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  1. #1
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    Default Tales of shrek48 - Life in Thailand 2013

    MODERATOR NOTE: This topic is the 2013 continuation of this archived topic.


    Life is good, still having some problems, especially understanding the mentality of Thai ladies, and some aspects of Thai culture.
    Went to Chevrolet last Saturday for a free inspection on my new truck, this was at there insistence not my wish.
    I duly arrived Saturday morning as per my instructions and was directed to the workshop. A man came and took my keys and told me and my lady to take a seat in the waiting room which was quite full.
    A form was complete by the workshop and handed back to me with a time on it as well as what was being done.
    after 2 hours waiting with no communication from them and passing the finished time on the form I politely enquired as to the progress of my truck.
    I was barked at that there was a cue and off he went, so I followed him across the waiting room and politely asked again this time with my ex asking the question in real Thai to avoid any miss communication.
    Being barked at by this man for a 3rd time I got a bit fed up and asked to see the manager, after the usual 10 thais getting involved and having various chats with my lady and me i got more fed up and stated " I want to see the manager now" after a few minutes he arrived and we went outside where we could talk.
    I asked him if it was normal to give a customer no information and make them wait more than 2 hours then bark at them when they ask when the truck would be ready,.
    Also i asked why i was not offered to rebook if i was not to wait 4 hours(the now estimated time my truck would be ready)
    Funny enough he agreed this was rubbish service, my truck was done in 20 mins including a free oil change.
    He told me he would have a meeting with the one member and correct his manners and the rest of the team would be instructed to offer a booking and or give a waiting time estimate.
    finally someone with an ounce of sense ;-0

    new non b visa got and waiting for new teacher license and w/p.
    Everything else great....
    Ash.x
    Last edited by Tobias; 31st Jan 2013 at 10:15.
    Ash.x

  2. #2
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    Couldn't resist it Ash;

    index1.jpg

    Get it?

    Barking- cue

    Anyway, what a nice way to spend a Saturday with your lady. Personally, I would have sent the wife and kids and I would stay by the pool.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Simon Parry's Avatar
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    Shrek,
    You don't have the best of luck do you. Never had this happen to me and must have taken my pick-up for at least 10 services.
    However, one piece of advice on 'free' inspections during warranty. I had this with my new truck in 2000 and became suspicious that it was free because they did not actually do anything, so as soon as I had the second service done I checked in their car park whether they had changed the oil filter which they hadn't. I let them give me some BS excuse, and they changed it and I never had the same problem again. They did not lose face but they made sure it did not happen again.
    Good to see you posting again - wondered where you had got to.
    P.S Never try to understnad Thai women - or any women for that matter, I gave up many years ago.

  4. #4
    Premium Member sisaket's Avatar
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    new non b visa got and waiting for new teacher license and w/p.
    Everything else great....

    Mrs Extended her Teacher License in Dec at the Teachers Council of Thailand(Bangkok) for a further 5 years in case she goes back to teach , we sat right next to where they deal with foreigners Licenses .
    bangkok mags

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    I had the exact same problem taking my bike in for it's service. They never seemed to do anything in front of us and when it was done it didn't "seem" to make any difference. I have no knowledge of cars, bikes or any vehicles come to that so the next time it was due I took it to a mechanic before and after to check for me. No oil change nout. We went back to the garage and as per Simon's treatment, just received a load of cobblers and excuses.
    If you're looking for a good lesson in Thai culture Shrek I'd take Simon's example as one to put at the front of the book. Let them have their say, however infuriating it can be, and treat it as a means to an end. It's the only way you'll actually achieve what you want in the first place.

    I always question this notion of "losing face". As with the "there're 30 different Thai smiles all meaning different emotions", I'm under the strong opinion it's total nonsense. Every time I'm told to be careful not to let so and so lose face it always seems to equate to that person not having the ability to be honest about something and owning up to their mistakes. Around xmas we were walking through the local market when I wandered off to buy some of that sticky rice coated in egg. Normally it's x amount but this time she charged double. When the GF asked for some change she noticed that I must have spent the small change on the sticky rice therefore noticing I'd been had. She went back to question the old girl who told her "I'd told her to keep the change and I wanted to pay extra?????" Now, neither can I say this phrase in Thai nor could it possibly have come up in a conversation that went - "Tao rai krub?" - "X - ka". However, after being told what she'd said she offered to give the change back provided I accepted it was my mistake therefore the old axe saving face.....Like I say, equates purely to people failing to own up to their dishonesty/mistakes.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Simon Parry's Avatar
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    Barnet,

    Absolutely spot on with your comments and a great example of where the avoidance of losing face can only be done with blatant lying. I have always been amazed how often some Thai people will tell an outright lie, knowing that the lie will be discovered easily, but yet when the lie is uncovered the other person will not pull them up on it so that face is not lost. I say ''some'' Thai people. I think there are many who would not do this - there are good and bad people everywhere, but it is very annoying that the bad ones continue to get away with it due to the cultural taboo of not losing face.

