Does the culture need to change?

Postbox letter from Philip

My teacher friend has seen teachers hit a student and another teacher call a young child 'crazy' because they didn't understand the question and asked for help


Farang, Farang, Farang

Postbox letter from Winston

I understand if someone calls me farang in the street, outside the school, that they don't mean to be rude. It's just what Thais call us. But it's not appropriate to use this word at school.


It takes all sorts

There's nowhere like an ESL staffroom when it comes to a crazy and diverse range of characters

People become ESL teachers for all kinds of reasons. Nowhere else will you find such a mélange of backgrounds, attitudes and beliefs, which is what makes the ESL staffroom like no other you’ll ever work in.


Strange encounters of the Thai kind

Strange things that have happened to me over the last few weeks

These might well have happened anywhere else in the world for that matter. On the other hand, things that may well not have happened anywhere else in the world, other than Thailand.


Happy to be here

Thai people have generally behaved impeccably during this period of hardship.

As impenetrable as Thai culture can seem, and as frustrating as certain things can be, I feel genuinely blessed to be here in these hard times of COVID-19. Nearly everyone here wears a mask. That is not the government forcing them to do it, but the people themselves willingly doing the right thing.


Investing in people or rolling out policies?

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.


How much Thai can you learn through Thai songs?

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 poor traveler

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 best things about living in Thailand?

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.


A diverse day in paradise

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.


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