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» Welcome to This Is Thailand - The Ajarn Forum

Established in 2000 with continuous archives since 2004, we are one of the oldest forums in Thailand.

We are best known for being a "Teaching in Thailand" forum, though we have attracted all walks of life through the years.

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We are also fairly conservative in terms of being a site that we want teachers to be able to enjoy at work in schools in Thailand and so operate a strict "Safe For Work" images policy.

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Any slow cooker users?

Oct 07, 2014 - 8:20 AM - by pathumseb
pathumseb's Avatar
As term approaches the idea of filling up the freezer with homemade western food seems really appealing. A browse of the local Big C resulted in the finding of some Thai made brands. You know, Otto Et Al. Would these suffice or am I going to have to spend some more coin? On a side note I also want one of those George Forman type grills; this seems harder to find.
  89 Replies | 3,324 Views

Why are native English speakers paid so much more?

Oct 15, 2014 - 2:21 PM - by Will918
As a native speaker, of course I am not complaining about this. I just want to start a discussion about why NESs are paid so much more.

Are you worth what you make?

Are you worth the salary of two Thai teachers?

As a side-note, I always hate it when Thai teachers ask me about my salary. <cringe>
  56 Replies | 2,463 Views

Which supermarket do you like?

Oct 11, 2014 - 8:41 AM - by gungchang
gungchang's Avatar
This grew from a query of which Villa is best.

My experiences:

Villa Ari is the most convenient because it is right in front of an escalator to Ari BTS.

The original Villa near Sukhumvit 33 is quite close to PP BTS and has its own character.
The wine room upstairs can be easily overlooked.

I've been to Avenue J on Thong Lo.
Ari has a Tex-Mex taco bar. Suk 33 has Indian food. Thong Lo had sliced ham, etc. No BTS is closeby.

Phahon Yothin 4 is nice, but it's between BTS stations. A bit of a hike is required.

Ploenchit is large and not too far from Nana BTS.

I've yet to see one that doesn't carry lots of bagels, English muffins, etc.

Emporium has a gourmet supermarket and offers direct access to PP BTS.
Pipe tobacco and a wine selection also there.

Paragon has direct access to Siam BTS and/but is huge! Pipe tobacco is available there, wine too.

Tops and Foodlands vary widely. Just look at Central Lad Prao, Union Mall, and Victory Monument to see how different Tops can be. The one at Chok Chai IV recently downgraded to a mini-mart thingie.

The Suk 11 Foodland has a pharmacy that accepts foreign credit cards.
They also have reasonably priced Indian Viagra clones. I know one tourist who went a long way towards paying for his trip by buying a one year supply there instead of paying for Pfizer back home.

Robinsons Suk near Asoke Tops used to serve food, kind of like some Villas. I don't know what they're doing now.

Big C and Tesco both carry Uncle Tom brand, which is very cheap rum, vodka, and gin. It's right on the border of... [Read More]
  49 Replies | 2,377 Views

So I got fired... and then rehired.

Oct 09, 2014 - 11:06 AM - by bansheebeat
bansheebeat's Avatar
About a week and a half ago my HoD approached me and asked if I wanted to teach M6 again next semester or if I wanted to switch to a lower level. I told her I really loved M6, I know all my students very well, and I already have the entire semester planned out. She said "Okay no problem that's good."

Yesterday afternoon I get an email saying "We are not going to bring you back next semester." Now I'm a bit shocked by this as I really couldn't think of a single reason why, but I accepted it as "being Thailand" and started figuring out what to do next. I email them back asking about some packages I am having delivered to the school and how I'll be able to get them. They email me back that "Oh we decide you can stay but only if you switch to M2."

I fucking hate the lower levels. I have covered classes in M1-M3 before and it was awful. I'm happy with the oldest kids and have absolutely zero desire to switch to lower levels. So I'm going to look around town at other schools and hope I find a position. The problem is that my school pays the most in town, so I'm probably looking at taking a salary reduction if I move.

