Welcome to the Ajarn Forum - Teaching and Living in Thailand!
Established in 2000 with current continuous archives since 2004, we are one of the oldest ex-pat teaching forums in Thailand, and one of the busiest, a community of people who have some kind of tenuous link to or interest in teaching and living in Thailand.
You won't find a better one-stop information site for anyone teaching or thinking about becoming a teacher in Thailand.
Whether it's visa advice you are looking for, looking to rent an apartment, needing to know about TEFL courses, just wanting to vent about your school, or just wanting to socialise we have most bases covered and welcome everyone from the beginners to teaching to the seasoned educators....and even if you're not a teacher....or in Thailand for that matter.
Some absolute newbie tips.
LOS = Land of Smiles = Thailand
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Before you click that play button, be aware that the video is nearly an hour long. But ... is is surprisingly well done. So, when you have time, give it a go ...
Are you a Ted?
"Published on May 1, 2013 Ted is a 46 year-old salesman from Wales. He is divorced, feels marginalised by middle age and is tired of life in the 'nanny state'. Ted is a frequent visitor to Thailand as a result of his job in an import business. He revels in the freedom he finds in a country where everything is for sale at the right price; including the beautiful young women who want to be with him.
Ted meets Tip who is working in the Rooster Bar. She is in her mid thirties, from the northeastern Issan region, the poorest part of Thailand. Like many Issan women, Tip is uneducated and could never earn enough to own her house or educate her child. She hates the thought of her daughter growing up to be involved in prostitution. When she meets Ted, she thinks she has finally found a foreigner who will take care of... [Read More]
For lunch, I went to a roadside little restaurant where no one spoke English, nor were there English menus. They had a bunch of stuff and with the help of my Thai phrasebook, I was able to match up the Thai written spelling of what I wanted to what they had posted on the wall, pointed and successfully ordered Kwetiauw Gai, soup with noodles and chicken.
Best one dollar meal I've ever eaten.
Today was almost my first ride on a BKK motorcycle taxi.
My first visit to site with an actual real Buddha relic.
mY first time posting 3 threads in a day on the AF.
A famous Thailand teaching agency is famous for printing fake degrees for its teachers now has 25 teachers in BKK that they are unable to place in schools, has taken to threatening a teacher who took off to work directly for a government school (not one that agency introduced the teacher to). Threats include you will never get a Non B, work permit or be able to work in Thailand legally.
Two weeks ago, I was told my teaching assignment was still not finalized, but it's supposed to be in BKK, and we'd know for sure in a few days. A few days later, I was told it would be another 10 days, the final word coming down tomorrow. I'm only booked in my hotel until tomorrow. I went looking at places to live yesterday, which I was somewhat successful at doing, but there were a few listings I simply couldn't find because I am new in town and don't fully understand the whole street address system here yet... I wanted some help today from a local for day 2 of apartment hunting, the deadline being tomorrow for me to find a place...
So I call my contact...
Oh, no, Friday is when the paperwork is finalized, she tells me, but the school won't have an official decision until Monday. What if I hadn't called? When was she planning on telling met this? Why do I think Monday will come and they'll still be thinking about it? Arrrgh!!!
I just want to unpack and get my stuff spread around and stop spending 550/night on a hotel room.
The interactive maps are based on a keyword search of geotagged tweets. Students from Humboldt State checked each tweet for a negative, positive, or neutral connotation, ultimately identifying more than 150,000 hateful tweets with this location info. Each negative tweet was totaled by county and then normalized by comparing that to the county's total tweets, enabling the Floating Sheep geographers to identify places with "disproportionately high amounts" of hateful tweets.
As you might be able to tell from my full figured physique, I do love food. I’ve mentioned before how I can occasionally get frustrated seeing all this delicious looking stuff here in Thailand and not knowing the words for it. I get a little shy about ordering because I don’t want to look like an idiot, nor do I want to order the wrong thing and have them bring me a shoe with cheese on it.
Yesterday, I hung out with some new friends and the topic of food came up and one of them mentioned rice porridge. I’ve never had anything similar to rice porridge in America, but I remembered back when I was young in Indonesia and rice porridge was one of my favorite things to eat. It’s delicious; my Filipino friend who was talking about it shared my enthusiasm. Most importantly, he told me not only the Thai word for it: jok, but also where to find it in my neighborhood. I went home counting the hours until breakfast where I could wander over for a nice Bt20 (60 cents) bowl of jok. No chance that I would forget the word; it’s the first three letters of my name!
Well, this morning being Mother’s Day in America, I had an appointment to Skype with Mom. This is the first time we had Skyped, and it was really cool. Technology is wonderful. Again to compare this overseas journey to my last venture to SE Asia in 1990, back then, we exchanged written letters that took 2 to 3 weeks to cross the Pacific.
Anyways, after the call, I headed out in search of jok… You’ll have to watch the video to see what happened next.
Hi, first post here on your very informative site.
I was hoping that there is someone reading this that has some knowledge/ experience with Songkhla International School. I have been looking at their website but would like some first hand opinions from either parents with kids at the school or even teachers at the school.
My plan has always been to go back to the UK for my kids schooling as frankly the costs to put 2 kids through most international schools in Thailand are a little out of my price range.
However I have recently been offered a chance to work out of Songkhla and whilst looking into the area I noticed this school. Its fees are considerably lower than any of the Bangkok school and it got me thinking that perhaps I wouldn't have to head back to cold, wet depressing England?
