After over seven years of teaching in Thailand I’m leaving for Saudi Arabia. First, let me say that for the seven years I have been here, the first five were excellent, but I have seen a drastic change for the worse over the past two years. I have met a lot of good people here, Thais and Foreigners alike that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity in meeting back home in Wales. Albeit, I feel now is the time for a change and fresh start elsewhere. I have worked at various institutions since coming here in 2004. I have worked in government schools, a university, an international school and various language centres across the country. I had the privilege of working with Mr. Russell Park, a teacher who has worked- his shocks off at becoming a better teacher he is also someone who genuinely cares about his students.
The main reason for me leaving is obviously the money. Since coming here the salaries haven’t increased, in fact over the last few years I have seen a decrease in the salaries being offered. When I first arrived in Thailand it was the biggest culture shock known to mankind. The Thais working at the local shops, restaurants and other establishments actually smiled at me and fell over backwards to assist in any way possible. I had never experienced anything like that back home in Wales. Unfortunately, in my opinion, over the last few years I have seen people’s attitudes change for the worse, now I get “What you want?” Not have” (when you know damn well they have) or even to the point of being totally ignored.
Also, I have seen the change in attitude form the majority of the Thai teaching staff, particularly in the Government schools, towards the foreign teachers. I often used to ask myself, “Do they want us here”? The conclusion I came to was, “NO”. I will leave Thailand with mixed emotions. I will be taking with me a lot of fond and amusing memories, but I have to say also a lot of bitter and hopefully forgettable memories. I shall miss Thailand the place I have called home for seven years, also I will miss my friends and colleagues, but I hope to return one day, that is if the Thai government will stop scamming money out of us!
Good luck to you all, and don’t let the buggers get you down.