My theory is that since M6 hardly meets next term (due to university stuff) they want to hire a non-NES. If they have to pay someone to just sit around the office all semester then they are better off finding someone who will work for less than half of what I make. Could this be it? Or might there be another reason as to why I am being asked to switch? My students all really did enjoy my class and my co-teachers regularly praised my lessons and teaching. I was the only teacher who had across-the-board improvements on the school-wide... [Read More]
  46 Replies | 2,344 Views

Six month contracts

Oct 08, 2014 - 12:06 PM - by Peony
Hi! This is my first post. Can't find the answer to what I'm looking for using the search tool. My husband and I are currently travelling in SE Asia and flying into Thailand in December. I haven't taught at an international school before, but I am a fully qualified teacher with about 10 years experience.
I don't want to break any contracts, there is a big chance that my husband and I will only stay until August... So I would much rather sign a six month contract. There is always a possibility that I will extend it to 12/18/24 months.
My question is, am I really limiting my job offers? Will it be hard to find schools that will offer me a six month contract? Is honesty the best policy in this case?
  42 Replies | 2,071 Views

Canadian pub opens in unlikely Chinese city

Oct 07, 2014 - 9:00 PM - by phuketbound
phuketbound's Avatar

Canadian pub opens in unlikely Chinese city

With fewer than 10 Canadians in Wenzhou, hoser bar gives a taste of home

Posted: Oct 04, 2014 4:38 PM PT Last Updated: Oct 04, 2014 4:38 PM PT

The Chinese city of Wenzhou is off the beaten path for most.

It’s an industrial city of 10 million better known for making lighters than welcoming tourists.
But thanks to a pair of Vancouver expats, Canadians will probably feel right at home.
Those expats are Natalie Nathanson and Tim Kryzanowski, and they are co-owners of The Maple Pub, a new bar that’s more Canadian than a moose covered in maple syrup.
The walls are covered in advertisements for ski hills, a giant maple leaf is painted on the wall and it’s got enough billiards to rival any Legion Hall.

Few Canadians in Wenzhou

Nathanson and Kryzanowski came to Wenzhou in 2009 to teach... [Read More]
  41 Replies | 2,491 Views

Tattoos and mental health...

Oct 10, 2014 - 7:28 PM - by Beckie Jordan
Hello all! Newbie here! After much lurking I've decided to bite the bullet and ask a few questions. I've not been able to find any answers in other threads, so I apologies if these questions have been answered elsewhere. I've recently completed my 120 hour TEFL qualification and am looking to got o Thailand within the next six months. I have two big questions however. One, I'm quite heavily tattooed, but these can be covered up, so I'm wondering how this may or may not impede on my ability to secure a job. Secondly, I have a mental health condition that requires medication. Thus far, it hasn't really affected my ability to work and I have coping mechanisms in place should anything go wrong; but I'm wondering if any of you have had experiences of working with a mental health condition and what the realities are?

Any help gratefully received!

  29 Replies | 1,180 Views

to be honest or do a runner

Oct 10, 2014 - 9:37 PM - by sate ayam
Dilemma here,

Does it pay to be honest and telling your school you want to leave at the end of the year (not completing the contract!) and mutually agree upon leaving with a reference letter (I know TIT but still believe in being communicative and constructive)


nod, smile, grab the money and run !!

It's my first job and I do value a reference letter as this will - hopefully -ad value for getting my next job.

  26 Replies | 1,053 Views

Hide Your money while Ebola ......

Oct 17, 2014 - 3:40 AM - by russellsimpson
russellsimpson's Avatar

Wall Street slashed much of its steep, early losses in late trading Wednesday as bargain-hunters stepped in to buy beaten down stocks and rescue a market threatened with losing 2014's gains. But the broad market finished mostly lower as renewed fears over the slowing global economy, corporate earnings and the spreading Ebola virus rattled already spooked investors.

The Dow Jones Industrial average, which had plunged 460 points, ended down 173 points (1%) to 16,142 in yet another wild day marked by huge market and individual stock swings. The Standard & Poors 500, after an early slump of 3%, ended off 0.8% to 1862. The tech-laden Nasdaq, beaten down 2.6% in morning trading, ended off 0.3% at 4215. A bright spot: the small stock Russell 2000, up 1% to 1072, but still down 11% from a 52-week high.
Wednesday's carnage marked the Dow's fifth straight drop, the S&P 500 closing 7.4% below its Sept. 19 record high and the Nasdaq briefly touching 10% correction mode. Selling pressures began earlier in Europe, where Britain's FTSE fell 1.9% and Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 sank nearly 3% after Germany lowered its growth projections. Investors were also unnerved by fresh Ebola fears and weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data, including a Commerce Department report that September retail sales fell 0.3%, below consensus estimates.
The perfect storm/

I wouldn't bet against it.

