Teaching in Thailand: Jobs Available

Teaching in Thailand: Jobs available

The jobs that are available always greatly outnumber the
jobs I want.

Right now I’m trying to find a job in the northeast of
Thailand, in a good school, that pays 32-35,000 Thai
baht per month. It’s gotta be close to Laos so I can go
frequently. It should be close to a major city with a Tesco
so I can have Italian bread (french bread) sometimes.

It should have some universities. It should have good
internet connections SOMEWHERE – even if not at my
home. It should have good connection at the school I
work at.

There should be virtually no farang there at all. One or
two that I might see each day – ok. No more really. No
tourist atmosphere.

They need to have awesome som tam, spicy, spicy.

The school should give me a bonus at the end of the year
equal to one month of salary. The school should offer
yearly increases if I stay. The school should have some
experience already dealing with farangs and know that
we don’t take well to last minute notices.

The teaching job should be for Prathom 2 or 3, maybe
4. Or, I would consider a university job – but they don’t
pay so well in Isaan. Never more than 28,000 baht per
month.

The city should have lots of traditional morlam dancing.
I LOVE that stuff. I love the music too. I should get
awakened every Saturday and Sunday by groups of
people dancing behind a pickup truck with large speakers
and some guy playing a crazy instrument that sounds
almost like east Indian music, but is much, much better.

There should be a too-geh outside my window.

There should be a Makro where I can buy a ping-pong
table so I can invite people over.

Ideally the job would be close to a part of Laos that is
thin so I could shoot across Laos and into Vietnam for
a 3-day weekend.

There should be an English camp where we go
somewhere fun like Ko Chang near Rayong.

There should be Thai teaching assistants.

It should be a great Song Kran town. I think all the
towns in the northeast are, though I’ve been to just
Ubon and Sisaket oh, and Warin Chamrap. Those
are all perfect.

Anyway… Anybody know of a teaching job in the
northeast that is looking to hire for next term that
might fit the above?

Didn’t think so!

*******************

Living in Thailand – What is it like to live in Thailand? Could you do it? Follow one man’s journey.

Moving to Thailand – What is involved in moving across the globe to live in Thailand? What is it like? All your questions answered.

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching in Thailand – There have been a couple attempts at books that cover this subject. We have reviewed them and found them seriously lacking. Here is a very complete book on the subject.

25 Ways to Make Money in Thailand without Teaching – Many come to teach and find out after a semester or a year that it just isn’t what they want to be doing. Thailand’s great cost of living means there are any number of ways to earn a sustainable living. Learn 25 ways to accomplish this online.

Bottled Water Delivery in Thailand

Bottled water delivery in Thailand

This fact of Thai culture is pretty frustrating. Before moving into this house I never had to worry about bottled water because there was a filling machine at the entrance to the mansion where we stayed. We’d fill up a bottle or two for 1 baht. We could do it anytime.

Water is important. I need water. I like coffee. I like drinking water. I like water in my whiskey. I like water at dinner. Water is good for us.

Since moving into this house we have a guy that comes around in a truck loaded with about 20 five gallon bottles of water. I think he just drives around to all the places that he delivers water and looks to see if there are any empty water bottles waiting to be picked up. If yes, he’ll stop. If not – keep going. Sometimes we get water delivered the same day we put the bottle out. Sometimes within the hour. Sometimes we wait for a week or MORE to get a bottle of water. By then we are hoping we SEE the guy so we can tell him to give us 2 bottles of water since we use one about every 4 days and don’t want to get stuck again without it. People DIE without water.

Of course we never see him, he drops one off eventually and disappears.

They have a phone number for us to call them to let them know – “Hey, we’d like some water if it’s not too much trouble today”. We have seen no correlation whatsoever between the number of times we call these guys and the time that we wait for our next bottle of water. It’s Thai customer service, status quo.

A tip: If you must rely on the guys that deliver the water then pay a deposit for 3 bottles of water. That way, they bring 3. You use one every four days – if you have 2 people in your family. Tell them to come back every 4 days. If the guys are late 8 days – you still are OK. If they’re late 9, things start to get hairy. But, at least you’re good for 8 days after they’re supposed to drop another bottle or 3 off anyway.

Unannounced AIDS / HIV Tests for Thailand School Health Insurance Programs

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This was last year in Thailand when I joined a private school – Assumption college as a teacher for a year. Then it was again this year.

