In response to James (The demise of our socialist dreams, Postbox 25th November) the fact of the matter is that the wages the teachers are being paid (i.e. teachers that look for jobs on ajarn) are barely enough to survive on. And please spare us the “you can live in a 5k a month room” speech. Foreigners who are serious about living and teaching in Thailand are not interested in living like Thais. We don’t want to live on thirty baht meals and we are not interested in drinking Chang all night on the porch with 18-25 year old Thai guys. Is it so bad we want a Krispy Kreme from Siam Paragon from time to time or want to purchase a nice shirt to wear to work that costs 1000 baht?
We all know that 30-40k is barely enough to live in Bangkok where the overwhelming majority of teaching jobs are located. So when you speak of saving your money and standing on your own two feet you should reference what working poor means in the West. It means people have jobs and still cannot eat, pay their rent and their utilities. This is commonplace in the UK and the US.
Compound that with living in a society that tolerates you rather than invites you and it makes things very difficult. Your ultra conservative attitude toward the plight of other foreigners here that have suffered as a result of the flooding is exactly the type of attitude that has led to millions protesting and camping out in capital cities all over the Western world.
Those people protesting are not asking for your socialist utopia as you describe it. Rather they just want jobs and to be treated fairly. That’s all the foreign teachers in Thailand are asking. All the teachers know that the Thai teachers are getting assistance and the agencies are still going to get their money. And we as foreign teachers don’t have Uncle Bob or Aunt Sarah to live with and feed us because our place is flooded. We have no place to go.
Just because Thais decide that they do not want to have a socialist agenda (your assessment James) does not mean we as Westerners living in the Wild, Wild West that is Thailand, have to do the same amongst ourselves. And what does a socialist agenda mean really in our respective Western countries? It means the governments we put in power and pay exorbitant taxes to will serve and help us in our time of need.
Foreigners here in Thailand have only one support system - ourselves. Your “I am better than the other foreigners because I have money” attitude is a facade. You are not better than any of us. Thais do not care about you and every foreigner living here knows this. And in your time of peril and despair you, like other foreigners, will seek out the help of your embassy. By the way, these embassies who will assist you are the same nations where socialist agendas make it so that if you are in trouble and in need in a foreign land they will assist you.
And is your statement that Thais do not have a socialist safety net true? Your statement is the furthest thing from the truth. All day long you can watch television and a large percentage of what they show is the Thai government out helping Thais whether it is now or five years ago!
God forbid you will be unable to pay your rent and eat because of no fault of your own. It would serve you right if instead of someone helping you they would show you the extreme right views you are spouting here on Ajarn.