Living in America: conclusion | Bangkok Post: learning

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Living in America: conclusion

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Chatchawan Chawengkul ends his story of life in America with some interesting comparisons with his homeland. 

Autumn in Arkansas.

As Autumn turns to winter in Arkansas, Chatchawan Chawengkul ends his story of life in America with a few comparisons with Thailand. Many thanks.


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Living in America: conclusion

Living in America is different than living in Thailand. One obvious difference is that we speak English as the main language.  We earn higher wages than Thailand, but we also spend more on goods and services and the cost of living in the States is higher than in Thailand.  In the state of Arkansas the wages are lower than in the northern states, but  the northern states are more expensive to live so it balances out.
   
The Arkansas minimum wage is $7.25 per hour (211.50 baht).  Usually the minimum wage applies to non-skilled workers or workers in fast-food restaurants – or for the group of young people who have just entered the labor force for the first time. 
   
My salary is $30,000 per year (900,000 baht), or $2500 per month. (You pay this much for a one-bedroom apartment in New York per month)   It looks like a lot of money compared to Thailand, but I have many bills to pay every month, such as rent, $450 (13,500 baht) for a one-bedroom apartment, food, electricity, gas, water, phone, car payment, car insurance, health insurance and credit cards.  My paycheck is gone almost every pay period.  It is very hard to save money unless you are really want to save and cut other expenses out.  Thanks to my company, which offers  a retirement plan, I can save my money this way. 
   
Another difference is the weather.  We have four seasons in the States (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) as opposed to three seasons in Thailand. 
   
If I had come from a wealthy family and had a good education, I would prefer to stay in Thailand and enjoy my life there. I don’t need to be rich, just to be healthy and have enough money to live on comfortably for the rest of my life.

Well, that’s all folks, until next time!

conclusion – the final part of something การสิ้นสุดลง การสรุป
obvious – clearly seen; obvious เห็นได้ชัด
wage – an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
minimum – as small in amount or degree as necessary or possible จำนวนน้อยที่สุด, ปริมาณต่ำที่สุด
salary – a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน
rent – paying money for the use of something for a period of time  ค่าเช่า
retirement – the time when you stop working, especially because of old age เกษียณอายุ
wealthy – having a large amount of money, land, and other valuable things   ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย

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