02 July 2012

A Writer's Life in Thailand

I'm very excited to have a guest post today from Dannie Hill, who claimed this spot when he donated to the Indies Unite for Joshua Indiegogo campaign. Welcome, Dannie!

A Writer’s Life in Thailand

I’m excited about doing a guest post at JELLO WORLD with J. Lea Lopez! Thank you, kind lady.

I’m an American writer and I’ve been living in Thailand for the past 9 years with my beautiful wife. We have a small farm where we grow tropical and not so tropical fruits, veggies, and main crop of either corn or tapioca. I have also published 3 novels and have a new one coming out very soon.

Many people ask me, “Why Thailand?” The answer is: I needed to get away from all the hustle, bustled, electronics and decision making. My brain needed a break. Also my wife was born in Thailand and I had kept her away for many years raising a family and caring for a wonderful husband… me. I have wanted to take her home for a while, but the honest truth is I did it more for me than her. One of the things I’ve learn here in Thailand is honest thoughts.

Many foreigners who come here and to other exotic lands seek out communities of foreigners to live near. Me? I came determined to learn the language (or die trying) and just get away from it all for a while. I live in a rural area where I’m it when it comes to foreigners. That while has lasted nine years so far. I can speak Thai now. I don’t claim that I can stand up and deliver a speech about the meaning of life but I do well enough to get along with everyone.

I’ve always led a simple life—starving artists tend to do that—so the culture shock wasn’t a major player. The hardest thing that I still haven’t learned to do is stop waving or speaking to nearly everyone I pass. I’m a Southerner and I tend to talk rather than think in many situations. My wife got in the habit of walking behind me—way behind me—so she wouldn’t blush all the time. Over time my neighbors have learned the American ‘wave’ and laugh at my antics. My wife even walks beside me now. Yeah.

Thailand is known as The Land of Smiles and it is a befitting name. These wonderful people take life as it comes to them and always seem happy. I think it’s the heat. I love to go to the morning markets and watch the beautiful women gliding along buying fresh vegetables and everything necessary for the day. I walk around talking to the Mea Ka, the sellers, and Lukka, the buyers, and just enjoy myself.

Dannie and Sam the cat
I often ride my motorcycle out into the country just to see where the road leads. I usually end up in a small village where white guys are a rare treat. I always find a gathering place where the older men and women socialize and introduce myself. It takes a few minutes for them to realize I am speaking Thai and then the fun begins. The others of the village come to see the foreigner speaking Thai. The children are always shy at first, but after a while they try their best to wring out the secrets of my being with squeals and laughter. I have to admit it's a big ego boost for me. In the States I’d be just another old man, but here in Thailand I’m special. I do love it here, living with the most wonderful people I’ve ever met.

As a writer, the quieted sounds of English allow my daydreams to come to life in words. There is such a peace here my muse is happy and words rush out faster than I can write them down. Just ask my editor! I can write back in the States but it’s an effort to find the peace I need. In Thailand it’s just a morning away.

I was in a war two countries away, lived in Budapest for a short time, lived in the Marshall Islands for two years and visited a number of countries, and I must say Thailand is my favorite for the people, the beauty of the land and the food. It’s a place I know you would enjoy.

To learn more about Dannie, check out his blog here, or learn more about his books here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for having me, Jen. You have a great website, I just hope I haven't scared anyone off, lol.

    This effort for Joshua has had many benefits besdies the main one of helping Josh. You're a wonderful host!


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