DJ on Walking Street, Pattaya Arrested for Playing FAKE CD’s!

DJ’s – watch yourselves! I know there are a couple foreign DJ’s in Thailand that work or donate their time at the clubs. In Pattaya DJ was arrested for playing fake CD’s.

I’d like to think there’s something more to the story – like the guy had other issues that the police wanted him for. Because this is insane – yes?

DJ Arrested – Pattaya >

Thailand Private School Students, “Cut your hair OR ELSE!”

Thailand private school, haircut inspection result

School Kids in Thailand’s Private Schools: Haircut Checks and Bag Checks

There are numerous regulations students in Thailand are supposed to follow if they’re attending private school.

One of them is getting your hair cut and keeping it within “regulations”. In the Air Force we had this same thing, and since I was at a layed back Air Force Base (Hickam AFB, Hawaii) I didn’t need to worry about it that much. They weren’t that strict and one could push the envelope a bit and get away with it most times. I knew guys that used pins to keep their long hair up on the top of their head.

At a private school I taught at in Isaan there is a rule about haircuts. They are SERIOUS about haircuts. If you push your luck at this school you may well end up looking like this:

Private school haircut penalty, Thailand
As you can see, they don’t mess around with guys, though with girls it may be worse they’ll just give you a BAD haircut there on the spot. One of my M4 (Mathyom 4) girls had the worst haircut I’ve ever seen after a run-in with the haircut butcher during inspection day. Everyone laughed and she was quite a sad little girl.

The other thing kids need to watch out for is the bag inspections. This is quite an interesting story…

Kids are told to put all their bags in a pile and they stand off to the side. The teachers then go through each and every bag looking for things the kids aren’t supposed to have. Cellphones, makeup, pornography…

Yes, pornography.

The M1 class (13 year olds) was having their bags checked when the inspector stumbled upon something interesting to say the least. Inside one bag was a plastic bag with about 10 photos of girls interacting with animals (sex). I know our English department was shocked, but on a personal level I was horrified. HOW did these kids know about that stuff already? Didn’t that just happen in the last few years? I’ve only been aware of it for about 10 years. I was about 30 yrs old when I first saw something like that!

So, there was a joke in the office for the next couple days as we all tried to grasp the sickness of it. Oh, the student wasn’t a boy… yeah, a sweet little angel 13 year old!

Sorry, no pictures of the pornography though I DID see them.

Horrifying! lol.

Here’s a blog post about one of my own “Haircut Misadventures

Blogging Professionally… possible from Thailand?

I’ve was considering this question a lot before I decided that I needed to move back to the states.

I think it is definitely possible, but it would be a 6 month project or so – once you get up and running and figure out the whole blogging process and attracting enough site visitors to start making some cash.

Or, you could apply to write professionally for one of the major blog networks. B5 media, 451 press, and some other networks pay their bloggers in different ways. They have so much traffic and cash to fund site traffic that eventually – about 6 months – 10 months or so, your blog, if it’s any good will be doing pretty well. You’d make a couple hundred dollars per month for sure. A thousand if you were good. A couple thousand if you were really good. All per month.

Of course you’re writing FOR the company – and they own most everything you write. You don’t take it with you when you leave.

I thought about writing in this way for a while. I applied at B5 media for a couple positions, and while they liked my blogs, I couldn’t convince them to do a Thailand blog as they had just recently expanded their network and were feeling the money crunch.

Recently I applied to 451 Press and was accepted as a blogger for one of their travel blogs. I read all of the agreements I’d need to sign – and you know what?

They are VERY restrictive in what one can do once one leaves their network. It’s like a signing a non-compete agreement with yourself. If I blog at their Hawaii blog for a while – say, 6 months. I then quit or they ask me to leave… I cannot blog about the TOPIC of Hawaii for a period of time – I think it was 6 months! I cannot work FOR a company that is blogging about Hawaii either.

That was just too much for me. Since I will probably BE in Hawaii what else would I blog about? Alaska? Nah, I want to blog about Hawaii!

I read the agreement through again just to make sure I wasn’t missing something – nope – too restrictive. WHO would write under those conditions?

