Office blocks and Starbuckian

If you can't get into the elevator there's always a Starbucks

I think the menu board refers to a large-sized coffee cup as 'tall' or 'grande' or something equally pretentious. I refuse to get drawn into using that strange 'Starbuckian' language. The words small, medium, and large have served us well for centuries and if I'm the last man defending them then so be it.


First anniversary in the land of smiles

One year under my belt

Moving, even if just across Bangkok, is a stressful thing- even for a newbie without his own furniture or major appliances to haul out. Maybe worse than any of the physical work, there’s the insecurity one feels about his security deposit.


Culture shock

Adjusting to a new life abroad

The transition to life in a new country means adjusting to a foreign culture. But what is culture? What is it that we are confronted with? Culture is a set of shared, accepted behavior patterns, values, assumptions and common experiences. It defines the social structure, the expectations and the norms of communication for a society.


Bangkok vs Chiang Mai

How do the two biggest cities in Thailand measure up?

Read a terrific account from a teacher who gave up the Chiang Mai lifestyle to go and work in the capital Bangkok. It's very much a tale of two cities - and how one dedicated teacher fared in both.


The evil expatriates

What the hell do you think you're looking at?

Ever had a farang teacher look you up and down on the sky-train? It could be that they want to share lesson plans or maybe they're simply wondering what you've got to be so happy about. Either way - what's happened to the expat community spirit?


The TESOL diaspora

Making the outside world a home

I feel that the TESOL community, (if indeed there is such a thing as a TESOL community), is at a crossroads. Since so few of us have ever felt really comfortable living in another man's land, our story is not only one of alienation. It is also one of fragmentation, disillusion, and dissimulation.


My TEFL career

The ups and downs of over fifteen years 'in the game'

It's a been a long and often painful journey, but here's an account of 15 years in the Thailand TEFL business. My careers officer never once told me that it might turn out like this.


No fries with that!

Teachers as mentors and heroes (part two)

As we ESL teachers and TESOL providers--- especially those teaching in financially impoverished countries--- strive to help others to financially improve their "lot in life", are we not, at the same time, helping to turn them into the same capitalist and consumerist pigs that have now permeated Japan, South Korea, and other developed countries?


A little piece of advice

Starting your teaching career in Bangkok

Whatever you do, don’t start an ESL career in Thailand. Why? I’ll tell you. Unless, you come over on a substantial mattress of financial support you will be behind from the get-go and spend your whole time here figuring out how to make ends meet.


Why I came to Thailand

Let's consider the real reasons

How can life best be lived? Simply by living it. By grabbing life by the balls befo re life grabs yours! I walked into a travel agency and bought myself a one way ticket to Bangkok. I considered it an early birthday present.


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