rush back for.

Newest iPhone could have big screen, big price around (32,000 baht)

Apple Inc is expected to blast further past the US$1,000 (32,000 baht) price barrier when it launches new iPhones on Wednesday, but Wall Street is most intrigued by how deep into its larger-than-ever lineup prices hikes may go.

Apple is likely to name the top variant as XS Max, according to an Apple products sitemap spotted by technology website ATH, and reported by other media outlets including Verge and Engadget.

The new top model is expected to have a 6.5-inch screen with an edge-to-edge display and be called the iPhone X Plus or Max. It would have an OLED display with richer colours, and Wall Street is targeting a price of $1,049 or $1,099 versus the current $999 base price for the iPhone X.

A second phone with a 5.8-inch OLED display, likely called the iPhone Xs, would be similar to the iPhone X but with an improved processor.

The third expected model with a 6.1-inch display, potentially will be called iPhone Xr, has intrigued analysts most. The big display is expected to use lower-cost LCD technology, but look more like last year's iPhone X than the iPhone 8, which itself looked similar to phones going back to 2014's iPhone 6.

Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Apple is expected to announce 3 new iPhone models at tomorrow's event. Here's what you need to know #AppleEvent
    — TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) September 12, 2018

Apple's market capitalisation has passed $1 trillion and the company needs to sustain revenue growth from its signature product even as global demand for smart phones plateaus. One way to do that is to get people to buy more expensive phones.

"There’s no real game changer on the table," said Hal Eddins, chief economist at Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel. "It’s a matter of getting people to keep moving up."

That fresher profile could help lure price-conscious Apple customers with three- and four-year-old phones into an upgrade, said Eddins. Expectations for Apple's lineup have been fueled by reports from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is based in Taiwan, where many of the contract manufactures that also make Apple products are based.

While some expect a $699 price for the iPhone 9, Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall sees as much as $849, a significant bump for a mid-range device.

"Given the better-than-expected iPhone X demand this summer we doubt Apple is inclined to go for lower price points," Hall wrote in a note to clients.

Rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has a few models that cost nearly as much as Apple models, but the bulk of its lineup, like that of other phone makers, consists of cheaper models.

"Apple has never competed on price," said Josh Blechman, director of capital markets at Exponential ETFs, which holds Apple shares in its exchange traded fund.

In addition to new models, Apple is also expected to unveil a gold-colour option for the two new OLED-screened phones, a new version of its wireless Airpods earbuds with wireless charging and a new version of its Apple Watch with a bigger display. It also is expected to release a wireless charging mat that will be able to charge several devices at once.

Transport & Traffic / First Hong Kong tourists pass through 20-second Suvarnabhumi entry
« Last post by thaiga on September 16, 2018, 01:08:03 PM »
First Hong Kong tourists pass through 20-second Suvarnabhumi entry

A group of Cathay Pacific passengers became the first group of Hong Kong people allowed to use the speedy new automated immigration process at Suvarnabhumi airport on Saturday morning.

The group arrived on the Cathay Pacific Flight CX717 at 10.50am and were allowed to use the automated channel that required each passenger to pass through the immigration process in only 20 seconds.

As part of the process, the system scans the barcode on each passenger’s passport and on the flight ticket as well as reading the passenger’s fingerprint and compared the information with the Advance Passenger Processing system (APPS).

The Hong Kong passengers had already provided all necessary immigration information when they checked in with their airline using the APPS system.

Immigration has been using automated system with Thai passengers for a while, using information from the online household registration of the Interior Ministry.

In 2017, the Cabinet instructed the Immigration Bureau to expand its use to cover foreigners to reduce queues at international airports. The bureau first used it with Singapore passport holders before expanding to those from Hong Kong.

The bureau plans to expand the use of automated immigration to other checkpoints around the country and to nationals from other regional countries in the near future.

Isaan News / Holidaymakers invited to see blooming lotuses in Ubon Ratchathani
« Last post by Newsy on September 16, 2018, 11:39:01 AM »

Holidaymakers invited to see blooming lotuses in Ubon Ratchathani

Holidaymakers have been invited to visit a lotus lake in Ubon Ratchathani province to enjoy the beautiful sight of blooming white and pink lotuses.

Situated in Tha Lad sub-district, the 15-rai lake is a popular weekend tourist destination in Ubon Ratchathnai province. Visitors hear about the lake either on the grapevine or through social media.

Known locally as Bueng Bua Ban Tha Lad, the lake attracts visitors from all areas. It is also known to be a perfect place for people wanting to spend some relaxing time with their loved ones. Sweet and crunchy lotus seeds are also available for purchase at the lake. Those looking for a natural getaway or planning to visit the lake should come no later than October or before the lotuses begin to wither.
Transport & Traffic / Bangkok Car Free Day 2018 will be celebrated on 22nd Sept
« Last post by Newsy on September 16, 2018, 11:34:53 AM »

Bangkok Car Free Day 2018 will be celebrated on 22nd Sept

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is to organize activities to celebrate Car Free Day on 22nd September of every year. The activities will campaign for the greater use of public transport instead of cars to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and traffic congestion.

This year’s Car Free Day activities will be collaboration between the BMA, the Pollution Control Department, the Traffic Police Division, Central Group and other organizations in public and private sectors. Deputy Governor of Bangkok Skonthi Phatthiyakun said at a press conference to announce the activities that the BMA is urgently connecting all public transportation networks in order to better facilitate the travels of commuters.

On 22nd September of every year, Bangkok and other major cities worldwide arrange special activities to boost the use of public transport instead of personal cars and motor bikes for less environmental pollution and better traffic flow.
Thailand News / Government offices doing away with the need for ID photocopies
« Last post by Newsy on September 16, 2018, 11:33:07 AM »

Government offices doing away with the need for ID photocopies

Officials have announced that in keeping with the Thailand 4.0 agenda and national development strategies, photocopies of identification cards and home registrations will no longer be needed when engaging with state offices.