Not me.

Instead I searched godaddy.com and found a great domain name for Hawaii – h2Oahu.com and snatched it up and I’m building a Hawaii blog on there for things to do on Oahu, Hawaii in WordPress right now.

I think maybe the better option is ALWAYS to blog yourself under your own domain and get all the money, and own all the content. I think that’s the best way to go about this.

If you’re not doing that – you need to. If you can’t buy domains and setup your own blogs and get traffic yourself and optimize for search engines because you’re not quite savvy enough…

You can do it under the ThaiPulse! Travel Blog Network if you wish

– we don’t take any money from you – and we funnel visitors to your blog. YOU own the content and it’s a win-win for everyone.

Depending on your topic – you could have a LOT of visitors to your blog in a short amount of time. Jason at Isaan Style has a LOT of people reading his blog daily – around 200. If you wanted a blog about Muay Thai and you had a lot of interest and posted half as much as Jason does you’d do VERY well in the matter of a couple months. There are other hot topics…

I think blogging professionally from Thailand is possible – but, do it on your own. Don’t write for someone else, write for YOU.

Working in Thailand… Working for Self…

In the states I’d have a job for a little while before deciding I’d be better off doing what I wanted to do and doing it on my own. I’d start a website, get it up and running, make it profitable and then get scared I wasn’t making as much as I wanted ($100,000 plus annually) as quickly as I wanted, and so I’d sell the site and go back to working for someone else for a bit.

I was an Internet Marketing consultant, and it was rather easy to find 2-6 month contracts with companies that wanted all their online efforts straightened out. I usually would go for a couple months, cut all spending and start over. I’d give them a plan for spending for the next year and they’d be happy and I’d leave and start more websites, sell them, and return to work at another company for a short contract.

It was a cycle that I repeated for a few years before finally deciding to come to Thailand to live full-time.

Now that I’ve come to Thailand I don’t feel much like working. YOU?

Teaching English in Thailand: Round 4

Teaching English to Students in ThailandA guest post by Robert Meeks.

Teaching English in Thailand, my new style is like a token system.

It’s the end of the year, semester 2 is finished and I can better assess what happened this year as I varied my teaching styles from semester 1 to semester 2.

The Thai kids are used to speaking when they want. They do NOT understand or listen when the teacher says quiet, shut up, silence, ngee-up, etc. They keep right on talking. They will talk whether you are quietly asking them or yelling loudly. Makes no difference to them. They have some mechanism inside that has been created over the years of living with Thais’ and dealing with only Thais’. Their brain tells them – when someone tells you to be quiet, it doesn’t really mean QUIET. It means – be quieter, and don’t talk as much. But, if you do anyway – the person giving you the command is not all that serious about it anyway – mai pen rai prevails in nearly all circumstances.

So, a foreign teacher that was brought up believing that someone talking while he/she is talking is rude and showing disrespect doesn’t understand Thai culture and must somehow either change that culture in the kids that are in the class, or change him/herself to adapt to the culture and map pen rai everything also.

I’m somewhere stuck between the two.

I know that the yelling and being very serious and strict doesn’t really work. It works for me – in the short term, but at the end of the day or semester when I sit and think about whether it was fun to teach the kids – I have to answer – NOPE. It sucked. I don’t LIKE to yell at the kids, yet, I believe if they aren’t silent while I’m teaching then they can’t learn. Then I’m not able to do my job. Which is unacceptable.

So, here’s what I did 2nd term.

I told them I was tired of yelling and that I wasn’t going to do it much anymore.

Instead I implemented a daily token system of sorts. Everyday each student would get 3 points that goes toward their grade at the end of the semester. These points, when added up among 40 classes for our basic math – added up to 120 points that were possible for the whole semester.

My tests are all worth 100 points. That meant that kids had an opportunity to score a perfect 100% on a 120 point test each semester. This would help some quiet kids immensely, and hurt others that might be good academically, but clowns in the classroom.

