Let's evaluate what happens here in Thailand as something we can learn from rather than condemn.
I firmly believe that we can look at Thailand and learn a lot about how we prepare our kids to enter society and live rewarding lives with the resources they have and priorities they live by.
Every song can be a mini language lesson
Over and above the benefit of learning the language, listening to Thai songs will allow the learner to ‘get a feel’ for the country – how it thinks, how sentiments are communicated, the culture, the essence of being Thai, at least in the context of relationships.
The promised land or the den of lions?
One of the books I recently read is Bangkok to Ben Nevis Backwards, by Phil Hall. It could have been my story, minus the marriage to a Thai woman, a son, and an almost completed house in the countryside.
The expat lives without being judged or interfered with.
The best thing about Thailand for expats? Just about everything. Many things work differently here; it does not mean they are wrong, they are just different. Thailand will evolve at its own pace and to suit Thai people, not expats.
Beggars, food courts, communication problems, cancelled classes and disagreeable customer service
Just another day - another morning, another commute, another birthday and I'm on my way to teach at Speech Perfect at the Mall, Bang Kae in Bangkok. Just as I do every day - with the exception of public holidays.
Avoid falling into any of these teacher traps
Ajarn has put together a list of the most common mistakes that teachers make in Thailand - both new arrivals and those who have been here a while.
31 cool and awesome things about living and teaching in rural Thailand
Before we get into the list I just want to mention that everything is written in good fun. Expats and Thailand veterans will understand more than first timers. Certain sentences and parts reflect my own specific experience more so than the general one. Some of it might come across as sappy, but I've had a very positive experience in Thailand and the glass is half full for me.
Is it possible to find the perfect balance?
It's just interesting to note that it is the relaxed attitude that keeps the East "developing" while it's our go-go attitude that makes us "prosperous". The same attitude that hinders them in business allows them to be happily content with life, whereas it's our work ethic that erodes at our physical and emotional well being.
You've got to roll with the punches
Things are very spur of the moment in South East Asia. You hardly ever hear about things until the last possible second. There is nothing you can do about it.
Is it better to simply observe students and not try to fix things?
I learned a long time ago to not expect Thai people to think or behave the way we do in California. I've come to realize the futility of trying to impose Western values on this ancient culture.