In America taking an AIDS/HIV test is a serious issue. It’s something to debate with yourself about for a while before going and doing it. In college I had about 3 speakers that came to speak to different classes of mine about having AIDS, getting AIDS and avoiding AIDS. There were some local places to get tested for free and many of us – though we didn’t think we were at risk, started to believe – holy hell, anyone gets this, we should get checked! So, I went to the first clinic and got tested – this was about 1993 maybe. I filled out a questionairre… are you homosexual? did you share needles with someone recently? Did you have sex with a person that was known to have carried the HIV virus or have full-blown AIDS?

My answer to all the questions was in the negative. When I gave it to them – they didn’t believe and explained how serious it was that I tell the truth and that everything was anonymous… and whatnot. I insisted – it was true, all of it. Why lie? I didn’t know anyone in there.

I agreed to go because this was an anonymous test- recorded only by number, never name. They called me in a week to go back and get the results. All negative. Of course, I didn’t know why I went. But, the issue was still in my mind. I was checked two more times over the next 10 years.

Fast forward to Thailand. I accept the job with this school. Teach with them for I don’t know, 4 months maybe. A lady shows up with AIA insurance. She asks us to fill out these health questionairres. This woman, the English program coordinator, tells us we get extra insurance for a small part of our paycheck each month. We all fill them out, thinking, more insurance the better. We think it’s another blow-off like the first health check we did to get the positions – which must be government mandated.

That consisted of – go to the hospital and get a certificate of health. I went, told the nurse what I needed. She took my passport. Wrote up 2 copies of a statement of health. I paid 10 baht for each I think. I left in 10 minutes.

This health check was not so lame.

They took us TO the hospital in the school van. We had our completed health screening paperwork all filled out. They gave us MORE at the hospital. We filled that out. We needed to give a piss test. We gave that. We needed to see the doctor. As we did and as the doc is asking me questions about my health history – some nurse says open your mouth – we’re going to do your AIDS test. I said what? THEN the English program coordinator said – oh yes, they have to do this for everyone that gets this insurance.

Well, if you’ve heard anything about the AIDS tests in Thailand then you heard what I heard. If you are found to test “+” positive they will put you on a plane back to your home country. I’m not sure if they can mark your passport with HIV+ on it – or what, but I have heard they will not let you work here or live here because you will likely or may become, a burden to Thai society. They ship you back – you pay of course.

So initially I agree… thinking – ahh, what’s the difference – I’ve been relatively safe… Then I start thinking some more as this lady is grinding the inside of my cheek like a CHEESE GRATER to make it bleed and get the right cheek cells for the test. I DID have unprotected sex with a girl that I THOUGHT wasn’t a bar girl – and then I found out later – she was. I could be HIV positive for all I know. The AIDS / HIV rate is high in Thailand – especially among bar girls.

I’m getting pissed off that there was NO NOTICE given for this at all, and it’s coming on quick. Finally I tell her to stop, she was ripping my cheek apart after more than a minute of this nuttiness. She had enough blood and carnage for the test, she said.

I answered the doctor’s questions – pissed off still but keeping it all inside rather well.

I go back outside to sit with everyone else – nobody had a clue they were going to get tested for AIDS either!

What a farking country man.

Then, they’re handing me more paperwork – please fill out the name of the person you want to receive your health benefits – like if you die or are incapacitated. I fill out my girlfriend’s name and phone and address. She is Thai. They return my paper to ask that I fill in my mother and father’s name. I tell them, I don’t WAN’T the money to go to my mother and father – back in America. I’m thinking that these clowns won’t make any effort to contact them and tell them I have insurance money that is due my parents in case I die anyway! WHY WOULD THEY?

They ask me nicely again, trying to get me to go along with their shite plan… I refuse. They say, OK, we’ll put your “mother and father” on the paper later. I said, “WHAT? Listen… I’m done with you idiots and the way you handle things. I don’t want the extra insurance. I have extra money if I get into an accident. I could give a shite that you’re going to give me a little extra to cover things. YOU NEED to tell people what is going on before it goes on. You obviously don’t have the slightest idea how to go about working WITH westerners. I don’t want the insurance, refund my 900 baht I gave you earlier.”

Yeah, I was amped up. What a jackass set up. I’m still angry as I think about it. They refunded the money and nothing was said after that. My co-workers went along with the whole deal though they were also not happy.

