Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I returned to my hometown of York in the UK a couple of months ago.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I was there for about 18 months in total, working for an agency at a Thai school just outside Bangkok. I guess I was the classic 35,000 baht a month teacher (and I'll get round to doing one of your cost of living surveys soon)
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
Covid. I hate to come across as a doomsayer but I don't see an immediate end to this pandemic in either Europe or Asia, but at least in England I can return to my family home and we can all suffer together. I got sick of the Covid restrictions at my school and the online teaching just wasn't doing it for me. I got out while I saw the chance. Thailand isn't going to live with Covid in my opinion. The moment there is another outbreak, we'll be back to square one. I couldn't wait around and build a future with so much uncertainty going on around me.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I'm not working at the moment. I'm still drawing on my limited savings but I don't need much money anyway right now. My parents are feeding me and washing my clothes and I'm limiting myself to just one night a week at the local pub.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Strangely enough, I miss all the foreign oddball teachers I used to work with. There are some incredible characters that find their way to Thailand. I can't imagine anywhere in the world that they would fit in. There were the closet alcoholics, the useless teachers who had no desire to get any better and the ass-kissers who just said the right things to stay in a job. And then you've got the Filipinos and Thai teaching assistants stabbing them all in the back at the first opportunity. I definitely found Thailand an 'every man for himself' environment. You do make what you feel might be close friends but the moment you refuse to lend them a couple of thousand baht to tide them over until pay day, they're gone like a fart in the wind.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
I would seriously wait until Thailand has some sort of clear direction before looking for teaching work there. At the moment, schools close, open, and then close again. And online teaching is painful. It's just all too unpredictable.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
See answer above. I'm staying put for the time being until the world figures out whether it's going to live with Covid or keep people locked up forever.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
No, I think I've got things off my chest, although I didn't talk about how far a 35K salary doesn't go in Bangkok. Stay safe everyone!