Instead, citizens contacting government agencies will only need to present their identification cards, which have 13 digit serial numbers that allow for access to a national database. An application for public services is planned.

The first agency to heed the announcement was the South Bangkok Civil Court, which ended the need for photocopies on May 15 of this year. The Department of Business Development followed suit on June 8.

All government agencies are required to put their data into the national database in support of the change by October 3, 2018
Transport & Traffic / 1,800 Bangkok vans to be banned from road
« Last post by Newsy on September 16, 2018, 11:29:20 AM »

1,800 Bangkok vans to be banned from road

About 1,800 vans will have to stop taking passengers at the end of this month after being registered for more than 10 years, a transport committee said.

The committee headed by Col Sombat Thanyawan, deputy commander of the Second Cavalry Division, held a meeting on Thursday and reaffirmed its decision to have operators stop using 10-year-old vans.

The van operators have called on the committee to be lenient and extend the limit to 15 years.

But the committee decided that after a decade, a van becomes dangerous for passengers, Sombat said.

He said 1,800 out of 6,000 vans in Bangkok must be decommissioned and violators will face a fine of Bt50,000 to Bt200,000.
General Discussions / Re: Tripadvisor
« Last post by Taman Tun on September 16, 2018, 08:01:49 AM »
I can confirm that the Banmaichaichaynam still exists.  Mrs TT and I were coming back from BKK earlier in the year. It was early afternoon and Mrs TT wanted to eat.  We came off the main road and cruised through Koh Kaew where all the places were closed.  We were directed to Banmaichaichaynam where the grump on car park duty tried to persuade us that it was closed.  The ravenous Mrs TT told him that it was definitely open, which it was.
The restaurant is perched high above a bend in the river and serves Thai food.  The food and service were good.  As mentioned in the TA review the restaurant features a huge collection of oddities from bygone years.  One particular object which caught my eye was a bronze statuette of a couple performing what the French call soixante-neuf. I did wonder how a place so obscurely located could make a living. The answer to this became obvious when we were leaving.  Some coach parties were just arriving, presumably from the local resorts.  So, it is possible that later in the evening service is not so good. Also, mosquitoes from the river might be a problem.

Engineer TT had a few observations which may or may not be of interest:-

The river terrace of the restaurant is supported by piling which you can see fleetingly in one of Thaiga’s photos. The piling did not look too good to me.

PRM (Persons of Reduced Mobility, the PC term for disabled and cripples). Access requirements for buildings are set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act, amongst other legislation. The restaurant is definitely not ADA compliant as there are awkward stairs everywhere.

Fire.  The whole building is a warren of rooms of timber construction. Definitely a serious fire hazard.

The TripAdvisor listings for Korat do not seem to be keeping up with the times.  Places which do not appear are Super Seafood and Hop Beer Bar which I mentioned the other day.  There is also a new place called Beat Bar next to Annyeong.  It seems quite lively with a young crowd and live music.  Despite the young crowd it is definitely ADA compliant.  There is also a new restaurant at the 5 ways crossroads..can’t quite remember the name Ban....? Good place to watch the traffic.
General Discussions / Re: Tripadvisor - top 10
« Last post by thaiga on September 16, 2018, 12:35:14 AM »
No sign of andy, so we move on after the pizza adverts.
Moving on to number 2 in tripadvisors rankings for Korats top 10 restaurants being moderately priced. The Banmaichaynam fascinating decor this place has, plenty to look at bit like a museum, even has old fashioned pinball machines, toys and playthings, could be a family day out, very inviting place by looking at the pics. The good the bad the ugly in the comments

The Banmaichaynam
21 Moo 11, Koh Kaew Village, Pak Chong Subdistrict, Pak Chong chai

Good food
Good food, authentic Thai food and tasty. But staff are lazy, lazy to say even Hello, have to call them many times to ask 1 glass and dessert menu. Beer glasses and water glasses are very dirty.

Impressive Collectible Musuem
One of the must-visit when in Khao Yai, a quaint place with retro decoration. There’s lots of collectible item, life size mannequins, traditional figurine and toys. This is also one of the place with good photo opportunities, we spend about 1 hours to take photos around the restaurant!

Food wise, it was delicious local Thai food. Price also pretty fair and inexpensive. The only drawback was most of the servant have difficulties to understand English, as one of the item we ordered was out of stock, they tried to tell us in Thai but we don’t really get them till the next table local Thai couple translate it for us. But overall the dining experience as still good.

This place is quite hidden, it’s better to pre-booked the driver / tour else it will be difficult to locate the restaurant

Quirky place but out of the way
Took awhile to travel here but place is worth a visit. Like a massive museum with tons of things to see, and a restaurant by the river. Food was pretty good but some bugs and mozzies will haunt your legs during the meal.

Interesting place to visit with families.

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Scams & Crime / German expat gets eight years jail for slaying girlfriend
« Last post by thaiga on September 15, 2018, 08:57:25 PM »
German expat gets eight years jail for slaying Phuket girlfriend

German national, a 36-year-old fitness instructor in Phuket, has been sentenced to serve more than eight years in jail for the murder of his girlfriend, for stealing her ATM card and for a drugs-related charge.

P, from Altdöbern, Germany, was arrested for the murder Ms, 35, on July 11 last year after her body was found dumped in the jungle in Wichit two days earlier.

Ms  body was found wrapped in blankets and bound with sticking tape beside the road about 600 metres along the newly graded track leading into the jungle north of the cement factory on Muang Chaofa Rd

full article
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