Its probably a case of you get what you pay for, but i thought i would look into it as an option. Is it comparable to an average UK school?
Way up here in Ramkhamraeng, I can't imagine it's possible, but I thought I'd check nevertheless. Other than the microwaveable pizza-food stuff they have at the FamilyMart across the street, I'm hungry. It's the middle of the night. What are my options?
Foreigner Beaten by Tuk-Tuk Drivers after not Paying Extortionate Fee at Karaoke Bar – A word of warning if you ‘want to do it your way’
CityNews – A foreign man was badly beaten by tuk-tuk drivers late April after the driver had taken him to a karaoke bar where he was charged 17,000 baht for a few drinks and forced to pay lest he suffer the consequences.
The man, a Chiang Mai long-term expat, explained that on the night, “I had a tuk-tuk driver, one man from the karaoke and two girls – one being the manager – escort me to the ATM. After some polite bartering I paid the karaoke place 4,000 from the 17,000 they had asked, a bit over priced but I thought a payment I could do for me being silly enough to get myself into that situation.”
But he then says the tuk-tuk demanded 2,000 for his fee. A fee that had not even been discussed.
“The next thing his friend turned up and they said they would escort me to the police station.”
They took him into some land nearby the karaoke bars on Chang Klan Road (close to Chiang Mai Land) and beat him up.
“It was all captured on a CCTV camera and I have got the option to press charges,” he says, “but retribution does not thrill me. I just want to warn others.”
He was fortunate that a local rescue worker, as well as workers from nearby bars, saw what happened. He was picked up by the rescue team worker (Koh) shortly after he was beaten up.
Koh, who is also a teacher at Rajabhat University, told CityNews:
“I was driving out of my house in Chiang Mai Land to work a night on the rescue shift when I saw him running away from somewhere covered in blood. I... [Read More]
I was discussing the pros and and cons of the half or dozen or so places we looked at yesterday with Will, the guy from my program whose going to be sharing the same school with me (maybe). Specifically, why I actually preferred Place One versus Place Two.
Place One is in a bit of a rundown old building off a long and quiet Ekkamai soi. It's sort of halfway between the BTS and airport link, probably not comfortable walking distance from either, but there are buses up and down Ekamai at all hours. The unit I looked at is a corner unit (definite plus) with cable, AC, hot water, fridge, MWO and balcony. You'll see it in the video below. Rent is 5K/mo and electricity is 7 Baht a unit. Water is a bit overpriced at a flat 300/mo, but internet is also 300/mo. It's a LAN, so I'm wired and can't get internet on the balcony (unless I go get my own wireless router which has to be pretty cheap, right?). The gentleman who mans the front counter of the building appears to be Punjabi (he was wearing a turban) who speaks English flawlessly.
Place Two is in a big condo complex, so it's privately owned. Significantly more room, it has it's own little kitchen space, an actual shower stall, cheaper electricity and water. Internet is Wifi at 600 b/mo and rent is 6K. Everything feels new, beautiful and if you didn't stick your head out the window, you'd feel like you were in a modern, Western, very nice studio apartment. It's right across the street from the Bang Na BTS, so techinically, it isn't even in the Bangkok city limits, but in some ways it would be easier to get around from.
Call me crazy, but in my heart, I prefer the rundown building to the sterile, homogenized, pasteurized,... [Read More]
So for the next ten days or so, I'm going to be living in the Lim Bo district of Bangkok. Surely, you've heard of it. It's right between the Mai Roo and Hu Noes parts of town. Now, living in Lim Bo does have it's own charm in terms of freedom, but since it's been more than a month now since I moved out of my last permanent residence, I am looking forward to finally being able to unpack my suitcases, spread my stuff out and say, okay, fine, I'm home. Here's what's going on: I was assigned by my placement agency to a gov't school with whom they had not yet finalized their contract. From what I've been told, as a gov't school, the contract for which is bid upon by various agencies, there is extra pressure that the bid be absolutely perfect in regards to dotting every "I" and crossing every "T"... If the bid ain't perfect, it gives grounds to the competing agencies to file suit for possible corruption, what have you. So, when I got my BKK assignment, I was told by the agency not to put a deposit down on a place to live as it's not 100% for sure I will be teaching here in BKK at all. They will have a job for me; it just may not be the job in Ekkamai.Oh... Today, that final word was supposed to come through. It didn't. Now, it has been pushed back to the 18th. I may end up teaching here; I may not. The nice thing is that if it turns out that I am not going to be in Bangkok then the agency has agreed to reimburse me for my housing expenses from now until then and buy me whatever ticket will be needed to get me to my new place. They told me this verbally. Per the sage advice of another BKK AF member whom I met last night, I asked for and was told today that I would get this in writing. So... [Read More]
Operation Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air ForceNo. 617 Squadron, subsequently known as the "Dambusters", using a specially developed "bouncing bomb" invented and developed by Barnes Wallis. The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley, while the Sorpe dam sustained only minor damage. Two hydroelectric powerplants were destroyed and several more were damaged. Factories and mines were also either damaged or destroyed.
The Daily Mail has been full of it - as usual, it's always full of it - and I'm not happy that they co-opt these events in support of their own little Englander view of the world.
So, by way of a quieter reflection, I... [Read More]