THEN, at this government school I’m at – I was asked to fill out this health insurance paper for extra AIA insurance. THIS IS END OF JANUARY! I’ve been teaching there since MAY 2006! They’ve been taking money out of my check monthly FOR this insurance. Now they want the form filled out and they said I’d need to go to the hospital for an AIDS test! HA! I said, “Mai pen rai, kup”. They said, oh everyone gets it, it’s great. I said, “Mai pen rai, kup. I don’t want. I don’t need. Thank you, but I don’t want it.”

The AIA girl I was talking with went in to tell the director of the English program that I wasn’t playing according to the stupid plan.

This woman came out – Uhm, can I talk to you for a minute.

Yep…

She tried to explain how much it will help and that it’s such a good thing. I refused. She tried again. I refused. “I don’t want. Thank you.”

She tried again. “I don’t want, thank you. Nothing more to say… Are you finished?”

“Ok”

“Ok, bye now…” and I exited.

There’s a gay teacher in our office that is SWEATING THIS big time. Apparently nobody told him there was AIDS test and he went and got blindsided. He got hit before me and so I didn’t have a chance to warn him.

Such is life as a teacher in Thailand. Not everything is this bad, with an issue like AIDS at the heart of it. But, rest assured that this complete ignorance about giving someone an explanation about what is to take place BEFORE it farking happens – will continue as long as they are Thai… forever I guess. It’s a basic Thai behavior – tell everyone at last minute – and they’ll probably go along with it.

Thais’ go along with anything – they don’t resist or make waves. They acquiesce and probably don’t keep score.

I still keep score and it pisses me up one leg and down the other sometimes.

But, I’m still here smiling… :)

If you’re considering teaching in Thailand don’t miss the:

ULTIMATE Guide to Teaching English in Thailand

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Thai Beer: My 9 Favorites

I started missing my favorite beer here in Thailand and thought I would write a quick post about my favorites. I don’t really drink Thai beer here much since I can’t get my true favorite – Corona Light with about an 1/8th cup of lemon juice squirted into it from one of the bottles of lemon juice.

Yes I know, I don’t have a good appreciation for beer… Corona Light tastes like water… yeah, even more so when I dilute it with so much lemon juice…

Least favorite beer in Thailand…

Starts with a K – and I’ve only had it when I’m with others who like it – I think it sucks. Sucks so much I can’t remember the name. I think it’s German though.

Thai beer: Tiger – I’ll never drink again.

Thai beer: Leo – I’ve had a few large bottles of this – once when the only store open had lost it’s power and Leo was the only thing they had cold in the refrigerator. It’s bearable.

Thai beer: Chang This one – is at times OK and at times just horrible. It’s probably me – as the beer shouldn’t change too much. It might be whether or not the beer got overly hot and it had the taste destroyed. Sometimes it’s bearable and sometimes better than Leo. Sometimes same. Sometimes even worse and I have to spit after drinking it. I can really taste the alcohol when it’s bad – it’s like formaldehyde or something. It’s like SOJU in Korea at times.

Thai beer: Chang Draft. (Draught). This one was quite good one night as I ate alone and drank almost 2 pitchers of it. Yes I was in the mood for beer… but still, this one had a great taste that night. I’ve had it one other time by draught and it was nothing spectacular.

Thai beer: Singha Singha is OK if I can’t get anything else. At times I’ll even pick it out over the others I like more, but not too often. Singha Light is OK – and sometimes GREAT. I can like Singha a lot if it’s a big bottle of light and the taste is exceptional – as it’s been on occasion.

Heineken. What can I say. 11th grade in the states and my first 7 bottles of beer and I was NOT sick the next morning. Heineken is good for when you know you might drink a LOT… I don’t know why, but I don’t feel it much the next day. The taste is OK – kind of a non-tasting beer.

San Miguel and San Miguel Light. Not sure where this comes from. I’ve first had it here in Thailand. Obviously it’s not Thai beer. This is usually quite good. Can’t say I’ve had a bad bottle.

Numero UNO Thai Beer???? Is not Thai at all – it’s LAOS. Beer Laos. Beer Laos regular and Beer Laos Dark are very nice beers for me. I had the dark just before I moved away from Isaan and now I’ve not found it anywhere – even since they started letting Beer Laos into Thailand in limited venues. Maybe moving back to Isaan someday and really, truly looking forward to a monthly run to the border to get Beer Laos – both regular and dark on a continually recurring basis!

