the end (again)

before coming to v*******, bangkok was awesome.

two apartments.  one with new family project, next to the big park with the kid play areas and the gym and the subway and all sorts of gentrified family friendliness.  the other a tiny studio in the middle of massage parlor central where all the teenage hookers go to eat at the night market after work.   a live-in nanny dealing with the kid stuff and a girl who doesn’t ask questions when you disappear for a night.

cake.  eat it too.  have it both ways.  whatever the sayings are.

a big fat monster motorbike and a little handy city roaming motorbike.  baby mama and all the loose womenfolk on the side.  a bit of this, bit of that.

of course that all glorious perfection ended.  when i blew it up, out of boredom.  let’s do something new, i said.  the girl was bored too and the nanny thing was no longer working out and thai government was getting funky about visas and the vibe uncool with cops roaming the streets, asking for passports.

so we left.

replaced that with v*********.  which i’d not trade back for bangkok at this point.  nice house on the beach.  a great relationship with the girl, and enjoying the kid moments.  an awesome daycare.  kitesurfing to fill up parts of the day.  interesting whitey peoples who dig life more than careers.  a dozen tasty food options in walking distance, from vegetarian to indian to greek, along with all the bits to snack on at home.

not doing it justice.  it’s fucking paradise, nothing i’d change about it.

except everything.  as usual i’m going to blow it all up.

it all started with one of the usual contemplating future and options wandering around the beach at sunset.  come to think about that ill fated restaurant idea, back in burma.

i want to bring it up again, just because.  kitesurfing season here is about to end, the plan is for the girl to visit friends and family back home.  she wants to go to singapore too, solo trip.  and i’m thinking a bit of europe and float around, get back together when we’re both bored doing our own things.

we’re lounging around in beach hammocks.  watching the horizon, looking for wind to start showing up in little whitecaps out there in the ocean.  so we can run and pump up some fancy high performance kites, go surf some waves.  our routine and also no wind so far.  so i go, hey what about your best friend and the restaurant idea.

she messages her friend.  we’re just a few phone taps away from blowing up the whole paradise we’re lazily swaying in right now.

turns out best friend has been scouting, working hard.  found an existing restaurant, fully set up, for sale.  mad cheap rent.  includes liquor license which is worth gold and near impossible to get.  car parking.  30% lower initial investment than the previous idea i torpedoed.  potential goldmine, even better than the last round.  last round was projected at a thousand USD a day in net profits, reasonably potentially realistically.  trigger is about to get pulled with a new partner, next month.  we missed that boat, looks like.

but no.  best friend doesn’t really want an unknown partner and hadn’t made any firm agreements.  plans are hatched between the two girl bits, right there on that iphone screen, in the hammock, on the beach.

long story short, girl and her best friend agree to be partners instead.  with jake as silent partner.  and before you go, uhm jake.  a lot of little things changed.  feeling comfortable with our relationship.  ready to let it go now, let fate do its thing, either we’ll share success or she runs off back to her world.  i’m ready to be cool about it either way.

watch the current scenario go up in flames, right here.

next week the girl is going back to check the place out.  plan things.  move various family members around.  sign contracts, rent a place to live, make a business.

all that in the span of a few hours.

i’m bummed right now.

kind of like leaving bangkok bummed.  leaving a perfectly nice scenario, for a totally unknown replacement.  going to miss all the bits of here.  no idea what to think of the new plot.  except that you know i’m not going to be there anywhere remotely full time.  the girl will be busy with her (our) biz, surrounded by family and friends.  and i’m going to do the usual jake thing … shoot myself out of the pirate cannon, strap on the backpack, go wander off into the world.

there’s talk of jake buying a pair of crappy motorbikes with a madman dude friend and riding them through all the ‘stans.  set mayhem level to full, scotty.  might maybe be an appropriate adventure and central asia girls are supposed to be stunning.

and go back to frontier land and visit and see the biz and the kid and the girl.

idea is to set that up, get it stable, put family in all the key places, have the name on the papers, get her some experience running a place like that.  give her a taste of that option, of working for a living, being a business owner.  let her compare it to being mom-at-home.  also, after a year it should be good and running, no unknowns, and then take various months for both of us to travel and find new places to kite.

