Life in the sticks and other oddities
I packed my bags and moved to Thailand to eventually become an English teacher. I was offered jobs in different parts of Thailand, but I quickly decided to move to a village in the North East region of Thailand, as opposed to a city. Moving from a city in Canada to a village in Thailand is a radical change but it's the type of challenge I was looking for.
Just when you think you know most things about Thai culture
Having lived in Thailand more than twenty years, one likes to think themselves as au fait with most aspects of Thai culture, and then some innocuous situation develops and you're left wondering if you truly know the first thing about Thai culture at all.
In defense of exclusion, discrimination, and xenophobia
I would like to say that my latest writing assignment given to my grade 10 and 11 classes has given me hope; but I can’t. While some of the writing showed ‘glimmers of hope’, at least in my eyes, many of the opinions my students shared unfortunately matched the biased, ignorant, and bigoted statements made incessantly by many Thai adults.
Surprisingly, a respected top university in Thailand was one of the first to promote this kind of blatant prejudice against teachers. Someone there has decided for some reason that anyone over 50 is braindead and incapable of teaching English to undergraduates!
I just want to say that prejudice is everywhere and some whites who traveled before me had definitely tried to pollute the waters and some, I know for certain, actively campaigned against hiring African American teachers.
What does this strange word really mean?
Many foreigners in Thailand seem to even wear the term Farang as though it were a badge of honor…Thai people will call you it while you walk down the street, your native friends will call you it, and other foreigners even refer to themselves as “Farang.” I do not believe that this term is generally meant to be an insult, this is simply our title in Thai society, and, if we do not like it, there is nothing we can do about it.’
Throughout my travels I did very much get stared at. Heads often turned as I walked down the street. When I was in Ko Samet I definitely felt the hesitation and/or fear of dealing with me by some of the Thai people, even at restaurants.
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