Author Topic: Are You a Two-Week Millionaire?  (Read 159 times)

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Offline thaiga

Are You a Two-Week Millionaire?
« on: October 09, 2018, 09:04:17 PM »
Tourists at play, locals at work

As in most countries in the developing world, the beach is a place where vendors do business. They pass by numerous times each day while you're lounging underneath an umbrella and soaking up the rays. Enticing you to purchase something you could easily do without, they'll offer you items like a hand-carved elephant or a hammock.

After saying no a few times, most sellers realize that we are not buyers, but they do still stop to say hi. And there was one young, energetic guy who was hard to overlook. He was selling board shorts, something very fashionable in today's beachwear. In the local markets, we'd seen them selling for 2,000 baht, roughly equal to $58. His starting price was just 600 baht. After bartering with him, we ended up paying 300 baht for a pair of shorts -- less than $9 -- and we were was satisfied with the purchase.

One advantage of staying long-term in a location is that we get to meet and learn about these vendors, all of whom have a story to tell. The board-shorts vendor was no different. Each day, he would stop by to see whether we were interested in another purchase. He was a businessman and understood his market and products. He was originally from Vietnam and owned a shop 30 minutes north of our oceanfront location and worked the beach on many days. When we asked him how many pairs of shorts he sold on his busiest days, he answered, "15,000 baht worth." That's very impressive for a beach vendor, considering that the average Thai wages are quite low.

Our vendor then proceeded to tell me that he sells only about 10 or 15 pair of shorts a day! How did he make so much money selling so little merchandise? He explained that during the busy season, the same shorts we'd bought for 300 baht go for 1,500 baht. Curious, we asked ask him who would pay such inflated prices.

"Oh, that's easy," he replied. "The two-week millionaires." Those are the people who take their two-week vacations with money to burn and no regard to prices. Our vendor says he can spot them the minute they set foot on the beach.

Wondering what his impression of me was (Billy here), he jokingly quipped, "key nee owl," which is an affectionate Thai expression for "Cheap Charlie." He knew me well.

We take the position that our retirement is a lifestyle and not a vacation. We get to a location, check out the pricing, and do some comparisons before buying.

And those board shorts we paid 300 baht for? We just saw them in Burma for the equivalent of 200 baht.

Our vendor won yet another battle.

full article
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

Re: Are You a Two-Week Millionaire? Video
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 11:31:39 AM »
two week millionare

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

An old post from stickman - Written by Bangkok Real November 22nd, 2013 - was he right at the time or is he right now :spin

The game has changed and now the expat is not as well-off as he once was

The past 30 years of Thailand has seen the phenomenon of the two-week millionaire writ large as a large and lucrative sub-culture. Across the globe, guys have been saving up for that trip, marking off the days on the calendar to the big getaway. Two weeks of heaven, two weeks in paradise, and then back to the real world to repeat the cycle as when time and resources are available.

But the last 5 years or so have seen a change in the pattern of arrivals to the kingdom. After a life-time or less of multiple trips to the country, now those guys are retiring in country. Others are coming here because global communications allow them to use the country as a base to work from. Others, seeing the old western economies in decline chance their luck at a new beginning in the wild east. Yet whatever their circumstances it is the lure of the girls that still have a magnetic pull over the mindset of the average guy. Why stay in a cold, drab, friendless country when you can live among so many pretty women. And so we witness the huge condominium complexes being built in Pattaya and Jomtien, the real estate booms of places like Phuket and Samui, fuelled by western inbound money.

Thailand is certainly changing. It’s not just the foreign expats. Thai industry and exports have been doing really well; incomes are up across all sectors of the population. Major retailers are building big scale shopping complexes in traditionally poor regions such as Isaan. There’s a labour shortage with the balance being made up from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia. In my local market I hear the chatter of Vietnamese from among the porters and labourers.

And this economic activity, raising the levels of incomes among the poorest has a knock on effect on the expat. He may have arrived at a time when the country was cheaper and when his foreign currency bought a lot more baht than it did previously. That retiring at 40 was perhaps not such a good idea. He may have found that doing business here was not as easy as he thought it would be. And maintaining business contacts over long distances is not as easy as doing business face-to-face. The game has changed and now the expat is not as well-off as he once was. The trips to the bars are not as frequent as he wanted, the girls want much more money for their companionship, the service is not as good as it used to be during the good old days of being a two-week millionaire.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.