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Lance Interview!
Old 10-20-2007, 10:22 PM   #1
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Lance Interview!

Billy and I are currently in the Philippines after Lance highly recommended visiting the islands.

In his interview he mentions he might consider moving here. To read more about Lance, click: Bill Clevenger

Akaisha
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Old 10-21-2007, 03:01 AM   #2
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Akaisha,

Lance/Bill is a very friendly looking guy. Thanks for the portrait!

Ha
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:34 AM   #3
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You Bet!

Lance has lots of travel and ER experience... he's living proof that one can live well on less than you think.

His recommendation of the Philippines really urged us to come here. We're in Boracay right now. Scrumptious.

Be well,
Akaisha
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:50 AM   #4
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I read the interview several weeks ago.

Keep those interview coming. I find them interesting. It is good to put a face to the poster.



I hope you guy are having a blast. I look forward to reading about it.
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:18 AM   #5
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I always love to see the "pop in " here from Billy & Akaisha, and this article did not disappoint.

Thanks for providing the glimpse into a very intriguing lifestyle!

DG
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:10 PM   #6
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Always wanted to visit myself, but haven't had the opportunity (I'm close, but not yet FIREd). Knowing how much time you two spend in Thailand, I'd love to hear how it compares to Thailand (cost, scenery, people, infrastructure, etc.)...
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:25 PM   #7
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Keep those interview coming. I find them interesting. It is good to put a face to the poster.
Thanks, Chinaco. I figure there are lots of people doing their own version of ER. It was our intent to offer glimpses into how others manage their own ER Road to Happiness.

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I always love to see the "pop in " here from Billy & Akaisha, and this article did not disappoint.
Thanks, Drip Guy. Each person we have interviewed inspires us in some way. Lance is a very competent traveler with a focus on getting local. He speaks Thai and has been able to integrate into the Thai culture very well. I imagine that if he moved to the Philippines he would learn either Tagalog or Cebuano to make the most of having that advantage. I admire that greatly.

I am good at languages, but seem to have developed a lazy streak. I learn survival phrases and then seem to stop. Ugh! Lance has proven to me that I can still learn these languages even at 'my' age! ha!

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Always wanted to visit myself, but haven't had the opportunity (I'm close, but not yet FIREd). Knowing how much time you two spend in Thailand, I'd love to hear how it compares to Thailand (cost, scenery, people, infrastructure, etc.)...
We'll be posting stories, a travel page and lots of photos, to be sure.

We felt that we needed to expand our horizons and with Lance's encouragement, got off our duffs and flew over here!

Thanks for taking the time to read the interview.
Be well,

Akaisha
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:52 PM   #8
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Yet again, you guys amaze me....great on the Phillipines - looking forward to the posts on that adventure.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:20 AM   #9
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Akaisha,

Lance/Bill is a very friendly looking guy. Thanks for the portrait!Ha
Amazing what a social lubricant like beer can do

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Drip Guy

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I always love to see the "pop in " here from Billy & Akaisha, and this article did not disappoint.
Thanks, Drip Guy. Each person we have interviewed inspires us in some way. Lance is a very competent traveler with a focus on getting local. He speaks Thai and has been able to integrate into the Thai culture very well. I imagine that if he moved to the Philippines he would learn either Tagalog or Cebuano to make the most of having that advantage. I admire that greatly.
He still gets ripped off though...

Today on the way back from the gym, I decided to try a new barber shop (Pattaya, Thailand). On the door they advertized in Thai letters and numbers: Haircuts! Men 60 baht; boys 30 baht. Well, I said cut my hair and make me handsome, so the barber clipped away. I paid with a 100 baht note and the barber smiled and saids thanks. I stood by the chair with my hand out and he said, again 100 baht, smiled and seemed anxious to get rid of me. I then walked to the door and pointed to the sign, men 60 baht. He smiled again and said poo yai roi baht (big man pays 100 baht). Normally I always ask every price before I agree to the transaction, but just when I let my guard down...
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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I think that's part of being an Expat - there are two pricing systems.

I went to a Thai woman to get my haircut also -- asked for the price and was told 80 baht. She did such a good job that time that I tipped her 20 baht. (mistake!) Now, when I go to her, she charges me 100 baht regularly, whether she does a good job or not.

The tip was meant as a gift the first time, not to set my 'regular price' at 100 baht.

But I do think that locals figure we Expats are simply loaded with money. I mean what local simply leaves extra money on the table when they eat at a restaurant? They have to think that anyone who has so much money that they actually choose to overpay for things... it's mindboggling to them.

So, why not pretend to not give change back, or try and charge extra when they can?
A bit of an inside view here...


Be well,

Akaisha
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:00 PM   #11
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What's Baht? Does it matter?
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:45 AM   #12
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What's Baht? Does it matter?
Baht is the name for Thailand's currency. Does it matter? Some two week millionaires are happy -proud even- to overpay and tip big. For me, since I knew the price was 60 baht as written on the door, yes, I took exception.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:00 AM   #13
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I think that's part of being an Expat - there are two pricing systems.

I went to a Thai woman to get my haircut also -- asked for the price and was told 80 baht. She did such a good job that time that I tipped her 20 baht. (mistake!) Now, when I go to her, she charges me 100 baht regularly, whether she does a good job or not.

The tip was meant as a gift the first time, not to set my 'regular price' at 100 baht.

But I do think that locals figure we Expats are simply loaded with money. I mean what local simply leaves extra money on the table when they eat at a restaurant? They have to think that anyone who has so much money that they actually choose to overpay for things... it's mindboggling to them.

So, why not pretend to not give change back, or try and charge extra when they can?
A bit of an inside view here...