Man, when I just went to the beer-lao site and saw these photos – I had a little spittle running down the corner of my mouth. I just finished a pizza and to top off the night with an ice cold Beer Laos would have been amazing. My g/f knows I love it so much that she actually had someone GO to Laos, get a 6 pack and send it to me by MAIL. I got this box at Christmas and it was heavy. I didn’t open it at the post office. When I got home I couldn’t believe – someone mailed Beer Laos through the post system! In America I think someone’d go to jail! Anyway… thank Buddha we’re not in America any longer…

Update 1/2011: Since I can’t regularly get BeerLao I now drink iced Leo beer. It’s really the best one over time. Sure not everyone will agree, but it has a nice taste that is pretty consistent. I have had a couple of bad bottles, but out of a hundred or so that I’ve had in 6 years – that’s not a big deal. Try Leo Beer in Thailand!

So – these are my favorite beers… what are YOURS?

Beer Laos Dark: The best Thai Beer!Beer Laos Lager: Also the Best Thai Beer!

Thailand House Problems… (Is your house falling apart too?)

Thailand house problems

Thailand House Problems…

If you own a house here you must be having a helluva time. I’m renting and I seem to be more concerned than the husband and wife that own this house.

We rent a decent 2-story house here in Surat Thani, Thailand. It’s got stained wooden floors in the living room and the entire upstairs – in all bedrooms. In the dining room and TV room we have large 2’x2′ light colored marble tiles. We have a full kitchen with stone counter and nice wooden cabinetry. We have a great burner and a lot of space. In the back of the house we have a restroom and a large sink area for cooking outside I guess.

Upstairs are 3 bedrooms – all have separate new air conditioning units.

Our master bedroom has a very large cabinet for clothes and we have a sun window type thing with a place to sit on at the window. We have two showers in the master bath. One is outside – open air – but covered pretty well. We have granite counters in the bathrooms (all 3). We have 4 showers. 4 Toilets. 5 sinks. We have bars on every window nad behind every door. We have a driveway large enough for 4 cars or so. We have a small yard. We border a rubber tree plantation.

We’re paying just 7000 baht per month plus 140 for water and another 450 for electric.

We have a wooden staircase, new couches and bed and tables from INDEX. The small couch had a price tag still on it – 15,000 baht. The other one must have been 20,000+.

We are very careful not to damage anything here. Sure the house is worth only 3.5 million baht – which is under 100,000 usd and less than 1/2 of what my townhouse sold for before I left the USA – but still. Here it’s a lot of money.

We have told the owners no less than 3 times about the termites that are eating holes in their walls and under the wooden floor in the living room! They have not even cared to come by and LOOK! They just ask us if it’s bothering us – or can we use everything ok… we say, yeah, no worries – but your house is being EATEN BY TERMITES – did you hear what we said 3 times over the past 2 months?

Yep, they heard.

There’s just no interest in taking care of it.

Sure they have another house… but in America do you know how we’d be flipping out about this? I’d be doing backflips on someone’s head to get out to my house immediately and destroy EVERYTHING that had legs so the place was still standing – and especially so I could sell it and move.

There is a similar attitude here about everything that is wrong with this house. Oh, the ceiling leaks. Dammmm, it’s nighttime now but I’ll take some pics anyway and see if I get a good one… the ceiling is leaking in the: KITCHEN, LIVING ROOM, DINING ROOM, and HALLWAY halfway up the steps.

Did they come to look?

Nope.

How many times did we tell them?

Every time it rained over rainy season since we’ve been here.

Have they done anything?

Nope.

I don’t expect them to I guess. Mai pen rai krup… business as usual…

In Ubon I had a friend that had just BUILT a new house up there. He went through the usual hellish experience. Pipes that didn’t work. Electricity that didn’t work. Steps that fell apart. Water pump problems.

The house looks good until you look at things in detail. They might use non-waterproof grouting in the tilework on the floor of the restroom – or even, would you believe, IN THE SHOWER?

The last house we rented in Ubon had a light switch just kind of hanging from the wire where it wasn’t attached to the wall yet – also a new house. I grabbed the switch with my hand and naturally my fingers wrapped around the back and my thumb was on the switch to push it on. My fingers touched the LIVE WIRES in the back because our landlord didn’t put on the COVER on the back of the switch! That was a wake up call! The electricity here is 220, not 110 like America. You’ve got a chance in America – here – I am very lucky not have died on the floor in my bedroom 2 years ago.

