The medical situation in Thailand
Thailand has a wide range of excellent private and international hospitals. The buildings and equipment are far better than your average English state hospital affair. The cost is usually great value and well covered by most insurance policies. Doctors are often educated abroad and speak good English.
And what about the Isaan people themselves? When was the last time you went out in a western economy, err sorry, country, and had a table of strangers ‘cheers’ you, and ask your name?
A short break in Thailand's second city
Chiang Mai is officially one of Asia's most comfortable cities to live in with its relatively clean air, an abundance of good restaurants and helpful friendly locals, but the way you are pestered by vehicle owners from the moment you land at the airport is not one of its more attractive features. Even a gentle stroll down one of Chiang Mai's main roads becomes an endurance test as you find yourself saying 'no thanks' to the tenth taxi driver in as many minutes.
Escaping the heat and the madness
Songkran officially lasts for three days, from April 13 (Friday) to April 15 (Sunday), although many people start celebrating early and finish late. If throwing water and being doused several times a day is not your cup of tea, it might be a good idea to flee Thailand for a week or so. Here are some ideas on where to go.
A place to eat and a place to visit
This week I went to the Ancient Village in Samut Prakarn and had a meal at the Great American Rib on Sukhumwit. You have no idea the kind of exciting life I lead.
101 things you perhaps didn't know
The first column of 2007 (or 2550) is a collection of cultural trivia for people unfamiliar with Thailand. I guess most long-stay residents or frequent visitors can add a few lines of their own. I admit that what follows is not all there is to know. It’s only a small part of an endless collection of local pieces of knowledge and experience which I randomly jotted down.
It's funnier than comedy
Latest news before this article goes online: the government will agree to compromise and raise the age for buying alcohol to 20, instead of the planned 25. Cheers!
Postbox letter from Larry Gellar
I probably should have seen the writing on the wall when I was asked to sign a contract in a foreign language, without a translation. I should have just slowly backed away.
The search for a missing teacher
I’ve kept this article rather vague as to where exactly Brian lived, where he hung out, where he worked and who his friends were. I did this partly because I simply don’t have all that information and I don’t want to invade too much of his privacy. People who know him will surely recognize him by the facts mentioned in this article. If any of you have relevant information, feel free to share it with me. This is not a witch hunt; it’s just one worried farang looking for another.
Please keep Thailand clean
If you ask yourself what this article is doing on a teaching website, it’s because I’m convinced that we should start teaching our children a lot more about all kinds of pollution and instil in them more respect for the environment. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a special course, why not have an English lesson once in a while debating the issue and asking students to come up with possible solutions.