If you’ve come from Australia, Europe or the States, you’ve probably complained about the speed and quality of internet in Thailand. If, like me, you’re from South Africa, then you probably complain as well, even though Thai internet is cheaper and faster than at home!
Over the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to see a bit of the USA, Europe, and South Korea before coming to Thailand. Along with the amazing memories, came the realisation that I had missed out on a lot by not growing up in an area with easy internet access.
It just wasn’t something I was all that worried about, until I found out what I had been missing! Man, was it frustrating to go home after a year in the UK, only to be met with by the familiar grip of that old foe, ‘internet-lessness’. The difference this time was that I actually knew I was suffering from it, and suffer I did.
A good while later, after being spoiled by the Americans, and then the South Koreans, with their world-class internet, I ended up in Phuket. It was a bit of a step down, which stepped even further down when it rained. I didn’t realise, at first, just how much it could rain!
Wireless technology just doesn’t work very well in pouring rain, but there isn’t really a suitable alternative. Sure, you could lay cable, but it’s a lot more expensive and difficult to install.
Now, I’ve been here around a year and have gotten over much of the initial frustration. The initial internet-lessness that I felt has subsided, and has been replaced by thoughts of my next trip to the beach. There is just too much to do to worry about slow internet! Until you leave for a visit home, that is, and leave those beaches behind.
I plan to visit home over Christmas, knowing full well that my home town is still deep in the throes of internet-lessness. The internet is there, but it is very pricey by global standards and the Thai baht doesn’t trade too well either.
We read a lot these days about taking breaks from the internet or ‘disconnecting’ for a while, which is great…except when much of your work and studies are done online. For me, the dilemma is simple. I’ll just have to bite the bullet, pay the money, and wait until I come back to Thailand.
By now you may be wondering what my point is and where I am going with this, so I’ll get to it.
If you’ve come to Thailand for the internet, you’re probably going to be disappointed. If you’ve come to get away from your hectic Western lifestyle, then a bit of Thai-induced internet-lessness may be exactly what you need.
So, next time Thailand tries to mess with your internet zen, sit back, relax, and thank your deity that you too, occasionally, suffer from internet-lessness.
Special thanks to Aj. Leon Human at Prince of Songkla University for his input.