Another half dozen people in the Ebola wards and we are fucked.

I'd be getting out of the market... [Read More]
  22 Replies | 1,274 Views

A funny, or sad, read?

Oct 11, 2014 - 6:07 PM - by The Voice of Reason
“The job is tedious, the salary appalling and the prospects nil.”

“So while teaching English is fine if you want to spend a year abroad, and great for meeting pretty foreign girls, considered as a career that might offer some degree of professional fulfilment, it fails on every count. No one with a scrap of ambition can possibly consider it. As the philosopher Alain de Botton says: "You become a TEFL teacher when your life has gone wrong."”

“After the age of 40, English teachers are burnt-out, skill-less and unemployable, their working lives a wasteland, their future oblivion. “
The slavery of teaching English - Telegraph

What do you think, any scrap of truth here?
  22 Replies | 1,387 Views

Good afternoon!

Oct 13, 2014 - 2:41 PM - by sebtrix
sebtrix's Avatar
It's a fine day for being alive!
  20 Replies | 961 Views

Helping those with depression?

Oct 13, 2014 - 10:55 AM - by pathumseb
pathumseb's Avatar
Not for me, I'm happy with mostly everything. How does one address depression with those nearest and dearest. I'm not very sensitive to other peoples emotions so hence I am asking for folks with some advice.
  17 Replies | 687 Views

So, what's with this UniTefl Graduate Diploma?

Oct 11, 2014 - 10:47 PM - by ictteacher
  17 Replies | 1,379 Views

Bored of Preggo and in need of some other quick recipes

Oct 11, 2014 - 8:30 PM - by pathumseb
pathumseb's Avatar
As much as we all mocked Preggo, it's bloody convenient in a quick fix and the only alternative is poisonous street food. Anyone care to share their quick recipes. BTW I actually do like Thai food, I just don't like street food. Too much oil,salt and gristle.
  17 Replies | 985 Views

Career development and retiring in Thailand....

Oct 11, 2014 - 11:47 AM - by AndrewC
I spent 5 years teaching in Thailand (from 1998 -2003) and I'm thinking about a return. I'm 47 years old now and I've heard about how it might be difficult for older teachers to find work. Is this really the case? Here is my plan and would appreciate a critique:

1. I have £10,000 in savings.
2. Get a CELTA straight away.[I always regreted not having one].
3. Find a job in Bangkok that pays 40,000 baht plus get a part-time gig.
4. Start saving 15,000 - 20,000 baht a month. [I don't drink and don't like the bar scene].
5. Improve job prospects by studying for PGCEi.
6. Increase value and job prospects even further with M.Ed.

My aim is to keep saving money every month and to teach until I retire at 65. I'll have my savings and small pension. I loved living in S.E.Asia.

Does anyone have a critique of my plan or any experience that suggests a highly qualified teacher over the age of 50 will struggle to find meaningful employment?
  17 Replies | 1,232 Views

My First Pluot

Oct 10, 2014 - 1:49 PM - by tomcat
tomcat's Avatar
...I saw the fruit at the Paragon supermarket a couple of days ago: they looked like large purple-reddish plums. Sliced one open for dessert that evening and was very pleasantly surprised: crisp and sweet with the slightest hint of sour...bought 2 more today (B220)...

...I'm going to try the apriums next...
  17 Replies | 800 Views

French bakery chain Paul opens in Bangkok

Oct 18, 2014 - 1:24 PM - by Beavis
Beavis's Avatar
Purplesmoker, do you approve?

French bakery chain Paul opens in Bangkok


Founded over a century ago in Croix, Northern France, Paul opens its door at luxe mall Central Embassy (1/F) today (Oct 15).

Why you should be excited: It's a big chain so the French love to poo-poo it, but half the time it's better than the neighborhood boulanger.

Best know for producing over 140 types of bread, the chain has opened over 400 branches throughout the world, also specializing in pastries, cakes and croissants, as well as sandwiches and salads.

- See more at: French bakery chain Paul opens in Bangkok today | BK Magazine Online
  16 Replies | 550 Views

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