big steps.  always big steps, monumental ones, from leaving behind careers and continents and businesses and now family and about everything imaginable.  always well beyond a jake’s comfort zone.  always feeling like stripped naked, give up all your in-game weapons and points, set back to square one.  you and a backpack and nothing much else.  start all over, leverage none of your previous connections or routines or experiences.  feels like every time putting all the chips on the table, gambling with everything.

yikesey mc yikserson, with the always blowing shit up, jakes.  seriously.

but first probably going to have to finish out the season, all alone where there used to be kid and girl and things and that’ll be weird, but there’s still some wind to be had here.  then probably slink off to bangkok and drown anxieties in copious amounts of chasing the you-knowsies-whatsies.  then maybe stop over in frontier land and see what’s up.  and then maybe europe, or that ‘stans idea of madness on motorbikes.

or something totally different, who knows.  as always, the only known constant being the “who knows”.

27 Comments

  1. Mark

    February 9, 2017 at 4:10 am

    Instantaneous communication, virtual screens, viscose travel towels and Macbooks in 12.5lbs backpacks. What a time to be alive.

    Think about how hard our ancestors had to have it to become white men rather than jungle monkeys in the monkey jungle or plains apes in Nigeria. Hundreds of thousands of years of nature, red in tooth and claw, culminating in this precise fleeting moment of 2lbs, thickness-of-my-finger Matrix-tether-secret-millionaires. We live charmed lives.

    You’re just jumping over another hurdle. If you both make it this time, think about how it’ll be then. Like it’s another test, how strong is the pair-bond-glue? Test it, if it fails, better now than later.

    Random melatonin-induced thoughts. It’s late here. I’ve been thinking about the ‘Stans lately too. Synchronicity. Godspeed, you crazy bastard.

    • jakey

      February 9, 2017 at 5:48 am

      better now than later, indeed.

  2. kyle

    February 9, 2017 at 4:20 am

    +1 for central asian girls. highly recommeneded

  3. booshala

    February 9, 2017 at 4:32 am

    A few things struck out at me regarding this post:

    Do either your baby mama or her friend have restaurant experience? I ask because I’ve been in that industry for 15 years in Asia and the US and although I’ve always made good money it’s been the biggest grind imaginable. Does she have some sort of experience base or at the very least high government connections to smooth over the many logistical nightmares in running a restaurant, especially in the third world?

    It’s easy to get caught up in the nuts/bolts of how sweet the whole setup looks from a 30,000 foot view. I’ve indulged in it too when I found awesome build-outs with hard to get liquor licenses, insane foot traffic, great mix of commercial/residential, innovative food concept, etc. But in the thick of things, so many unknowns and unexpected shit storms will pop up and bury the business if the operator(s) isn’t on point 99% of the time. I don’t know how gritty your chick is, but if she’s like most of the ones I know, she’s going to beg for the easy-going lifestyle she had roaming around with you within a year after putting in 100 hour weeks at the store… even sooner if the business isn’t making money.

    Also, netting $1000 a day sounds like a thriving mom and pop restaurant in 1st world America… in Burma, I’m guessing that’s 100x the average per capita income in that country. Best case scenario – they actually make money and have to deal with constant government grifters, long-lost family members looking for handouts and every Htet/Su/Phyu looking to saturate the market with knockoff versions of their shop and bringing margins/profits down with them.

    More realistically, the restaurant is gonna bleed money for awhile and your chick, her friend and any family members that are involved are going to be inundated with levels of bullshit that they’ve likely never faced. If they’re incredibly hard working and lucky it will probably work out, but not without crazy hours, stress and likely additional capital from most likely their silent partner. I can’t see how she’d be able to have the kind of itinerant lifestyle you’ve envisioned after 1 year on the job without a full-scale mutiny from her partner, staff or all of the above.

    There’s a reason why restaurants even in the US with (relatively strong) rule of law usually only sell for 5-8x MONTHLY gross earnings while something passive like the stock market – S&P500 as benchmark – has a price to ANNUAL earnings ratio of 26… That’s a 39x difference in valuation and the market is efficient enough to price the bullshit of restaurant ops vs the relative passivity of stocks accordingly. Restaurant’s are incredibly hard to run: that’s why even the really successful ones are so cheap when compared to buying stocks. I’d think that’s even more true in a 3rd world country.

    Maybe I’m missing some hidden trump card that your team has hidden away like crazy connections or an army of undead slaves who are completely obedient. Also, I’m guessing you care less than the average investor because it doesn’t seem like money is a primary motivator in your life. Perhaps it’s all a lark to see if she can handle it? Me, I’m just adding some data points as my two cents.

