Discussion in 'The Teachers Lounge' started by DigitalGypsy, 4 Jan 2017.
Nice post, David. Let photos speak.....
my god they appropriate others' cultures in such a sexy way.
I've replied to your pm, Digital Gypsy. Cheers
The grass is not always greener on the other side. If you leave Thailand, you will separate yourself from the positive aspects of Thai life. In my opinion, the most important fact about Thailand is that it was never broken and colonized. From what I understand, it bent but it did not break. They played individual Western countries off against each other; they endured Japan for a while. In other words, Thailand's center is still whole. Or, put another way, they are the only ones with enough guts and/or brains to win. Neither China, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea, Laos, or Japan can boast of such a feat. The past plays a big role in who people are, what it is like to be around them; for example, here in Jiangsu Province, China, if you turn on a TV, you would think it is 1938--those evil Japanese are shooting and attacking. China is on simmer, and there is still a current of poisonous rage below the surface. Never directed towards me, but if I were Japanese, Wuxi or Nanjing would not be my first choices for a summer vacation.
The take-it-easy attitude, the sit-back-and-enjoy-the-music evenings, the natural beauty of the place, the religious devotion one witnesses in Thailand, those can be kissed good-bye if you choose to live in the industrial smokescape of a place like Zhengzhou. But that is not to say that today's China is not interesting, on the contrary. And Japan too, so inward, almost embalmed, with formal people who are hesitant to touch each other, packed into small spaces in which everything is miniaturized and regulated, including people's lives. No thanks.
Thailand maintains its own organizing principles which do unite the people. Those are rooted in Thailand's rich history, which is still there in a way. In Japan and China, the center is different: money is a harsh god, demanding full attention, and he is the only game in town. That idol is the source of the malaise, and perhaps profoundly, part of the threat of violence. Buying diamonds and gurgling wine both get old after a while--if you reach that height, which is not really a height at all.
I shall return.
Photos: Street Scene, Good Morning View from My Place, Dinner at Home, Chinese 7th Grade Classroom
*cough* your opinion may need some refreshing: Thailand was kept as a deliberate buffer between the Brits in the west and the Frogs in the east. As a result, Thai students now suffer from an ineffective, haphazard educational system that requires cram schools, bowing and scraping and rote memorization to prepare for life. Doesn't look like a win at all...
The middle east was my base for a few years, and I've worked pretty extensively around the Gulf (not as a teacher). I've never visited China at all.
If I were choosing between ME/Gulf and China for teaching I'd almost certainly go for China. The Gulf is a series of very small populations mostly living on an oil bubble (or the remains thereof) using technology and know-how provided by the west.
China has by far the largest and longest growth potential in the world for ELT, and has substantially more opportunities - this is true not just for ELT of course.
I'm sure I would find China far more culturally interesting too - sadly much of the traditional Arabic culture has been outlawed in the Gulf because of the increasing influence of Wahabism - the fundamental Saudi doctrine. Of course in Dubai you don't see much of that (on the surface) - you're more likely to see a Russian girl in an Irish bar sing Elvis songs.
I'd just try to land a position far away from the smog!
^And finding a job away from the smog is getting harder and harder to do. The only place I can think of that may be decent is Xiamen by the sea. Some places are worse than others that's for sure. It is worth looking at the Beijing Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI) to check the pollution levels in the city you are interested in.
As I was saying in my pm to DG and replies to his questions... A lot of how you like China is where you are based. The cuisine is varied depending on where you are. If you are in Sichuan province you will have spicy food. If you are in Beijing you will get oily Chinese food. The weather is very different from North to South.
The north is colder, drier and has four seasons. Shanghai is damp and rains a lot with warm winters. South of that is hot, tropical and humid. You have big cities, perfecture cities (mid sized) and rural places. Even in a capital like Beijing most locals do not speak English well or most likely not at all. Even taxi drivers don't speak English. Even in airports and other places you'd think they would speak English is a no go.
In regards to the Gulf states. I worked in Kuwait for nearly a year. It was a dry, hot and boring place. You have to make sure you have a good school that is well researched because there are many shit places. Schools that may promise you things and not deliver. The food is good in that there is a lot of Lebanese and other cuisines around. You can easily travel by air to nearby places. When I was there I went to Sri Lanka, Turkey, Dubai, etc. I think I could have stayed there awhile if it wasn't for my school totally not getting me a residence visa and breaking all kinds of contract stipulations.
