Q1. Where did you move to and when?
Well, it was my intention to move back to the UK last June but I got rather sidetracked and have spent the last three months in Turkey.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I was there for about three years. I worked at a boys school in Bangkok, then moved to work at a secondary school in Ayuthaya and finally, I did a year at a school in Kanchanaburi. I certainly moved around in search of those 40K salaries.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I got bored of teaching. Every day started to become a battle to motivate myself and I could feel teaching just sucking the life out of me. There just comes a point when you've had enough of standing up in front of classes where not one single student really wants to be there...and what use is English to them anyway? Plus of course the general back-biting that goes on between Thai staff and foreign staff and don't even get me started on late salary payments.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I'm doing some part-time work at a pal's travel and tour company in Turkey. It doesn't pay a great deal (just enough to cover rent and food and a few drinks at the weekend) but at least I feel appreciated.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
Outside of the classroom and the general school environment, I absolutely loved Thailand. There is an unbelievable amount of stuff I miss, from riding a scooter along dirt roads skirted by mile after mile of rice fields to late night drinks at some Thai cowboy bar on the dangerous side of town. Every day is an adventure when you live in Thailand.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
Yes, I think it's a great place to gain teaching experience and gain confidence standing in front of large groups. Let's face it, if you can keep a class of 30-40 bored teenagers entertained, then not a lot is going to faze you. Also, the barrier to entry is pretty low. As long as you turn up on time, wai when you're supposed to and keep the parent complaints to a minimum, you'll become the star of the show.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
I would certainly come back for an extended holiday because I had always planned to tour South Thailand but never quite made it. As for ever teaching there again? No chance!
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
I'm dreading going back to the UK. The more I read about how things seem to be going rapidly downhill, the more I wonder if it might be worth giving TEFL in SE Asia another crack. Just not Thailand again.