Restaurant table booking

Jay Walker

This month Shop WINDOW on Lifestyle talks to a real estate sales and marketing manager who has fun and makes a living – or is it the other way round?

Where are you from originally?
I was born in Essex in Merry Old England. My hometown is Benfleet, which is just outside Southend-on-Sea.

When did you move to Phuket?
On March 27, 2007.

What did you do before coming here?
I’d always wanted two things in life – to be a watersports instructor and to be famous. I got a job teaching kids on ‘activities’ summer holidays and I worked at this in UK, France, Turkey and Greece – some really fantastic locations. I wintered in Antigua doing the same. Then, for a few years in the winter, I worked as a chef for a ski resort in France. In 2000, I joined Sunsail (the world’s premier marine leisure company) as manager of one of their watersports clubs, with a staff of 45 and over 200 pieces of equipment. This was recognition if not fame, but after six years I realised that the job wasn’t going anywhere, so I decided to return to the UK. I stuck it for a year working for Tesco’s first, then as a tree surgeon in a landscape gardening company and finally in a fitness centre – part of the David Lloyd group.

So you decided to come to Phuket?
Yes, I really wasn’t enjoying life in London, so when an old Sunsail manager offered me a job here as Sales Manager for the Village Coconut Island project, I jumped at the chance.

You had no experience of real estate before. Did you find any problems?
There have been lots of problems like airports getting closed down and worldwide credit crunches, but there’s not much I could do about them. I’ve no staff so the biggest problem I face is managing myself. Sometimes that’s harder than it ought to be.

Do you enjoy the job?
Great fun, you meet so many interesting people and I get a real buzz from helping someone to buy their dream house in paradise.

And the secret of your success?
You’ve got to have a positive mental attitude but, as I say, the essential ingredient must be fun. If it stopped being fun, I’d stop doing it. One more thing: be punctual.

What’s your hobby?
It’s more of a second job than a hobby. In the evenings and at weekends I love to volunteer my services as an MC or DJ, but also like to get paid. It’s great to see people enjoying themselves and it means I get to go to all sorts of events for free. Music has always been my great love and being in the limelight is part of what makes me tick – being famous, right? Also, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the ‘greats’ like Jose Padila and Judge Jules.

Talk a bit about your ideas of success, life, and what it all means.
For me, success is about achieving one’s goals. I’ve had enormous satisfaction from teaching new skills to kids and adults and giving them a great holiday at the same time. Without getting too deep, life’s ‘an entertainment’ and the reward is to experience new things every day. I also like chocolate.

Where do you stay?
I live in Surin and hang out there and in Bang Tao.

What’s your call on Phuket as a place to live?
Like most places, I suppose, there’s good and bad. Just stay away from the bits you don’t like. I’ve certainly done fantastic things in Phuket which I couldn’t have done anywhere else. There are some wonderful people living here, both expat and local. It’s common to hear people complaining about over-development of the island. My answer to that would be to tell them to get out of their four-byfours and experience the parks and forested hills, of which there are plenty. Then there are the beaches – the best stress reliever in the world, bar none.

Any particular hates?
Tourists walking around in vest-tops and crocks.

How old are you?

Are you married?
Still single but working on it. I’d like to marry and have a family but it takes two to tango.

What do you do in your free time?
Not that you seem to have much. Yes, life is pretty hectic, but that’s how I like it. Usually. I’ll hang out with friends, cook or just chill at home. Exercise is an important part of my lifestyle and I like to go running once or twice a day. Beaches are perfect for this.

If you had to describe yourself in a sentence, could you?
Let’s see. Fun loving and full of life; bit too sensitive.

Would your friends agree?
Hopefully, they see me as a good person with a good heart – maybe they’ll throw in sexy and funny. A friend once told me that I was like a child in an adult’s body. Do you think it was a compliment?