Another moaner and groaner

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.


The battle is finally over

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.


Why don't you just go home?

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.


Thailand 101

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.


The pee, the nong and the wai

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 flame of hope

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.


A bit of culture part two

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.


A bit of culture part one

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


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.


Back to school

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


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