Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Insider's Perspective

Bangkok has been in the news a lot lately. Weekly we get asked the same questions, "Are you still going?" "Is the violence close to where you are living?" " Doesn't the turmoil make you nervous?" The answers to those questions are respectfully the following: Yes, Nope, Just a bit.

The Bangkok troubles have spurred some pretty far out humors at HTI. About a week ago, Greg got off a conference call from Bangkok with his boss Creighton, only to hear from someone that Creighton couldn't get to the plant and everything was getting shut down. Nope, Creighton is fine and things are actually ahead of schedule at the moment.

I've been looking at a website called for job postings. Ajarn is Thai for teacher. Recently they sent out a newsletter where the director shared his insight. Copied below is a portion of that email that gives us and you an insider's perspective and maybe gives you a better feeling about us moving to this great city....

As you will be aware, rioting, looting and public disorder in the wake of the anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok has made front page news all over the world. To make matters worse, much of the violence and mayhem then spread to a handful of provincial Thai towns.

It would be foolish of me to try and convince you that Thailand is currently the safest place on earth, but when you have lived here for a number of years, anti-government demonstrations, military coups and political instability are very much part and parcel of life in Thailand. I guess that this last episode in Thailand's volatile political history has been just that little bit scarier because it has affected so many of us.

However, when all is said and done, I still consider Thailand a safe country to live in. I would much rather walk down a Bangkok street at midnight than I would a street back in my native hometown. If you are a teacher thinking of coming to work in Thailand, don't let recent events put you off. I live on the outskirts of Bangkok and if you take a walk around my neighborhood, then you will see that life goes on very much as normal -- and it's a very working class area. It's an area you would expect to be brimming with anti-government sentiment.

At the moment, the Thai authorities seem to be doing their level best to restore peace and sanity to the country. Let's hope that there are better times ahead.

1 comment:

  1. I heard a journalist on NPR talking about the situation in Bangkok. Born and raised in south east Bronx, he likened the situation to New York City. There are places that are safe and places to avoid - just use some common sense. For example, the outskirts of Bangkok are safe. But don't go walking through the barricades downtown. Glad to hear you guys are still going.