I usually do not know what to say, because I know the answer will not be an interesting one. Even though I work in the agricultural industry, one that is relevant to more than half the population in Thailand, to most, it's still considered a low-profile "niche" market.
The conversation gets even more awkward when I reluctantly tell them my company name.
|So there you go.|
I moved permanently to Bangkok mid-2010. It took us 8 years, to start from zero, to finally move into our own premises. Consider this a major milestone in our journey, but this is one decision that came with a story of its own.
The owner of the group of companies I work for has never visited our branch in Thailand before. The only time I saw him in my first 6 years, was at my wedding, where he shook my hand and offered his blessings. Otherwise, no matter how I encouraged him to come, his reply would be, "You young people need to fight the fight."
As I go through all the paper in my office in preparation for the move, in my bid to save every piece of reusable paper or clip, I recalled all the things I did to build this up. I had to do every damn thing, cos there was just me. All the late nights. The lonely evenings I spoke with the neighborhood dog. The systems I set up to make sure I did everything necessary. The talking to passers by to help me unload thousands of boxes of goods, which had to be done regardless of weather or time. The betrayals. The helplessness. All precious precious memories, good or bad. I realized my survival instinct forced me to block out the process to focus on achieving acceptable results, resulting in me forgetting much of the journey. I wonder whether that's a good thing. Or maybe I am just getting old. #workinginthailand #strangerinbangkok
Fast forward to September 2016. A special training event organised by our principle brought me back to my head office in Bintulu, Sarawak. As usual, big boss shook my hand. This time, he spoke, "It's time to find our own place."
He had finally given me an instruction! My one and only royal edict. I sprung into action.
It took nearly 2 years, and here we are.
In our own place. Bigger, better, and more importantly, gives us a sense of belonging and a platform to propel us into greater heights. Whether that happens though, is an unknown.
What I know is, behind this sense of achievement, is the fact that we have never been tighter in cash, and never been more in debt.
Stranger in Bangkok: Phase 2, starts, now.