14 years ago, Matthias Bück emigrated to Thailand. Since then, “Goodbye Germany” has been telling about the adventures of the Swabian. Now he has found happiness in Bangkok – literally.
Bangkok – Matthias Bück is a fighter, despite all the setbacks. One who doesn’t hang his head – even when things get really tough.
The “Goodbye Germany” star finally had to close his Bamboo Bar on the Thai island of Koh Samui a few days ago. “But I’m capable of suffering, and now my situation has improved significantly again,” he says in an interview with the German Press Agency in Bangkok’s trendy Thonglor district. After all, his name rhymes with “luck” – and the chef has now found new work in the capital in a hip café with this promising name.
He gets into existential distress
Returning to Germany is currently not an alternative for the Swabian. Thailand has become very valuable to him over the years, “everything is more relaxed than in Europe,” he says.
In 2008, the 40-year-old from Crailsheim in Baden-Württemberg was one of the first emigrants: all the ups and downs that Matthias Bück experiences in Thailand have been followed by millions of people on Vox ever since. And there were many difficult moments: the divorce from his wife Hania, who started the adventure with him, floods, an eviction lawsuit, a few years ago the separation from his Thai girlfriend. And then Corona came.
Like many other countries, Thailand closed its borders. The tourists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who are so important for Bück, stayed away. Eventually he was no longer able to cover the fixed costs and was in dire financial straits. He had to give up his bungalow, sold his car and moved into the back room of the Bamboo Bar in the village of Maenam, north of Koh Samui.
“It was really tough, with no air conditioning and no windows,” he recalls. “At times it rained and then it stunk of mildew.” But the worst thing was the hordes of mosquitoes that attacked him in the stuffy storage space. “By now I’m definitely immune to diseases like dengue fever, I’ve been bitten so often,” he grins while preparing a cappuccino behind the counter at “Glück”.
During this difficult time, his cat Snowflake, who had come to him years ago, gave him support. In mid-February, he also had to say goodbye to her. A difficult moment. “But a concrete desert like Bangkok isn’t for her,” Bück is convinced. A former employee who is extremely fond of animals now takes care of the animal.
In a video published by “Goodbye Germany” on Instagram, Bück stands again on the beach of his dream island and says: “Today is the last day on Koh Samui. Dissolved the bar, handed over the keys, said goodbye to the cat and now we’re going to the beach again for a moment. The Bamboo Bar is closed for the time being.” And the makers of Vox write: “But where there is an end, there is a beginning. And Matthias wouldn’t be Matthias if he gave up now.”
A new start at Café Glück
Comments from fans rained down. “All the best, you fighter,” writes one. And another: “He’ll get it. Bangkok hold on tight.” That gives Bück courage, the many encouraging words give strength. “I’ve always been honest, I’ve never pretended, I’m proud of that,” he emphasizes. “People know that I didn’t pretend to be a blender or big pants. Everyone saw that I didn’t have a house anymore.”
This is different now. Matthias Bück lives in Bangkok in a small apartment with air conditioning and likes both the work and the colleagues at Café Glück, which is owned by the German Christina. He particularly likes to prepare “recipes like grandma used to make”: dumplings, beef roulades, rhubarb cake. “As long as I’m needed in Bangkok, I’ll stay here,” is his plan. But he also doesn’t rule out opening a bar himself again at some point – after the pandemic.
Only one thing is missing for perfect happiness: a new partner. The survivor has been single for four years. “It’s just nicer to do things together, like sitting on the beach together,” he says, adding: “But you can’t force it. I just let myself be surprised. ”Meanwhile, there are plenty of interested parties who contacted him via social networks. After all, Bück is one of the most popular TV emigrants.
His conclusion after almost 14 years in Thailand: “I did a lot on Samui, but it was always clear to me that I sometimes have to sacrifice things.” Persevere and don’t give up, that’s the motto. He still loves his adopted country and now understands the language well. “I like the people very much, there is so much willingness to help here,” he enthuses. The Thais also lived without constant fear of the future, according to the motto “The Buddha will fix it somehow”. And so Matthias Bück is also waiting for the things that Thailand still has in store for him. dpa
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