Be well,

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement
Yeah, I agree, the double pricing system is part of being an expat. I won't go back there again, but they could care less. Many Thais firmly believe that "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush..."They also view us as an "inexhaustable resource." Why worry if a farang customer is unhappy because ten more will take his place and overpay as well. Double pricing was probably started by tourists throwing money around and has since become (mostly) accepted practice. Now, even the government run train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi (Bridge over the River Kwai) has instituted double pricing: foreigners pay 100 baht; Thais pay about 20 baht.

I normally ask beforehand and then pay with the exact amount. Correct change saves a lot of problems
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:19 AM   #14
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Double pricing was probably started by tourists throwing money around and has since become (mostly) accepted practice.
I can't help but admire an economy run on capitalist principles designed to exploit capitalists. Talk about the sincerest form of flattery.

DisneyLand frequently gives double pricing to customers from local California ZIP codes. Here in Hawaii we don't call it double pricing, we call it the "kama'aina discount". And if you don't get a microchip implant wallet card and share your info with your local supermarket then you don't get their "valued customer pricing"!

Stupid tourists. Remember when those white guys let the Manhattan Indians overcharge for the entire island? Boy was the joke on them!
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:29 AM   #15
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I can't help but admire an economy run on capitalist principles designed to exploit capitalists. Talk about the sincerest form of flattery.
You'll be on admiration overload here in Pattaya Nords
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:37 AM   #16
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You'll be on admiration overload here in Pattaya Nords
Never made it down there but spouse tells me it's nice.

Whenever I'd accompany her on her COBRA GOLD trips, I'd notice that the people who were the most burned out on the Land of Smiles were the contractors in charge of negotiating lodging, food, transportation, and other logistics. I'm still in the admiration phase but if I was living over there for months instead of days I suspect that I'd transition quite rapidly to disillusionment.

Disillusionment didn't take long on my two trips to Subic, eye-opening as they may have been.

I still wish, though, that a Thai massage business would start up next to our dojang here. Some nights I'm so sore that I'd even provide the venture-capital funding...
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:59 AM   #17
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Yeah, I agree, the double pricing system is part of being an expat. I won't go back there again, but they could care less. Many Thais firmly believe that "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush..."They also view us as an "inexhaustable resource." Why worry if a farang customer is unhappy because ten more will take his place and overpay as well. Double pricing was probably started by tourists throwing money around and has since become (mostly) accepted practice. Now, even the government run train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi (Bridge over the River Kwai) has instituted double pricing: foreigners pay 100 baht; Thais pay about 20 baht.

I normally ask beforehand and then pay with the exact amount. Correct change saves a lot of problems
I completely agree, Lance... In Mexico - when we lived in Chapala - we had a maid come in 2-3 times a week. We paid what the locals paid and everyone was happy. Since we lived there off and on for 10 years, over that time period we saw what the 'rich Gringos' did to the area by over paying everyone.

They came from well to do American and Canadian enclaves and doubled and tripled the wages for the maids, for the plumbers and gardeners, and waaaaay over paid for the properties. To them it was 'such a good deal' even at the overpayment price that they simply didn't care.

However, those who had retired previously and had budgeted for the maids, plumbers and gardeners, etc., were impacted measurably. It became harder and harder to find a maid who didn't have an attitude and who wouldn't work for triple wages. It became ridiculous.

Also, these maids and gardeners, etc., all know each other. They are most likely related to each other. When the 'Gringo' won't pay the new higher prices, or if they simply feel they need more money sometimes they will arrange to have a house broken into or they will take something from the house themselves.

When the local disadvantaged are not treated respectfully and as real people - that is, expected to be responsible and honest and paid within the reasonable system already in place, greed and corruption take over. The 'do gooders' who feel guilty or want to over give mess up the financial ecology of the place. This is how the prices rise and get out of hand, in my opinion.

That may not sound very nice -- but honestly, there are many ways to help the locals besides throw money at them.

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I still wish, though, that a Thai massage business would start up next to our dojang here. Some nights I'm so sore that I'd even provide the venture-capital funding...
Boy I do understand that! My girlfriend in California tells me she pays upwards of $70USD for one hour of Thai massage... Billy simply wants to 'bring one home, honey'... what a great fantasy, eh?

Be well,

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Old 10-26-2007, 09:53 AM   #18
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Billy simply wants to 'bring one home, honey'... what a great fantasy, eh?
I know how he feels. The finish line at the Honolulu Marathon is surrounded by massage tents yet everyone snickers when I ask for one outside a tae kwon do tournament.

It's a difficult psychological change to contemplate when your massage fantasies "evolve" from sexual to pain relief...
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:22 PM   #19
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I was in the PI a few months ago, just a party break from work.
Found it dirtier than Thailand but was nice everyone spoke
english. Didn't make it to my destination of Cebu and actually
decided to head back to work after a couple weeks insted of taking
the 3 months off I had coming. Going to retire soon anyways or I probably would of stayed longer. The Australians are flooding the place and some seem to have a chip on their shoulder about Americans being there in their backyard as protectors for many years before them.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:25 PM   #20
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I think that's part of being an Expat - there are two pricing systems.

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I think it would be fair to point out that this statement is country/region/place specific and not to be generalized for expats the world over.

In a place like Finland "the most equal place on earth" this would likely never happen to you. I also doubt an American in Canada would have this problem at the barber shop. I paid German prices in Germany all the years I lived there as well.

I do think these kinds of statements may put people off from trying out the expat lifestyle, like they will have to worry about getting screwed all the time once they leave the U.S. It's just not the case.
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