Tales from Thai society
The story begins with a new foreigner who came to our village two years ago. He was an Australia man, strong and handsome, not so old, but he spoke no Thai and never smiled. I would see him sometimes, with his wife, at the local noodle shop. She was from the tambon, the small town about fifteen minutes bicycle ride from my farm.
Postbox letter from Cliff
I retired from my job in the States last year and decided to spend my retirement here in Thailand, teaching Thai people to speak better English among other things. I knew beforehand it would be an uphill battle. I have spent 4 years of my life here, plus another 11 working at a Thai church near my home in the San Diego area, so I was well aware of the difficulties Thai people have with our language. In fact, most of the few Thai people I know who speak it fluently have a very heavy Thai accent.
Postbox letter from Mr Grumpy
Nothing can prepare the foreign teacher for the employee-to-management-to-admin staff life. Dealing with these matters can drive the most experienced teachers up the wall and can turn a normally friendly teacher into a paranoid wreck!
Sometimes you can find help when you least expect it
What happened to me last November has given me the impression that there are indeed a lot of good samaritans in Thailand.
What is the real essence of happiness?
One Filipino teacher from Chulalongkorn University Nonthaburi English Project told me that his mother adopted two street kids in the Philippines. The mother sends the kids to school and provides them their daily needs. What a way of attaining happiness!
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 evil side of the TEFL industry
It is a complicity of silence that sees many foreign teachers working hand-in-glove with a Thai administration that cares only about money and maintaining an educational system mired in cultural backwardness and social repression.
Who can you complain to in Thailand when you've been truly wronged?
This is a country where I'm convinced you have to let many incidents go and chalk them up to experience. Pursuing things ‘legally' and going down what you feel are the appropriate channels will just lead to frustration and despair. This is Thailand. It's a lawless land.
Standing up for the teaching profession, and the complicity of silence.
“Someone wrote on your blog that you are 'dangerous'. I say you are a neurotic loose canon and a liability for a school, working with children”
An update on the perils of having your own house built in Thailand
After returning to Thailand, I found a contractor I thought was committed to building my house the way I wanted it. Finding someone to complete what had been started by another person, I knew would be difficult, but nevertheless I thought I had found the right man.