From Dating An Uneducated Thai Girl To An Expat Teacher Leaving Bangkok

Welcome to Sunday, Bangkok!

A busy and worrying week in Thailand, with most of our bandwidth taken up with the story of the 12 school boys and football coach trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai. At the time of writing, the rescue effort had still not located the missing kids and was being hampered further by heavy overnight rains.

Other news includes ridiculous delays on the BTS skytrain and the announcement that Taco Bell is due to open in Bangkok in 2019.

Let’s see what else has been entertaining and enraging Bangkok this week…

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BTS to be fined 1.8 million baht after extreme delays

The biggest thorn in Bangkok’s side this week was undoubtedly the service outages on the BTS that lead to serious delays and overcrowding for passengers during rush hour. There have been 19 service outages in total during the month June, and the train operator missed its standard of being on time 97.5% of the time. This was blamed on interference in the rail signalling system by radio signals from nearby buildings.

Consequently, City Hall announced this week that they would be fining the BTS operator 1.8 million baht in punishment. There is no word yet on any plans to compensate customers.

US Military and foreign divers joins cave rescue effort

12 school boys and their football coach became trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai last Saturday after heavy rains flooded the entrance.

A large team of rescuers are on the ground at Tham Luang Cave in Mae Sai district as they attempt to retrieve the children, aged between 11 and 16, but have been hampered in their efforts so far by heavy rains that have seen water levels inside the cave only increase. Even the high pressure water pumps recently installed have not been able to bring down the water levels enough to allow for rescue.

A team from the US military, which includes pararescue and survival experts, have now arrived in order to lend specialist assistance and advice, while three British cave divers are also on hand. Sniffer dogs are being used to scour the area for alternative entrances into the cave.


Bangkok networking guide

A comprehensive and worthy read here on how to create an impressive network in Bangkok — including where to meet people, building and maintaining connections, and the power of social media.

While for many people, us included, the idea of proactive networking feels cringeworthy and insincere, there’s no doubt that when it comes to finding good work in Thailand, it comes down to who you know over anything else.

When expat teachers move on…

A moving post here on the Ajarn blog from an expat teacher in a Bangkok international school that’s leaving for pastures new in Korea. He talks about how teachers seem to come and go much more frequently in Bangkok than they do back home — of course, due to the number of transient expat teachers in this part of the world — and the effect this has on the students left behind.

As his students say goodbye with personal, handwritten notes and a touching video, the author realises just how much of an impact singular teachers have on the lives of individual students — something that can be easy to forget or gloss over when you’re in the midst of a stressful school year and students seem disinterested and unengaged. An important read for any teachers wondering about the measure of their impact.

Forum Threads

My Thai husband’s family make me feel ugly

An interesting Reddit thread here on the Thai approach to beauty, from an Indian woman married to a Thai man. This lady is complaining that her husband’s family ignored her when she visited them, instead flocking to her more petite and successful cousin. Aside from feeling rejected, she also worries about how this family will treat any children she and her husband have on the basis of their looks.

Lots of interesting points here in the ensuing discussion, including the high value that Thai people place upon looks and outward appearance, as well as the apparently common disdain they have towards Indian people and, in general, towards those with darker skin tones. Eye opening, and a little disappointing.

An educated farang + uneducated Thai girl: can it ever work?

Another interesting post here, this time on Thaivisa, about the dynamics of cross cultural relationships. This time, it’s not about looks but education. A 27-year old Westerner is wondering about the viability of his relationship with a 34-year old Thai woman, now working as a waitress but who originally started in a massage shop. Despite the fact that they’ve already been dating for 3 years, he’s not sure if he truly sees a future with her.

This educational discrepancy is reasonably common in Thai-Farang relationships and while may start off not being a problem, is often the key as to why both parties may eventually feel alone and without a true ‘partner’ in the relationship. Having to deal with a language gap is difficult anyway — and even more so if your Thai and the woman’s English is poor — and not to be able to speak about much more than your daily needs does not usually make for a meaningful relationship.




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And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!



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