Fear and loathing in Asia

Why so many language schools are so deceptive

How can teachers, new and old alike, protect themselves from deceptive employers? Asking a lot of questions can help, not because the employer is always likely to answer in a straightforward manner, rather it can reveal their level of knowledge and experience in the industry.


The politics of Babopalooza

The joke is on us

The stress and aggravation of life in Korea for expats can be brutal at times, and that's why it's important to blow off a little steam every now and then. During times like these, most expats simply get together to eat, drink, and complain about life in a society that still views foreigners as less than equal.


Where is Brian?

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.


A Taiwan and Korea story continued

Noble warriors and the culture of Irresponsibility

It has often been said that a lot of people--- whether it be Immigration officials, those who work in Embassies or Consulates, members of the business and academic community, and many everyday people--- don't want us in their country. Some want to learn English. Many need to learn English. And most parents want their kids to learn English. But many people don't want us here.


A Korea story part one

Noble warriors and the culture of Irresponsibility

I believe that just about all of us noble warriors would like to look back on our overseas teaching experiences with pride and come to the conclusion that we did well. I don't know anyone of us who wants to look back at their experiences in anger and disappointment and conclude that they failed.


Japanic!

How things have changed in my absence

A lot of forum posters are claiming that Japan might not be the earner that it used to be, then again for those with a bit of hustle the market for freelance work is burgeoning. I personally believe that an English teacher overseas has to view him/herself as a miniature corporation and constantly innovate to keep up with market demands.


Hoop hopping

The dreaded Thai visa procedure

You go to the Thai Embassy in aforementioned UN least-developed-nation-status state and submit your paperwork. The immigration officer then asks you if the school that you’re going to work for is on ‘the list’. Then you say, ‘What list?’ and he says, ‘The list’, then you shrug and he tells you that it isn’t, then you say ‘So why did you ask,’ and he says nothing, and you say ‘What should I do?’ and he says ‘Damned if I care, but you ain’t gettin’ no stinkin’ visa unless your school is on “the list”.


The visa run

One man and his trip to Penang

Going to Laos or Cambodia by bus might have been a bit cheaper, but unfortunately one needs a visa to enter those countries. Not so for Malaysia. Anyway, I heard from a few colleagues that the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane is staffed by frequently obnoxious personnel (however another colleague told me he didn’t have any problem at all there).


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