A cultural curveball

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.


The woman of the world

Jane Doe and our true responsibilities as teachers

I am looking for a school where I can make a positive difference in the lives of my students. That's what I've been trying to do for years. That's what every dedicated and committed teacher strives to do.


Safe as houses

Why the global economic crisis probably won’t hit Isaan

Isaan is the least touristed area of the country so a drop in overall visitor figures to Thailand won’t really make an impact on the local economy.


All about Isaan folk

What keeps them smiling exactly

What are Isaan folk like to work with? There are always going to be exceptions and I have worked with one scallywag outfit myself. But, on the whole, people here don’t go in for back stabbing or office politics. In my office we speak a mixture of English, Thai and Chinese and we always have a good laugh.


Goodbye 2007, Welcome 2008

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.


Why don't we ever learn?

ESL teachers, bar girls and the sex industry

I hoped that I would never feel the need to write about bar girls or the sex industry, but these two stories stood out for the simple reason that both of them involved ESL teachers living and teaching in Bangkok.


No fries with that!

Teachers as mentors and heroes (part two)

As we ESL teachers and TESOL providers--- especially those teaching in financially impoverished countries--- strive to help others to financially improve their "lot in life", are we not, at the same time, helping to turn them into the same capitalist and consumerist pigs that have now permeated Japan, South Korea, and other developed countries?


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