Thailand Named Best Expat Place to Live

Ah, no, I’m afraid what you have there are the D and one of the K letters. There’s a DT letter that does look similar to the D, and it’s closer in sound to D than to T.

But yes, that is her standard English spelling of her name. The Bangkok Post story actually misspells it as “th.” (The Post usually spells it correctly, without the H.) But since it is a hard T sound, it really ought to include the H.

Ah, here it is. This is the DT letter, called to tao: ต

Og DANG it!, I missed it by this much. :smack:
Toh Tao ต is right next to Koh Khon in the keyboard ค.

That’s kho khwai, ค. Kho khon is ฅ, but it’s obsolete; I don’t know if it’s used at all anymore.

But you know what they always say: Watch your pho phuengs and kho khwais. :smiley:

Oh, I quit. Should have slept 20 more minutes in the morning.

One question. When Brits and Americans start living in other countries they call themselves “expats” People who come from other counties to live in the UK or the USA are called “immigrants” Why the difference?

Anecdotally, my ex wife has just moved to Thailand for an extended sojourn - she loves the place.

IME, “expat” carries an air of impermanence. I’ve been an expat, because I knew I wasn’t there permanently. “Expat” is short for “expatriate”, meaning someone who lives outside of their native country. I didn’t actually immigrate to another country, meaning I didn’t acquire permanent residency or pursue citizenship. I was just an expatriate. Siam Sam probably has some more insightful things to say about it, because he’s been an expat for a hell of a lot longer than I ever was, but my guess is that because he’s not a Thai citizen, and he’s not pursuing Thai citizenship, he’ll always have a different status from a Thai person, and thus doesn’t consider himself to be an immigrant.

As one of thousands of American who lived in Berlin, we Americans would consider ourselves “ex-pats” as we were still Americans, but happened to live away from the USA. I am sure Berliners never called us that - we were just immigrants to their city/country.

As a footnote, whether you want to or not, we ex-pats eventually become a representative of our home country as people constantly ask questions or make stupid comments and you find yourself in a position of having to defend your home country, no matter how patriotic you might actually be or not be. I was/am by no stretch of the imagination a flag-waving, USA citizen, but while I was in Europe, I had no choice but to defend ignorance and had many heated conversations with people who made inane comments about the US.

My guess is it depends on how you view it - if you don’t intend to live “there” forever, you are most likely an “ex-pat”. If you settle down, get married and have a family or get into a serious relationship with a local, well - maybe not so much.

I have a (female) friend who just returned from a vacation in Thailand, she absolutely loved it and is going back as soon as she possibly can (she’s a very busy doctor, so that might take a while).

Regarding expat VS immigrants, my parents are what you can rightfully call expats in the US. They live there semi-permanently, but do not make use of the country infrastructure*, have not brought their children (they moved there after retirement), and do not really call it home. They just want to have access to good medicine (paid by themselves) should the need arise, and a place to cool down in the summer. Most people would still call them immigrants.

On the other hand, my husband, a long-time permanent Dominican resident, married to a Dominican, with a half-Dominican kid, with investments and ties to the country still considers himself an expat. I think it works because he is still employed by a company back home, but a lot of self-employed, or locally-employed foreigners in similar situations do not call themselves immigrants.

The difference seems to be whether you are moving to a richer or poorer country.

*As in schools, social benefits and such.

Expat carries semi-permanent connotations.

You will have a job there, have a place you call home, etc.

But there are also some limits- expats do not pursue citizenship, probably do not send their children to local school (preferring “American Schools” or overseas boarding schools), probably get paid on a Western pay scale with Western benefits, use foreigner hospitals, etc.

The distinction is probably so much colonial baggage, but what can you do?

On the one hand, it’s fucking desolate and gets about three inches of rain a year (all in one week). On the other hand, at least the humidity is north of 90% for the entire summer to go with the 100 degree heat.

[quote=“Kyla, post:28, topic:560612”]

Who could want anything more? :smiley:

As for “expat” versus “immigrant,” yes, the latter carries a permanence with it, especially citizenship, such as my ancestors who moved to the New World from Europe. My visa is specifically and officially one of the many types called a “Non-Immigrant Visa.” I may have been here for donkey’s years, and I may end up dying here (I think that every day when I step out into the street :D), but circumstances could somehow, some day dictate that I return to my native land. Or move on to Phnom Penh, as Cambodia is really up and coming. I have no intention of obtaining a new citizenship from any country.

I think it might be time for a new word to describe permanent non-immigrant expats. When I lived in Asia I met quite a few folks who had spent a good chunk of their life abroad with no real intention of ever going home. Like a previous poster indicated…expat traditionally meant a temporary, somewhat colonial existence with no real responsibilities or obligations in the country (Shanghai MNC-types in your French Concession villas…I’m looking at you).

A lot more options now.

About four years ago on China-related forum a British fellow was dead set on acquiring PRC citizenship. Apparently it is possible…theoretically. Everyone (including me) thought he was fu*king nuts. Quite a list of bad things could happen if you were to trade in the Queen’s for the Little Red Book.

Very adamant though…not sure what came of that guy…

That was really my point in asking that question. In the UK at least “immigrant” is a prerogative term while “expat” is the opposite. Thus you get letters written to the right-wing Daily Mail complaining about “all those Eastern European immigrants who won’t learn the language, won’t mix with the locals and insist on eating their own food”.

The irony of all this is that many of these letters are written by long-term British “expats” living in Spain who won’t learn the language, live in their own British colonies and buy most of their food from the “British shop”. As for those Eastern Europeans, many of them are in the UK for just a few years and intend to return back home when they have made enough money. This compares to those British “expats” who have moved to Spain to retire and will live probably for the rest of their life.

Correction. It should say “… and will probably live there for the rest of their life.”

Hmmm. Looks like we’re also the 7th most likely location for a terrorist attack, according to the Terrorism Risk Index. Between Colombia (#6) and the Philippines (#8). (Somalia is the new No. 1, jumping past Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Colombia. They must be very proud.)

It’s interesting that New Zealanders living in Australia are often referred to as “Expats” even though they’ve quite likely been here for years (or decades), have no intention of going “home”, and are fully integrated into Australian life.

But otherwise, I agree, the term “Expat” usually carries connotation of a semi-temporary residence (perhaps for work reasons) along with a suggestion that the person involved may decided to return home at some indeterminate point in the future.

I thought New Zealanders living in Australia were often referred to as, er, shall we say something else?

I think the reason Thailand won was the LBFMs. Canada and Bahrain don’t have them.