Thursday, May 27, 2010


Our housing trip is booked! June 11th- June 22nd.

Here's a link to the hotel we'll be at the entire time: This is located north of Bangkok and is in the same city as the new HTI plant.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Insider's Perspective

Bangkok has been in the news a lot lately. Weekly we get asked the same questions, "Are you still going?" "Is the violence close to where you are living?" " Doesn't the turmoil make you nervous?" The answers to those questions are respectfully the following: Yes, Nope, Just a bit.

The Bangkok troubles have spurred some pretty far out humors at HTI. About a week ago, Greg got off a conference call from Bangkok with his boss Creighton, only to hear from someone that Creighton couldn't get to the plant and everything was getting shut down. Nope, Creighton is fine and things are actually ahead of schedule at the moment.

I've been looking at a website called for job postings. Ajarn is Thai for teacher. Recently they sent out a newsletter where the director shared his insight. Copied below is a portion of that email that gives us and you an insider's perspective and maybe gives you a better feeling about us moving to this great city....

As you will be aware, rioting, looting and public disorder in the wake of the anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok has made front page news all over the world. To make matters worse, much of the violence and mayhem then spread to a handful of provincial Thai towns.

It would be foolish of me to try and convince you that Thailand is currently the safest place on earth, but when you have lived here for a number of years, anti-government demonstrations, military coups and political instability are very much part and parcel of life in Thailand. I guess that this last episode in Thailand's volatile political history has been just that little bit scarier because it has affected so many of us.

However, when all is said and done, I still consider Thailand a safe country to live in. I would much rather walk down a Bangkok street at midnight than I would a street back in my native hometown. If you are a teacher thinking of coming to work in Thailand, don't let recent events put you off. I live on the outskirts of Bangkok and if you take a walk around my neighborhood, then you will see that life goes on very much as normal -- and it's a very working class area. It's an area you would expect to be brimming with anti-government sentiment.

At the moment, the Thai authorities seem to be doing their level best to restore peace and sanity to the country. Let's hope that there are better times ahead.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Welcome to the USA

Before moving to Thailand, the Thai engineers that have been hired are being trained here in the USA. The 3 engineers are part of a group of around 30 Thais and 10 people from India who are staying in Eau Claire. Greg has spent the majority of the past two weeks in Wisconsin meeting the new engineers and helping start their training process. Greg is very impressed with their knowledge and experience, all with 5-10 years of hard-drive experience.

Part of the training process includes helping the Thais get acclimated to the US culture. This has included dinner at Texas Roadhouse where all ordered, "Beef Steak and Local Beer." In an earlier training Greg had learned that they would be overwhelmed with the amount of choices on an American menu, so Greg was prepared. Greg translated for the waitress, "Bring them an 8oz sirloin and a Fat Squirrel (local WI beer)"

Greg and the other US engineer, Eric, have also noticed how the 3 Thais have a different perception of personal space. Nid, the female Thai that will soon be in Hutchinson, always has a hand on whoever she is talking. Nid and Suwat, he will stay in WI for training, came up to Greg this past week, and shared, "Not like other American men," while patting Greg's stomach! Next, Nid touched Kai's, the other Thai engineer that will come to Hutch, stomach and said, "Don't worry, you're becoming more like them!"

This week I had the opportunity to go to Eau Claire and meet Eric's wife Melanie for the first time. We discussed what we're packing, vaccinations, and the local Bangkok turmoil over sushi and wine. It was nice to have the chance to spend time with the people we'll be moving with to Thailand.

Also this week, the group of engineers toured the Leinenkugel Brewery. Here is Greg and Suwat enjoying the Leinie Lodge!