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Laos 2014
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simon44



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught in Luang Prabang last year. I was the interim Headmaster at the new international school that was setting up on a new campus.

I first visited LP 25 years ago and, due to the protected status, the town has not changed much in appearance - just loads of tourists!

Teaching/working at the school was fine (wrt my relationship with the other teachers and students), but frustrating (wrt my relationship with the school director who kept overruling my decisions and policies).

LP can be rather boring after the first few weeks. Strangers (Lao people) used to approach me in the Night Market and say 'good evening Headmaster', which made me rather paranoid, since the population of this mall town all seemed to know who I was.

Since I was single and since extra-marital nookie with Lao ladies is forbidden, this situation severely restricted my night-time activities and I feared getting arrested by the secret police......

Apart from that, I enjoyed working in LP. Teaching salaries at the international school are probably around $1500 now - they usually have vacancies.

Simon

PS - I also taught/managed a school in Yangon around 2011-2012, if you need any comments about working/living in Myanmar.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was delightful Simon! Thanks.

Also, I'm not a young man anymore. I don't think the restrictions de la amor will frustrate me much. : D

Myanmar is still up in the air for me. I'll definitely PM you. Thanks ahead for your time.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2112
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
That was delightful Simon! Thanks.

Also, I'm not a young man anymore. I don't think the restrictions de la amor will frustrate me much. : D

Myanmar is still up in the air for me. I'll definitely PM you. Thanks ahead for your time.


Come on over, the Big Brother house is waiting for you Razz
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:
bluetortilla wrote:
That was delightful Simon! Thanks.

Also, I'm not a young man anymore. I don't think the restrictions de la amor will frustrate me much. : D

Myanmar is still up in the air for me. I'll definitely PM you. Thanks ahead for your time.


Come on over, the Big Brother house is waiting for you Razz


I got some blue tortillas for you gringo! : D
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2112
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
Prof.Gringo wrote:
bluetortilla wrote:
That was delightful Simon! Thanks.

Also, I'm not a young man anymore. I don't think the restrictions de la amor will frustrate me much. : D

Myanmar is still up in the air for me. I'll definitely PM you. Thanks ahead for your time.


Come on over, the Big Brother house is waiting for you Razz


I got some blue tortillas for you gringo! : D


Bring me a kilo of 'em! Cool Wink Cool
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I finally made it to Laos, though I was with my daughter traveling hence no job hunting. Going back in Sept. And figure I'll continue the posts as I seem to be the only current Laos job hunter on the board at present.
Some thoughts: while Vientiane was touristy, I did not find it obnoxiously so; not after China! While there were foreigners to be seen in the central part of town, compared to what I'm used to in Yunnan Vientianne was laid back and chill. A mountain bike or scooter will get you away from that scene in minutes. The worst places I saw 'foreign ghetto' wise were Khao San and Hua Hin in Thailand.
My daughter remarked that everyone 'seems stoned' in Vang Vienne, but she was referring to the locals, not the backpackers!
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I finally made it to Laos, though I was with my daughter traveling hence no job hunting. Going back in Sept. And figure I'll continue the posts as I seem to be the only current Laos job hunter on the board at present.
Some thoughts: while Vientiane was touristy, I did not find it obnoxiously so; not after China! While there were foreigners to be seen in the central part of town, compared to what I'm used to in Yunnan Vientianne was laid back and chill. A mountain bike or scooter will get you away from that scene in minutes. The worst places I saw 'foreign ghetto' wise were Khao San and Hua Hin in Thailand.
My daughter remarked that everyone 'seems stoned' in Vang Vienne, but she was referring to the locals, not the backpackers!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 491

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khao Sarn Road and Hua Hin..foreign ghettos??? More like Farang towns...with lots of strange looking native English speaking species aka aliens around...mostly illegal!!!! Enjoy the Amazing Land of Smiles Smile Smile
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Khao Sarn Road and Hua Hin..foreign ghettos??? More like Farang towns...with lots of strange looking native English speaking species aka aliens around...mostly illegal!!!! Enjoy the Amazing Land of Smiles Smile Smile


Well, 'ghetto' is not necessarily derogative, and I did put in quotes. Still, Khao San sure ain't my scene. Mostly I'm trying to say that the concentration of tourists in Vientiane is nothing compared to Khao San!