Living in Thailand has made me VERY cautious… I don’t take much for granted. I don’t touch many things with wires here…

I’m sure you readers have horror stories – let me know if you feel inspired to tell us all… What happened to YOUR HOUSE?

ATM Card Theft in Thailand

There are more farangs that suck here in Thailand than you can shake a stick at…

I was going to write about something else today, but I saw two articles today about this and I’ve heard other stories about it – so – I’ll write about it today… ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) use in Thailand

First I was reading The NATION blogs section this morning – online – seems my broadband internet connection is working again – could they really have fixed that internet cable under the ocean in Hong Kong THAT quickly?

I’m up to dial up speeds of 7 Kbps – dial up speed in the USA and I’m paying for 1 mbps – 1000 baht per month – but oh well, at least I’m ON today.

ATM card theft in Thailand

So, I see a story about a guy that had his ATM card info stolen in Bangkok. Farang guy I guess because the article is in English. He had 60,000 baht stolen in one day – and was lucky to have checked it – using online banking access… The bank at first only offered to reimburse him 50%!!! The LAW is 100% and eventually they agreed to it.

This guy has no idea when they ripped his card and password – so – it must have been pretty stealthy. In the USA we have it at gas station pumps – they install something in the pump close to the credit card/ATM bank card pay slot – and it records the information from the cards somehow. Don’t know how they get the passwords – unless it’s written into the magnetic strip also – but that’d be dumb.

I see in the Pattaya paper something about 2 french guys getting nailed for stealing a guy’s credit card – they were caught – and with them they had a machine that reads the ATM or credit card magnetic strip information… French Nationals steal ATM card from German guy >

I think that Thailand – as well as everywhere else, must be full of guys like this that do this for a living. I’m afraid to use any cards online – and my computer has 2 virus scanners, updated virus definitions daily, and a firewall that lets me block whatever outgoing or incoming internet traffic I don’t want. I have Windows XP pro that’s updated with the latest updates. And STILL I’m afraid.

Then I read something like this – that makes me fear having money in my bank account here! What if I couldn’t prove that it wasn’t me making the withdrawals? I’d eat it! That’s what.

Half the banks here don’t have video to watch the ATM withdrawals. Isn’t that right? I read that somewhere AND I’ve looked and not seen a camera ANYWHERE on the ATMs at time here.

Not too comforting. But neither is keeping cash in my house. My latest strategy is limit each account to 20,000 baht. Anyone have any good ideas for keeping safe from this kind of fraud?

:$

Thailand Forums Rant: I got dumber today…

Let me get this out in the open… my brilliance shows itself in only two areas:

1. I can see the big picture. I can see things as they are happening and contributing to the big picture… I can predict with quite a lot of accuracy the events that will happen – especially if they are negative and directed toward me.

2. I am attached to nearly nothing. This is brilliant because if something happens – I’m rolling with the change it brings. I meditated over the course of a year and effectively lost attachment during that time. Some has come back – but very little and I am aware when it’s happening and I let it go. I love my girlfriend… but I realize, that I’ve love many women throughout my life… where are they now? I’m not attached to her either. I love my son… when his mom took him and moved away – I was shocked… hurt, I was attached for a long time… but you know – attachment to ANYTHING brings pain. I’m pretty much done with pain.

I reveal these two things about myself because I am at a total fuktong loss for what the new visa restrictions mean to me as a teacher in this country that is winding itself around the hairs and dingleberries in the bottom of my shower drain to keep from slipping down the drain.

I’ve read the ThaiVisa site – the forums… Forums themselves make NO good sense to me at all. WHO the hell can follow that and would prefer that method of getting information?

It’s in bits and pieces… It’s from the brilliant and idiots all at the same time – mixed together, it’s hard to figure out who is who.

In order to find information on the new visa requirements I’ve read about 650 posts spread out over 65 pages of Thaivisa forum…

Here’s what it’s like to attempt to get information out of an internet forum – ANY forum, I’m not just picking on ThaiVisa :

In order to read the 5 pages of good information where people are actually ANSWERING the topic and contributing something positive that will make me smarter… I had to read:

* 21 pages of personal comments and personal jokes between long-term Thaivisa forum expat regulars who sit at the computer all day and make themselves write 60 comments each day in the forums so they’re Username will show “GOD POSTER” “11,276 posts in this forum” or some silly label.

