A Scotsman in Bangkok

colin-kinghorn.jpg 

 Colin Kinghorn assists companies with their market entry

 and market expansion in South East Asia

 

1) Where did you grow up and at what age did you leave Scotland?

My family moved around a bit when I was a child but I spent most of my school years and working life in Scotland. I left Scotland in 2006 coming to Asia for the very first time in my life.

I am still not sure why I came to Asia, but it was a good decision.

 

2) What made you leave sunny Scotia?

I left Scotland to experience something new. That is probably why I opted for Asia as opposed to heading in the direction of Canada.

I have had some great jobs in Scotland and worked with some excellent people. But the experience here in Asia has given me a buzz that I had not had for several years in Scotland.

 

3) What is your job/sector and how many countries have you lived in? 

I initially worked as a consultant in the governance and risk arena but in recent years my work has been focused on sales and marketing, assisting companies with their market entry and market expansion plans here in South East Asia. 

I work with my teams in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. 

I live in Bangkok, Thailand but have also lived in Vientiane in Laos. 

 

4) Do you crave Irn Bru when you’re homesick?

Never. But I always buy some square sausage and a Macaroni Pie when I visit Scotland. 

My French friend once told me that the Macaroni Pie was an example of two cultures (Scottish and Italian) coming together to create something magnificent. And she was probably right.

 

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5) What do people in your host country think of Scots and Scotland?

They mostly know of Scotland as being the home of Johnnie Walker whisky. 

I did once meet a Bangkok taxi driver who thought that Fort Augustus was a great place to live. But he was a rare exception.

 

6) How do you feel about Scotland now that you’re gone?

I love Scotland. It is my home and where my family and friends live.

One of the things I noticed when I left was just how little people know about it. It seems to me that the world perceives the UK as being London and little is done by the UK embassies and British Chambers to promote Scotland and Scottish culture.

It is quite sad in some ways when you look at our nation’s heritage and contribution to the world, which is mostly ignored abroad.

 

7) What do you miss most and least about the auld country?

The weather is always shocking when I visit Scotland. I will never miss the arctic winds and freezing North Sea rain. 

The thing I miss most is being able to visit my mum on Sunday's and eat her dodgy Sunday roast.

 

8) What about the independence referendum coming up? How will it affect you and Scotland’s international image?

I think to most outsiders it will seem very strange that Scotland is talking about breaking away from Westminster rule. I think that many Asian want to visit London and think of it as a 'cool' destination to visit. 

I think that the quality of the debate has been extremely poor so far, and would hope that both sides can raise their game and start to portray themselves and Scotland in a much more positive manner.

Too many politicians seem to revert to a tactic of talking Scotland down. Are we the only country that tolerates that from elected officials?

 

9) Describe Scotland in three words!

Cold. Wet. Friendly.

 

10) Do you have any plans for living in Scotland again and have you got a message for Scots back home?

I don't know when I will return to Scotland. I have no thoughts on if and when I will go back.

As far as Scots at home are concerned, the only thing I would say to them is that the country still holds great potential. Be proud. Be confident. And demand the same attitude from those in politics and business who want to lead. 

 

Do you know a successful Scot who lives outside Scotland and who Scottish Times can profile? If so contact Ina Göldenitz on team@scottishtimes.com or call 00 44 (0) 344 7570

 

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published this page in Scots Abroad 2012-07-23 12:17:54 +0100