I do have much affection for LOS, that is true. Quite the exact opposite of 'somber.'
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 491

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Kao Sarn Road is nothing more than a tourist freak show...reminda me of the old TV series Lost in Space...this place is a Thai version of Farang Disney land....and there are also hundreds of EFL backpackers living here looking for teaching work. Shocked
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
I agree Kao Sarn Road is nothing more than a tourist freak show...reminda me of the old TV series Lost in Space...this place is a Thai version of Farang Disney land....and there are also hundreds of EFL backpackers living here looking for teaching work. Shocked


'Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...'

Scam Central Asia is what I'd call Khao Sarn. Worthless junk of no quality and tiny cubes with a bed for high prices. Great stuff.

As I may have said, I was traveling with my 17 year old daughter, who happens to be half Asian. Part of the men (farang usually of Asian variety and less dignified Thais) leered at her, tons of Thais thought she was my wife or girlfriend (GROSS!) while others thought the latter but still leered anyway. My daughter started getting interested in ganja and tattoos so I was happy to get on the train to Vientiane. She also got a big kick out of some farang trying to negotiate a price for dubious services at a streetside massage parlor (one of those 'legit' looking ones with only pretty sad/bored looking young women sitting out front. The girl kept repeating 'ATM, ATM.'

Wow, what a great place to vacation and live (NOT!). In Bangkok I must say I loved the Khlong Toey Food Market though. Hey, may be a little rough but at least people are respectful and it's definitely an authentic Bangkok experience. Also, as in most countries, just attempting a little local language wins friends and smiles and lessens scams.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 491

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kao Sarn Road is simply a real eye sore for everyone...it is a place with no shame and scams abound everywhere you look. .On a different note thera are EFL teachers there who will never leave the place as they can't afford to live anywhere else in Bangkok. Many (if not all) EFL teachers here are unqualified to teach English but are qualified to become edutainers at Thai public schools! Laughing Laughing
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Kao Sarn Road is simply a real eye sore for everyone...it is a place with no shame and scams abound everywhere you look. .On a different note thera are EFL teachers there who will never leave the place as they can't afford to live anywhere else in Bangkok. Many (if not all) EFL teachers here are unqualified to teach English but are qualified to become edutainers at Thai public schools! Laughing Laughing


Hey I'm staying in Bangkok's Chinatown at this very moment en route to Laos. What a hoot this place is! Especially at sunset, when all the denizens come out for street snacks. This is the Bangkok I love.

Yeah, the unqualified and usually pretty caucazoids are everywhere. Why study from a wrinkly old fart like me when you spend time with an exotic creature from strange and distant lands? I'm glad I'm going to Laos, where a young foreigner gets bored quickly and leaves!

The thought of living in Khao Sarn is about as bad as living in a prison. I think I'd jump off the ferry into the Chao Praya and get it over with.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 491

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of would be EFL teachers living on Khao Sarn Road....and that is where they learn to teach English Edutainment to Thais!!! Shocked
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 702
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm here, alive and healthy. Already got a part time job (ha ha yep, could just survive on it and not many hours- still, per hour comes out to about half of what I was getting in China- on the other hand I was not allowed to practice Chinese in my classes there whereas I pretty much HAVE TO practice Lao here, something I was wanting to do anyway, so there you go).

Sorry for rambling. I'm gonna ask the school today if they'll give the paperwork for the B2 visa. I heard they have to pay employer taxes on this so he may balk. ANY WORD ON HOW MUCH WORK PERMITS ARE NOW? I know they've gone up but fear mongers are telling me I'll be paying around $500, which I refuse to believe.

Laos is very cool bit I COULD NOT STAND that area by the river. Smog, drugs, prostitution, petty muggings, sour puss locals...I'm now to the north of the city somewhere, couldn't say where yet, it's near my job, and pretty much the only foreigner. It's very quiet here off the main road.

Bad things about Laos are the not common but not rare either burglaries, particularly if you live in a row house, which I plan, and corruption with the police (I've not been hassled at all so this is hearsay so far) so I'm taking a very strict hear see speak no evil approach to everything (mb no scooter). Well, 'cept for this job I suppose but you gotta be employed to have someone fill out paperwork first that shows you're employed right? The other royal pain is not being able to open a bank account without residency- though that's hardly Laos specific. Happy hunting!
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