I agree with Oxford Don that China may be more appealing as there is more to do culturally, good transportation links, and a variety of cuisine. There is a lot of historical, natural attractions as well.
Thanks for the photos and your post. Honestly speaking, it looks like you've been gone for too long and forgot the negative aspects about Thailand. It's really Thai - Land.
You will find the same smog in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and people aren't as united as you might think.
Poverty is all over Thailand even when you see people with iPhones everywhere.
I lived in an Isaan village for the first year, but it was something new for me and I a kind of enjoyed it. But I couldn't live there anymore. Our visits to the village ar egetting shorter and shorter.
The truth is that too many people don't have a job and you can hardly call somebody with a noodle soup stand ( sometimes only for three months and afterward deep in depth thru borrowing money) a business man, or woman.
Thailand's rich history is partly taken away from Cambodia, certain dances, etc....
Thais do look down on people from Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
The Jihad problems in the south continue and Thais are pretty good in not telling the truth.
The soap operas suggest that a so-called "soft rape" is oaky and too many Somchais do what they see on TV.
And regarding the # 1 guy, it seems to be okay for Thai men when they rape a foreign girl who's wearing a bikini ( only the beautiful ones)
Thailand is only so developed because of foreigners who come here for a holiday then fall in love with the country and a woman, get married and then............
I'm volunteering for an organization that helps a certain nationality in emergency situations. I've just read the last three months emergency cases and they're all pretty similar.
People settle down after selling all back home, but once the cash is gone, their wives disappeared as well.
I'm not allowed to talk about these "problems", but it's definitely always the same issue.
Money gone, house gone, wife gone, car gone. And perhaps people wanna go as well. And maybe go away from a country where they once thought they could live here forever by committing suicide.
Sorry, not wanting to destroy your Thailand dreams, we're not that welcome as some people might think. Back to the Chinese pollution...............
no, actually, you won't.
no, actually, it isn't.
Try to get out more
Thailand is what you make it. Morons come to Thailand and lose their money every day. Vices have a lot to do with that. When it ends badly it is on them. Prior planning prevents piss poor performance.
Get a shave every day, work hard, better yourself, exercise, save up, dress well, be an expat with a difference--not underpar. Don't hang out with losers.
It is an exceptionally good place in some ways. It also has real problems. The positive factors can outweigh the negative.
I would add breath mints and deodorant to the list
I believe the opposite is also true....and far more commonly experienced
You could have added flossing. Make it a point of wisdom.
In other words, Yeats' to be precise:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
From what I've researched China seems to be the way to go, regarding everything in the world. Massive demand and huge infrastructure. They're really geared for the future.
Last night I attended the "Foreign Experts Meeting and Dinner" in my city. So the city government brought in all of the foreigners who have a Foreign Expert Certificate (teachers, physicians, professors, scientists) in Huai'an, and they also brought in Chinese locals who recently returned from jobs in the US, Russia, Great Britain, Spain (teachers, physicians, professors, scientists). Conversation and dinner. They had Beijing Opera, a movie star singing, a speech about the city's GDP and how it is growing, and they thanked us foreigners for being in their county and working hard. Gave out prizes, etc.
And it was really interesting to see such a group of people. For example, a beautiful, charming British young woman whose family is from Pakistan and who left Manchester because of the racism, etc. Right now in America we too are fighting it out over racism, but the Chinese are over here focused on business. Xi Jinping is going to speak at the G7 next week. The US is closing off. I see where this is going. China makes trade deals and the US focuses on hate and Russian hacking. I read some of Xi Jinping's recent speech in South America, and it sounded like an American president talking: openness and cooperation, a bright new day, blah, blah.
What gets me is the step-by-step logic of what they do, the good sense behind it. They asked us to try and bring more foreign experts to China, people who want to start businesses, innovate, or work for a Chinese enterprise.
It was professional and impressive. I am not going to forget how well I have been treated here, and, by the way, they have treated my wife very well too. She is from Isaan.
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