Submit your own Great Escape

Ajarn Ernest

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved to Mexico City, Mexico. April 2006

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I was in Thailand from July 2003 to April 2006, so 2 1/2 years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

At the time I weighed 109 kilos. The heat and humidity were KILLING me! I now weigh 82 kilos and am much more comfortable with the weather here in Mexico City. Every day it's between 23 and 30 degrees, very nice.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

Better weather, a school system and students that actually are interested in learning and not just putting on the appearance of learning, more competent management, the money is about the same though I do have national healthcare that covers my medication and I also have private health insurance, THE WEATHER... I was just tired of being hot and sweaty ALL the time plus having to wear a shirt and tie every day in 34 degrees was just an unreasonable expectation.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The cheaper cost of living, the night life, trips to the islands ( though I can go to Cancun or Acapulco here in Mexico, nothing beats Samui or Phuket )

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

Yes, it's a good place to start out. Take a TEFL course in Thailand, this helps you ease into living there as you have a built in support system in the school and other students.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes, but this time I will weigh between 65 and 75 kilos, much more reasonable for my 171cm height, and I won't work FOR Thai people, I have no problem working with Thai people but having one as a boss is enough to make a person crazy. "Be like the bamboo and flex with the wind" I was told while there, but there's only so far a bamboo stalk can bend before it breaks and ends up taking hostages! I am getting training and certification to teach in my current schools IB Program so I'll be looking to get a job in an IB international school in BKK in another year or two.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand is a great place to visit, a good place to live (if you can stand the weather) but a terrible place to work if you have to work for Thai people. While there, be flexible but don't lose yourself in the process. I finally got to the point where I told my boss that I wouldn't change a students grade so they could pass ( everyone passes by the way ). I would give him the grade that he had earned and if she wanted to change the grade later on she could do that, just don't tell me about it. This was in regard to a scholarship football player who had only attended 3 classes ALL term! The boy couldn't even pronounce his own name correctly in English, yet I was supposed to test him until he passed, ridiculous! Good luck to all.

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