    • Red23

      February 9, 2017 at 5:08 am

      I’m trying to wrap my head around how a restaurant could make 1000$/day in Burma. Isn’t it one of the top 10 poorest countries in the world? Or are tons of rich expats and businesses suddenly rushing in to industrialize it after the borders were opened, generating demand for expensive restaurants? Pretty interesting stuff.

      • jakey

        February 9, 2017 at 5:43 am

        the capital is far from poor. more expensive than either bangkok or saigon, seems like everybody’s got a car, all the money goes and does biz there.

        • Nick

          February 10, 2017 at 5:02 am

          They all still Datsun’s tho?

          • jakey

            February 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm

            funny. and not really, recent second hand japan imports largely. and not what one might think of as cheap (high taxes).

    • jakey

      February 9, 2017 at 5:47 am

      yup, yup. i personally have zero interest in restaurants. hung around the outback steakhouse guys for a bit, saw what’s possible with smart franchising, but apart from that way too much work and time drain. if it makes zero dollars, doesn’t matter to me.

      the family has several restaurants though. visited them, they were quite busy, good food, and the numbers all come from those places. same family is going to let the girl use their name (if she wants), obviously get advice from them, their daughter (her best friend) who now provided them with a grandson obviously being a priority. could fail, might fail, but if so that’s not on me. they weren’t trying to put on a show for me since the only reason i’d be investing is because the girls want to do it together (otherwise the parents would just fund it).

      so, think of it as buying a kid a sandbox. if i get my investment back, awesome. if it makes great money, even better. if none of that happens and we move to another beach and go back to kiting? works for me! 🙂

      • booshala

        February 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

        Having family members help out will probably prove invaluable – I hope that the business is successful, although I’m sure it helps a lot when you don’t care too much about the outcome one way or the other. Sort of like the kid: can’t make every decision on a purely financial basis – sometimes you gotta race:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyYDt99f1Gk

  4. Peter

    February 9, 2017 at 5:45 am

    knock up thai bird… buy her a business…

    Ive seen that story before.

    never really seems to end well.

    • jakey

      February 9, 2017 at 5:53 am

      daytime beer drinking loosersmarrying some 30 year old hooker with two kids. investing their life savings, moving to bumfuck craptown in rural thailand. vs. the pirate spending a week or three of otherwise unused income on an interesting experiment. while traveling and chasing girls

      • Gulliver

        February 10, 2017 at 1:53 am

        Tell yourself what you want, but either you snap out of it or you find yourself this time next year, sitting in that restaurant watching English football drinking baileys. Out of a shoe.

        • jakey

          February 11, 2017 at 2:49 am

          soft creamy beige!

  5. Mob Barley

    February 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    I’m too much of a stoner to do all the things you mentioned above. I love the idea of leaving it all behind but then the pot gets in the way of the Buddhism.
    Lucky bastard and yes I’m making excuses for myself for being a lazy American oaf.

  6. Bruce

    February 10, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Lots of puppies must have died,the amount of lurking I’ve done and not commented.Good to see you are off on fresh adventures,the ‘Stan trips sounds cool.i wondered if you ever got around to learning the guitar.I know they aren’t nomad travel friendly,but would be perfect in a beach town and easy enough to pick up in Asia and leave behind or give to a local when you leave

    • jakey

      February 11, 2017 at 2:49 am

      haven’t pulled that one off yet. might need to get into smoking weed.

      • Sam

        February 13, 2017 at 4:46 pm

        If you ever want to learn to play guitar this is the tool.

        http://www.heavyguitar.com/BeDangerous.html

        Been around a long time. This how Slash of Guns and Roses learned to play (and lots of practice). Get the tapes also. I play a little. Not well but I can turn it up to 11 and amuse myself if not others. The learning material is mostly all the cords and progressions of blues and rock type stuff.

        To get maximum sound get a Behringer V-Amp 3 Guitar Multi-Effects Processor. This box is the best you’re going to get for the money and its amazing. Effects are important when you’re just starting. You can get a great maximum rock and roll sound with just a few cords and it keeps you interested. This computer effects box is one of the most amazing things ever in the history of Mankind. It has the sound of many of the most expensive amps on the planet. I have an earlier model and a Line 6 pod. Supposedly this blows those away but mine sounds great. You can plug headphones into this thing and it sounds like you have a stadium full of Marshall amps blasting away. BEHRINGER X V-AMP LX1-X is not bad either and it has a built in foot pedal. Strings. I haven’t bought any in a while so things may have changed but I found GHS boomers were the absolute best after trying all the major brands. They had a real bright sound and the keep their brightness a long time. Some strings get dull sounding quickly. Not the Boomers.

