Readers' Submissions

Understanding Amazing Thailand



By The Lonely Professor


Reading an article recently submitted in this forum, I thought it was amusing that one writer didn’t seem to understand that ‘nobody gives a damn’ about another man’s ‘private life’ in Thailand because of the very nature of the place. So, who does care? International schools that say teachers must stay away from the bright lights of Bangkok nightlife as a condition of employment? Hey! He must be talking about the British and American schools that are ‘prudish’ anyway, by Thai standards, and comprise a very small percentage of a rather very large percentage of schools that a teacher can work for. In reality, I would surmise that around 80% of all schools in Thailand depend on the spill-over from the sex industry, either directly or indirectly, to supply teachers for their students. Lord knows that wages and living conditions in Thailand aren’t attractive enough to keep foreigners in that country for long.

Another thing the writer doesn’t seem to understand is that a good percentage of Thai students, as well as Thai teachers themselves, moonlight in the Thai sex industry…understandably so when you realize that Thai teachers can’t earn a living on the salary they’re paid and young Thai girls are given a mobile phone by their parents as soon as they can wear a skirt. The writer talked, but did it like someone who doesn't understand Thai culture.

If a fellow feels so vehemently about having foreigners teach his daughter in Thailand…then, why does he want to live there in the first place? He talks like he’s completely ‘out of touch’. A good teacher’s ‘worth his / her salt’ anywhere he or she goes and doesn’t have problems finding work anywhere, unless it is for reasons not related to teaching.

Frankly, anyone, who thinks it’s okay to write everyone who teaches and hangs around the bars and massage parlors of Thailand a 'threatening' letter that is going to change how things really are in Thailand, has to be ‘delusional’. Another thing to note is that people have 'disappeared' in Thailand for saying and doing less. Here is a foreigner and fellow brethren who obviously doesn't understand, nor respect, Thai values and thinks he can change everything overnight in his favor. However, if he opens his eyes and looks around, he will see a country whose values and traditions have not changed in 2,000 years and a culture that is enduring simply because it does not pretend to adhere to our western values, nor respects our ideals. Thais pride themselves as a nation of people who have never been dominated by an outside power…and, they think this for a reason. They have their own way of staying ‘free’.

When we as foreigners pontificate with our values and ideals, little do we know that it also gets us into trouble with 'he who sits on high who takes us all in derision!', because when we don't adhere to those ‘values and ideals’ ourselves (and most people don't), that makes us a ‘hypocrite’. The Thais neither want our western religion nor do they adhere to it and that, again, is just what’s made their culture so enduring…as pagan and heathen as it may seem to us as foreigners. The end state is, while forgetting our humility, we often hypocritically 'judge our brother before we have taken the plank out of our own eye', and in the same vain do not understand why the Lord chooses to deal with us so harshly and has blesses the Thai who are basking in their infidelity.

When will Man ever realize that what God hates the most is 'hypocrisy'…and hypocrisy is exactly what the Thais are not guilty of. On an even larger note, God wishes that all people be either 'hot' or 'cold', ‘spiritually’, but never something in-between, such as ‘Agnosticism’. Unfortunately, many so-called 'Christians' and people from western countries with Christian values 'just don't get it'. That's because, for the most part, they are 'hypocrites'. We call them ‘lukewarm Christians’. How many fall into this category?

The next time you find yourself sitting on a bar stool down in the Nana Plaza, or in Soi Cowboy, I hope you can sit there and look your brother in the eye without frowning.

May God bless the Thais and those they hire to teach their children! – The Lonely Professor

Note: The author formerly taught English in Thailand and continues to do so in another country.

Stickman's thoughts:

I really agree with the point about the local education industry "benefiting" from spill over from the naughty nightlife industry. But then I strongly disagree with the "good percentage of students and teachers moonlighting…." Some, yes, but a good percentage? No way!

* It would be GREAT to hear other readers' thoughts about the teaching industry in Thailand and the overlap with the naughty nightlife. I think we are on to something really interesting here, so please do share your thoughts!