The other thing I did so that the kids got a better feel for what was going to happen for each class is I came in and wrote 2 numbers on the whiteboard. I wrote the word “Seriousness” and under it put a level from 1-10. If we had a lot to learn that day I put an 8 or maybe a 9. I tried to usually have 7-8 on average. Somedays were 10’s. If a kid opened his mouth on a 10 day – he was outside with his nose on the wall quickly. 10 days were no fun. But, the kids understood that 10 days were NO FUN. If they didn’t act accordingly they lost their 3 points for the day, and possibly up to 9 other points for 3 more days depending if they wanted to push me further after putting their nose on the wall for 15 minutes outside.

The other word I wrote on the board was “lines”. Under this I wrote 2 numbers. The first was usually 100, and the second usually 200 or more. This was the number of lines they’d write if they screwed up bad.

The kids never knew what I’d do if they screwed up during class. That’s a little secret to the effectiveness I think. They never knew, would I make them write lines or take away their bonus points for the day. They knew something would happen though. Enforcing the system is VERY important for it to work.

An example… The kids knew by 2nd semester that they are never to talk while I’m talking. So, if I’m talking and writing on the board and I hear someone and I’m able to identify who it is – I just write their name on the board with a -1 or -2, or -3 up on the board – corresponding to the number of times they had acted inappropriately in class that day.

I had to be fair – never carrying over bad feelings for certain students to the next class. I had to treat everyone the same. If a bad kid or a good kid spoke out inappropriately they both lost the same number of points. Thai kids WANT fairness. If they don’t get it they’ll raise hell behind your back. For Thai kids to call you “unfair” as a teacher is a real blow since it is something they have very high on their list of priorities for a teacher.

So, the results of this experiment in teaching 15 year olds math for 2nd semester…

NOBODY had to write lines except one boy that irked me good. He lost 9 points for failing to do what I told him to do in one day. Then he refused to write lines for homework saying, Ajarn Rob, I don’t have time at night – I have special class… He gave me this excuse 4 times as each time I increased the number of lines he was to write. When we got to 400 lines and he said it again we marched down to the English Program director and set him straight.

The director was a push-over in every instance of discipline and never wanted to call the parents of the student for ANY reason. The kids knew this and also refused to do what she wanted. I wisely handed over the discipline to her to save face myself – because all the kids in the class saw this kid’s blatant refusal to do what I told him… The director made him write 100 lines total.

I never asked – but another kid told me – I said, oh, Aj. Zim is handling that now, I’m not sure what she agreed to with him. So – I saved face. Aj. Zim saved face. The kid saved face AND got what he wanted – to not do the lines. BUT, he also lost 24 of his daily points just over that episode, and got a 0 out of 20 on “Responsibility” assessment in his end of year pink book record which the parents DO see. He got a “B” that term instead of an “A” and everyone was happy… well, everyone but him.

So – nobody else had to write lines but we had a handful of jackazzes go from A’s to B’s and from B’s to C’s and from D’s to F’s on their final grades for Semester 2 because they couldn’t control themselves in my class (or anyone’s class). We had some students go from a B to an A and from D to C and F to D also – which was nice since they understood and exploited the system for their own good by being perfect students.

For the extra point system which added up to 120 points in basic math…

Out of 100 students 83 got an “A” grade resulting from the extra points. There were 15 F’s. Only 2 in-between. So – 83 students got a better grade because of this system, and 15 got a worse grade. The other 2 – about same as first semester.

I rarely yelled during the second semester and I didn’t need to do much more than start writing names with minus the numbers of points they were receiving as they talked to each other. When they kept talking I kept subtracting points. It worked really well because they all tell each other when they see someone losing points and the person doesn’t know it yet…

I believe this system was vastly superior over last semester’s drill-instructor system. I also tried during this term to do some fun stuff that lightened everyone up. We had about 10 classes that were ranked seriousness levels of less than 5. We played some games and had some bonus point contests where I did a problem on the board and asked for answers to different parts of it. If someone raised their hand first and answered correctly they’d get a bonus point. Some kids that never raised their hands started to do it – and got some bonus. That was cool to see…

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.

Unannounced AIDS / HIV Tests for Thailand School Health Insurance Programs

ad: ULTIMATE Guide to Teaching English in Thailand

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

click above for full description and order links – a must read.