        If you decide to learn don’t get a shit guitar. It makes it real hard to learn as you’ll be fighting the guitar. Hard to tell what to get because I have a real Fender I think 75 Strat but I also have a cheap ass strat copy that I like better. They make small travel guitars. Buy it used and you can always sell it if it isn’t what you want. Start with an electric as it’s easier on the fingers. If you like it then you can get an acoustic or actually use effects to play the electric and have it sound acoustic.

        It’s nice to be able to play a tune or two every now and then. Don’t have to be the greatest. Remember the guitar guy you talked about? You could learn five or six sing along hippy type folk songs and played moderately well to amuse yourself and a small crowd. Your kid would love it. Kids love live music. He will think you’re a rock God legend if you can learn some silly swarmy kid song that has lyrics that are mostly the same over and over.

        I of course being the numb nuts I am never learned any tunes I just make horrible racket but it amuses me to no end. My style is fantastic. Somewhere along the lines of Cramps/Butt Hole Surfers/Black Sabbath meets Iron Butterfly/Hank Williams Jr.. 🙂 or worse. Not safe for small children, small animals or wildebeest.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIRWb1QNZBI

        • jakey

          February 15, 2017 at 9:02 am

          noted, many thanks! seems like i owned the v-amp a long time ago, some craigslist buy if i remember. was pretty amazing, i just didn’t manage to stick to the guitar part.

  7. Red23

    February 10, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Bro, do you have attachment issues? As soon as a place begins to feel like home, it seems like you panic and uproot to a new place. Maybe home wasn’t a place of comfort for you as a child. I’m also like that due to moving around a lot as a kid.

    • jakey

      February 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      possible. though don’t really think so, imagining it’d be nice to have a home base and accumulate a few fun toys. thailand the issue was government and visa weirdness (detained twice at airport, not cool especially since way more legit than half the whiteys around those parts – just getting weird there). now it’s because girl wants to make a biz, also windy season here is about over. not staying in western europe for now because of government interference with parenting and iffy bits managing girls and possessions, also income tax rules if you go over 6 months out of the year. just how things are working out … if i knock up some thai chick, thailand could become possible. or some other spot, not yet found.

      • Pieter

        February 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm

        Just get the elite visa broham. Btw I’ve been here 2,5 years pretty much nonstop on tourist visa.. never had a problem

        • jakey

          February 10, 2017 at 11:55 pm

          ah you rich people and rich people visas. 😛 how many tourist visas? which aiports do you use? extensions?

  8. Peter

    February 11, 2017 at 6:21 am

    lol you are rich. act like it!

    Im on visa number 5 right now

    1) Triple Entry from homecountry in Europe
    2) Single Entry from Phnom Penh
    3) Single Entry from Vientiane
    4) Single Entry from Phnom Penh
    5) Multi-Entry from homecountry in Europe

    yeah sure I always get extensions. And I had some 30 day visa waivers in between too. always fly through bangkok and when I have to do a border run Ive been all over the place… phnom penh, manila, kuala lumpur off the top of my head. been in and out on the same day too.

    you can also look into education visa at a muay thai school. its good for one year. I know people who have been here for years on tourist and/or education visas. or you just cough up the monies for elite visa and be done with it.

    • jakey

      February 12, 2017 at 12:42 am

      elite visa feels like a ripoff. if i were to do a long term thing now, it would involve knocking up some thai scenario. 😉 thanks for the visa breakdown! i’ll probably do a few of those off and on.

  9. Clement

    February 16, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    “always well beyond a jake’s comfort zone”, the “well” is not necessary but that’s where you need to be to continue growing.
    Haven’t you toppled you castle of card every time things were too perfect/boring ? Just so you could start again from scratch, try and experience new things ?
    We’re all designed to achieve and maybe that’s just your way to keep on moving rather than staying idle until you’d run out of gas and die.

    Or for something a little more appropriate for a pirate:
    “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

    • jakey

      February 17, 2017 at 2:09 am

      well said!

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