In reply to China: The Promised Land? (Ajarn Postbox 20th September) Disastrous experiences; yes we’ve all had them. My letters have at various times extolled the virtues of China, but like everywhere else, experiences differ. After doing “extensive research” should it really take one eight months to discover one has been working illegally? Again, wouldn’t the same happen to the “colleague” who was arrested in China for working illegally, in much the same way as would happen in Thailand? (Plus the corruption in equal measures).
No country is a promised land. It’s always a good idea to ask to speak to a teacher already in the school before signing a contract and as for -30 degree winters; I take it your research into northern China made you aware of this? If your school was breaking the terms of your contract I take it you did complain to your coordinator or The Foreign Affairs Department? No? You just did a runner?! As for “parents peering through glass windows”, do you realize you’re probably the first white person they’d ever seen? Did you smile at them, or scowl and wonder why they were unfriendly towards you?
Certainly, Thailand is a very much more open and friendly country and the secretive nature of a closed society after decades of communism reflects this, but as in any country, beware the unscrupulous schools/agencies!
So, really you wanted the Thai friendliness, low working hours, no corruption and 50k+, plus free everything? You simply chose the wrong company/location. I have all the stated previous; it’s not all perfect, there are hiccups along the way, (plus the -30 winters); but I worked for longer than a few months in Thailand to discover that, as in every aspect of life, you have to spend more than a few months somewhere. More often than not, most problems are caused by a matter of attitude or lack of understanding and being unable to adapt to various cultures.