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Norbert Demanuele

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved back to the good ol’ USA back in January 2007.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

Roughly 2 years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I thought Thailand was taking a turn for the worst! With the country recovering from the coup around this time, the southern violence worsening, the economy taking a plunge, and foreign teacher regulations on the rise convinced me it was time to move on. Not to mention I took some shrapnel in my arm in the September 06 bombing in Hat Yai in the hands of the insurgency!

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

None, aside from the money. In my opinion the USA is full of materialism and consumerism and lacks culture compared to the land of smiles! I recently completed my contract with a company I work with and am now seriously considering coming back possibly to Thailand or greater SE Asia

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Everything. The simple things are what I miss most! For example, getting a nice Thai meal of som tom, gai, and kow niaw at a mom and pop shop. Additionally, I really miss the sense of community, friendliness of locals, the slow pace of life, the food, hanging out with locals. the list goes on and on…..

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

Of course I would suggest Thailand to a new teacher. It is a great country despite the red tape and the incompetence and miscommunication that is experienced at some of the schools. The new regulations may pose as an annoyance but I feel this will eventually subside – This is Thailand after all! All this aside, the pros far outweigh the cons. The lifestyle in Thailand is far superior to that of any Asian country and Thais are among the most hospitable people I have met in all of Asia!

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Of course, there is always a place in my heart for Thailand! (seriously! – sorry for sounding sappy! –lol). I would love to settle down in Thailand and open a Guesthouse /business or even an NGO.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

For you newbies out there, and I know there are many of you! leave your western mentality at home when you come here. Relax, and acclimatize to the culture here and don’t expect locals to adjust to you. Instead, adjust and improvise to how things are done here. More importantly, do not take everything too seriously – Enjoy it and have a laugh!

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