* 14 pages of forum members who think they’re contributing – but who are really just mucking up the topic… they’re asking new questions, they’re answering questions nobody is asking… they are bored and want to write something – maybe to get more posts by their username too – and whatever they’re saying can be disregarded by all.

* 25 pages of off comment topics – for instance, like when some jackazz decides to HIJACK a topic because there have been 38,444 “views” of the topic that relates to something important that EVERYONE is interested in and he wants people to see his post…

He says something like this…

“I was wondering about the garbage pickup in Udonthani… is anyone having problems since just last week?”

From there the whole post goes to hell for a long time until someone pulls it back on topic. The moderators don’t seem to do it “enough”… and so it’s a fuktong freeforall. Every topic with any meat ends up like this. Watch for it…

So – I got a little bit of information about the new visa regulations – but, many posts contradicted each other… the various immigration checkpoints in different countries where we do our visa runs contradict each other… some of them deny us entry, some require papers we’ve never heard of (police checks from a station in BKK??!!)

It’s understandable if some are confused. Since the site is CALLED ThaiVisa I thought it might be cleared up with a visit… but, I’m dumber from having gone. Can anyone point me to a write-up that is not a forum that defines exactly what the rules are?

*#(@)@)@(*%~~~!!!!!

Vern

Huge Shooting practice at the Military base…

It probably means nothing at all… but We’ve lived here in Surat since June. We live very close to the sports stadium which is next to the military base.

Since about 7 am there have been these HUGE shooting practices going on over there. It sounds like about 50 people are firing all at once. Sounds like pistol fire. I’m not sure what they carry here. But, is there a reason that all the sudden they are practicing like this in a group?

There have been shots there everyday, as they have a shooting range of course. But, it’s sporadic… One or two guns going at any one time. Never in a group.

This is a large group.

Saw a helicopter fly overhead yesterday heading toward the military base. Maybe the situations are linked?

Anyway – probably nothing – just an observation – the Thai military appears to be training.

:P

Vern

Not too smart…

I made a video today about a bird not being too smart – and just realized – i made it come true about myself.

Driving back from getting a cooked chicken to go (on the motorbike) some guy passed between two of us motorbike riders with very little room,between us, not hitting us but very close… and revving the engine really loudly – and i figured he’s acting like a jackass… my VERY reserved girlfriend called him “crazy” as he passed

so – when he ground the gears very loudly i laughed almost as loud

and told my g/f that he just ground his motorbike gears up a lot…

well he heard me and turned around. he made a turn and then waited there watching me – staring at me to see who i am i guess… my girlfriend has told me that everyone can see that i’m farang – and that my face is totally different even with the helmet.

so – i looked at him too for a second – sizing him up. He was a skinny guy, maybe 20 something, longish hair.

Was he going to follow us? He stopped dead and made no effort to disguise that he was staring straight at me.

Realizing my girlfriend was on the back I turned my head and looked forward. That was my first thought, but then my second thought was, doesn’t matter ANYWAY. If I get into a fight with ANY Thai guy – I’m fighting 2, 3, or maybe 10 of them.

I drove past and kept looking back to see if he was following us.

We live in a small town and we were close to our house at the market. EVERYONE is aware where we live, or could find out very easily by asking a couple people…

Guess it’d be easy to burn the house down or something. Give me a club or machete to the back of the head as i’m riding the motorbike someday.

When I got home I started to think… maybe his motorbike really had a problem – and he was revving it just to keep it going – in hindsight .

I think that… and i think that he must have felt like, he lost face – in traffic – having to rev it to keep it going – and me laughing at him when he ground the gears.

I think i wasn’t the smart bird tonight- how ironic if this is what kills me. A laugh. A sarcastic laugh like i do so much and so well- it even translated across cultures… the anger in his eyes when he was staring makes me know that his anger won’t go away anytime soon.

Some alcohol or som ya-ba and he may come with a few of his friends to get into the house and give some payback. That would suck. I have little here to protect us with. a slide out metal club… a 4 inch knife with locking blade… a 3-piece screw together 3-pronged spear I brought from Hawaii

What else do i have? my smarts? when i’m stressed and in danger- i cant think -so that’s why i need to think now.

