Learn the lingo

Learn the lingo

I hope to be teaching in Thailand this coming school year, and want to encourage Black teachers to LEARN THE LANGUAGE. Just a few words makes such a difference. I have visited Thailand twice, via Taiwan, taught in Korea for a year and have been to Japan 4 times. My experiences have been that most people from these countries don't expect foreigners to speak the native language. A basic sawat-dee (khrap/kha) and a smile has gotten me pretty far. I feel more welcome in these countries than at home in the USA! Probably because I recognize how this culture conveys racism, covertly or overtly.

Speaking of home culture, has anyone else found it funny that a lot of people in the world want to be light-skinned, but white people don't even want to be white? Asia sells skin whiteners, America has tanning booths, and beach bums working on their tans all day... My grandfather has told me plenty of army stories about how black soldiers essentially had double requirements, meaning the army only really had the cream of the crop soldiers from us, when just about any white person could be a soldier. Reading this forum, and having my experiences, I've learned that the English teaching job market in Asia is the same--we just gotta one up everyone else!

Learn some of the language. Know something about His Majesty. Smile and dress nicely, and, while it sucks that we have to take that extra step, everyone will get the point and word of mouth will do its work.
Peace,

Mark


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