Postbox letter from Ralph Sasser
Something’s wrong when a culture and society puts religion above anything else, builds elaborate houses for ghosts to sleep in and puts food and drink out everyday for them to consume.
And there were no winners
Restrictions on freedom of speech are simply a form a thought control and involve a huge amount of power. Thailand must accept that if it wants to be a fore - player in the modern world, it must at least accept that other nations allow freedom of speech.
Problems with living in Thailand
Don't get me wrong. I'm prone to the odd gripe myself. I do get exasperated when apparently easy tasks at work are made difficult by the traditional Thai "assume somebody else will tell them the meeting is cancelled" attitude.
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.
Aspects of Thai culture
Although ajarn.com has never shirked from handing out some just criticism on Thai education and culture I felt it was only fair to balance worthy criticism with worthy praise.
The optimistic goodbye and our living legacy
I've had some great times in Asia, especially Thailand. Times I will never forget. But when it's time to leave, it's time to leave. And we all know when it's time.
The concept of face and other things
If a waiter in a restaurant screws up your order and brings you fishballs instead of the fried pork-skin on rice you ordered, most people won’t send it back or make a fuss about it. The waiter might lose face. So what? Well, by embarrassing him this way, you too will be considered as having lost face. It’s really a lose-lose situation. You can either eat your smelly fishballs or lose face.
Loud music and slouching
Now let me first get one thing straight. I like Thailand and I like Thai people. They are very friendly and I usually don’t mind their strange behaviour and views. They say it’s culture. It’s not a problem for me, but the question is: can you handle it? With ‘you’, I mean the newly arrived farangs who are still in the so-called honeymoon period and think Thailand is heaven on earth
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.
Shoes are polished and uniforms are in pristine condition
It's the first day back after the summer holidays, uniforms are donned and the ritual countdown to the first class of the new school year begins . . . begin