1st – what are the chances he’ll return tonight?

My thought process:

-it’s friday night.

– it’s easy to break in this house if someone wanted to. Sure we have bars all over every door and window – but, come on. What are they screwed into? the wood frame which would come right out of the wall if ran into by one or two guys.

Not to mention, they are screwed in – and all it would take is a screwdriver and a half hour to remove ANY of the bars cleanly and quietly.

– it’s easy to find where I live – could ask anyone.

– It’s easier for him to get drunk now because he’s pissed off as it is. Not that he needs any excuse. Thai guys don’t.

– he rode up the rode that I USUALLY ride up on the way home from the sports park where i run. I always ride there without a helmet. EVERYONE there knows me and probably which complex I live in.

Then, I go over the probability of things:

odds that he returns tonight – 60%

odds that if he doesn’t come tonight he comes tomorrow – 20%

odds that if he sees me sometime – and has friends- he’ll follow me or crash into me and his friends will beat me – 70%

Other extenuating or exacerbating factors…

I’m a farang – seen as rich…

jealousy… and losing face…

and upset already that he has this forshit motorbike that isn’t running well.

the odds might be higher.

i dont want to die in a street fight- really I don’t.

And yet, in America I wouldn’t feel any of this. Things are taken care of then and there. If this happened we’d have confronted each other and that would have been it.

Probably not fight about it, I might have even apologized because I know I shouldn’t laugh when I see people get what they deserve, – and yet, it just pops out sometimes on it’s own.

Fights in the military were fair. ALWAYS fair. One guy on one guy. I lost a couple at first but learned a couple things that almost never failed.

Thai guys are NOT good street fighters.

More thoughts…

options to stay alive over next couple weeks – months –

1. Move. Move into mansion or into place on other side of town.

2. Hire Muay Thai figher to protect me during day. Cost: 300b/day – 9000b month

3. Move now and go to a different school somewhere – this school is not being honest about work permit… not sure if i can even work after this term.

i gotta think – too stressed… wow.

bad bad bad move… dumber than a bird that can’t chirp to me correctly… :P

(update: I wrote this 2 weeks ago. I’ve layed low around here, chose not to move to a different place… I haven’t seen the guy yet but I’m not running at that park anymore either. This was a good excuse to lock myself in the house everynight and write my blogs. LOL. I stopped carrying around an extendable metal rod last week. Perhaps he’s forgotten. I haven’t. Still on alert…)

Driving in Thailand: Motorbike, Car, Trucks, GOD.

Driving in Thailand: Motorbike, car, trucks heirarchy

There is a pecking order on the roads…

Here is the order of rank as I’ve seen it

GOD is at the top and it goes downward from there…

Double Dump Trucks – GOD
Single Dump Trucks – GOD
VIP Buses – Think they are GOD, until faced with GOD
City Buses
Large privately owned trucks: Large Toyotas, Nissans, Mitsubishis, Fords
Smaller privately owned trucks
Vans – the Van taxis full of 12 foreigners going somewhere FAST.
Vans – all others
Large cars
Smaller cars
Tuk-tuks
Large motorbikes – Harley Davidson copies from Honda or China no-name
3 Wheeled Motorbikes (cart attached that they sell from)
150cc Motorbikes – a bit larger than 125’s. More reclining forward postures
125cc to 100cc Motorbikes
Bicycles
Pedestrians old or young, no matter – they are the bottom. The roadkill if they aren’t careful.

99% of the time I travel in Thailand for the last year, has been by motorbike. I NEVER take a bus now. After 9 or so scary experiences on buses, the most recent having been on a chartered bus FULL of 14 and 15 year olds going and returning from English camp 250km away from our school, I got smart.

I would MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH rather die or become crippled from my own stupidity than someone elses.

Dying because a bus driver full of kids gets upset that he can’t follow the bus in front of him and makes aggressive passes when he can PLAINLY see oncoming traffic – but he jumps into that lane anyway and forces those oncoming cars off the road into the motorbike lane at the last second… is not going to happen to me.

I’m DONE with buses of all sorts.

I will take a motorbike over a bus any day.

I rode a 10 year old motorbike (Honda 125cc – 2 stroke TENA) from Pattaya all the way down to Surat Thani. I stopped between major cities. I think it was 1000km or so, I figured it out once, but I forget exactly.

