Thailand is still something of an enigma to me
I am currently living in the one of Thailand's southeastern provinces, in a place called Trat Town. As I hear more news about the anti-government protests in Bangkok heating up, so to speak, I am surprised by how little it affects me out here.
A little chit-chat down at the MOE
I was at a new housewarming party of an MOE official the other day and I had a very unexpected, but very pleasantly surprising, conversation.
Another year has gone by and unfortunately it hasn't been one to remember
Looking at the 2008 headlines, most Thai news was bad and gloomy. The political battle fought in Parliament as well as in the streets and the courts divided Thai society more than ever. Political foes, together with intolerant battering-ram organisations like the PAD (yellow shirts) and UDD (red shirts), made absolutely sure the country became even more polarised thanks to their respective hatred and reverence of ousted PM Thaksin.
So what happened exactly? And what will happen next?
Many Thais had the impression that, economically, 2007 was a bad year. Although Thailand lagged behind most other ASEAN countries in terms of growth, the country’s economy still grew by about 4 per cent. I suspect the people’s unfavourable impression was especially fuelled by rising oil prices and the realisation that the government wouldn’t keep bailing out its gas-guzzling citizens and industries any longer.
ESL teachers as linguistic imperialists and neo-colonialists
ESL teachers should be viewed as mentors and heroes, selflessly taking the time to improve the lives of our students. People like Julian Edge and Larry Smith should be ashamed of themselves. They spit in the face of every dedicated ESL teacher.