Once you learn the rules of the road here in Thailand I don’t think it’s that unsafe driving a motorbike here – except the stupidity of other drivers that are for some reason acting against the usual rules.

Most everyone follows the usual rules. The usual rules are a bit hard to get used to, but once used to them it seems that riding the motorbike can be quite safe.

I’ve noticed a DRASTIC difference between riding in town in Ubon Ratchathani and riding here in Surat Thani in the South. In Ubon there were people that drove fast… and yet they did it in a way that was safer for everyone on the road. They went fast in the right lane which is for fast vehicles.

Here in Surat I’ve noticed the mentally deficient going 120kph on a motorbike BETWEEN me and the curb on the left side. In America, when I saw that jacka$$ at the stoplight ahead I would take the time to get in his face and perhaps beat him if it came to that. Someone that endandered me or me and my g/f while riding in a vehicle in America is going to hear it from me and probably get beat because they may not like what I have to say and give me an attitude about it.

HERE – what am I to do? Foreigners coming here to Thailand have to realize something quickly. The stuff that was done in your home country – beating some sillyfark because he just put your life in danger by being stupid – needs to be overlooked here. Mai pen rai.

My motto in the USA was – I am ALWAYS the winner.

Here – I have to revise it slightly… I am ALWAYS the loser.

In a fight, that is. There is NO WAY to WIN a fight here. Just forget the idea. Even if you win temporarily, they will return and you will probably die. If you run first – you’ll almost be the winner – but, by running and looking behind you – you are also a loser.

So – some kid flies by me and my girlfriend at 120 km per hour on my LEFT side just before I put on the blinker to make a left. It’s an enlightening experience. Death was that close. Yes, I”m certain it would have been death, or worse – permanently crippled and farked for the rest of our lives – or one of our lives.

I was enraged and immediately thought- I will kill this jacka$ before he kills someone else. As I drove on – and found him at the stop light something happened and…

I got smart.

Foreigners don’t WIN here in Thailand when fighting Thais or trying to impose our sense of right/wrong on them. We cannot. Give it up. Get smart or maybe die because you’re not smart.

Being smart is being smart for whatever situation you find yourself in. It’s being adaptable. It’s assimilating INTO the culture that you have joined, it is not expecting that culture to accomodate YOU.

So, as I pulled up behind this kid, my front tire a centimeter away from his back tire… and I realized he was about 18. He was small and I’d have beat him mercilessly for 10 minutes, maybe ending his life… I realized that if I DON’T then, in some small way, I can be a winner instead of a loser that needing to run away from any retribution that would follow.

So – I accepted right there at that moment, like my mom accepting her savior,

we’re all losers here.

Accept it and move on. If you can’t accept it – you won’t do well here.

There are lots of foreigners in the newspapers in Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Samui, Phuket and other places all over Thailand that didn’t know that one truth: we are always losers.

They didn’t know when they were alive. They don’t know now either.

BUT, YOU KNOW and can change now.

When driving – you gotta know who is above you in the heirarchy. You have to know, not because YOU believe it, because in America I was taught that everyone has equal rights on the road, except pedestrians who have the MOST rights.

You have to know because when you hear a horn behind you – and it’s a motorbike horn – you’re probably doing something that scares them and may cause an accident if you don’t conform to usual Thai driving style. Whatever that is for that situation (you must know)

If you hear a horn from a car or truck – it usually means you are in the car lane and you need to move over because they want to go past you. It’s best to move.

If you hear a GOD horn it SHOULD send shivers up and down your spine and neck… because the GODs do NOT slow down, they just give a beep before they get to where you are – if you are not out of the way by the time they get to where you are, they are there anyway and you will die for not getting out of the way.

The GODs do not brake.
The GODs do NOT swerve.

Dumptrucks are not easily driven around motorbikes and cars and so they just go straight and don’t slow down or stop. ANYTHING that is in the way must move. Or die. This is GODs law.

That’s all – just some thoughts this morning…

Here is another article about Driving in Thailand article I wrote at my ThaiPulse.com web site. There are links on the page for Motorbike Riding Tips and General Driving in Thailand Tips also… Enjoy

How can you stay safe in Thailand?

You can start by getting Thailand Survival Guide 101.

Thai Black Book.

For a current state of the country – see the ultimate Thailand Guide – Thai Black Book – your guide to staying safe in Thailand

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