    By the way, when I spotted the oil filter that had not been changed, they had at least changed the oil - rather stupid in isolation but at least they had not completely deceived me. I think if that had not been done, I would have struggled not to have had a full-on farang style rant. Whilst not as bad in the UK, I know for a fact that many of the checks listed as part of a service schedule often don't get done - well at least thats what a mate of mine said who used to work for a Ford main dealer. I no longer go to the Isuzu manin dealer for a service. I go to a smaller outfit that I trust. I have even popped in for minor faults which they fix on the spot and won't take any money so I just slip the mechanic enough for a few beers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Parry View Post
    ... it is very annoying that the bad ones continue to get away with it due to the cultural taboo of not losing face.
    I'll add a third vote to that. It's not only nonsense, it's often horribly destructive nonsense. People should be pulled up for bad behaviour, otherwise they won't change. Actions have consequences, people should be responsible for their actions.

    I think it will change (is already changing?) as the world influence grows on Thailand and the younger generation begin to see different ways of doing things.

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    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrek48 View Post
    new non b visa got and waiting for new teacher license and w/p.
    Ash.x
    Personally, I would like to see some more details of these kinds of things, if you have the time and the inclination?

    Maybe on a different thread? They would provide useful information for anyone else who might be thinking of doing the same, or similar, thing.

    Like, how you do it, where you had to go, who you had to talk to to get it done, documents you had to show, what the costs were (both in time and money) etc. etc.
    ไม่ลองไม่รู้

  9. #9
    Premium Member sisaket's Avatar
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    Like, how you do it, where you had to go, who you had to talk to to get it done, documents you had to show, what the costs were (both in time and money) etc. etc.
    Cost Indigo 200 Baht to extend her s if that helps anyone .
    Last edited by Tobias; 3rd Feb 2013 at 10:43. Reason: Corrected BBCode to display quote correctly
    bangkok mags

  10. #10
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Linne's Avatar
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    re: the vehicle fraud, Nothing unusual in the UK either as are stories i here from mechanics about parts being charged for and not fitted or good parts being replaced and fitted on other vehicles. Remember the RAC fiasco with the batteries. Same same world over.

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    I probably save face for a Thai in these fore mentioned situations 1000 times to my one explosion, I usually just point out that I have noticed what they have done or I correct them by using the " oh sorry is that right, have i done that right" which gives them the chance to correct whatever they have done and blame me.

    As for getting conned by a garage it is sadly a world wide problem, but the service standards in the Uk are definitely higher and we are certainly more protected.

    I do seem to be very unlucky when it comes to having issues, for some reason I attract them like a fly to dung!!!
    Yesterday and impatient thai man on a scooter decided to drive up the side of my scooter on the inside,traffic stopped(by police) so I was stationary.
    Hitting my mirror as he passed, turned and shouted at me !! I was stationary to the left of the road as the police had instructed., and had not said a word!!
    His wife on the back even turned around and said stupid farrang, my gf was truly amazed at this. I told him to drive on quickly as he was stupid and not to mouth off at me because he was the one who hit me.
    My gf again amazed as she was scared he had stopped to stab or shoot me.
    I got off my bike and he quickly got back on his and fled ????
    Even the police man called him bar mak mak!! but done nothing !!!!!
    Why me? just wrong place wrong time with wrong thai....

    I am however really struggling with the face saving(lies). It seems completely pointless and causes mole hills to become mountains, or is it just me that see's that?

    School tried to get me to sign a new contract without the salary written on it ;-) i refused and its gone to the director to get the salary put on it, then I will sign it. They know i have already been offered better money
    by a local school, but I like it here well enough and I am settled in my routine.
    The money is not the b all for me, its the teaching and lifestyle i get too......
    My degree has been verified again the 3rd time, it seems Thailand is tightening up on fake ones a lot right now, good job to.

    Ash.x
    Ash.x

  12. #12
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Simon Parry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrek48 View Post
    I am however really struggling with the face saving(lies). It seems completely pointless and causes mole hills to become mountains, or is it just me that see's that?
    No shrek, its definately not just you that feels this !

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    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    I am however really struggling with the face saving(lies). It seems completely pointless and causes mole hills to become mountains, or is it just me that see's that?
    Me too when face saving causes lies, currently got a situation at the moment that rings so true about that!

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    Sadly it's a cultural trait that won't go away anytime soon. In my experience of living here lying about something doesn't seem as serious as being proven wrong.. In Britain, certainly for me anyhow, being caught out as a liar would be exceptionally shameful whereas being honest even if it shows your mistakes/deceit is a more honorable trait.

    Shrek you may well have experienced the Iphone/BB craze that sweeps the classrooms during lessons. I have confiscated up to 12 per class at times. Every time I catch them in the act they perform miracles under the desk trying to hide it. I tell them again and again, "give it to me and you'll get it back at the end of the day, lie to me and I'll give it to the disciplinarian to keep for the term" 9/10 times they still lie about having one.

    There are many cultural traits I have observed and adopted here and feel that my life has benefited from doing so. This on the other hand is one of the things I wish would disappear.

    It doesn't sound like you're unlucky, just experiencing what most of us do everyday yet learn to treat it as the norm. Driving anywhere here is a nightmare and without doubt the most stressful part of my day. After 7 years here I still get worked up when I've been cut up but it's something I have to try, for my own sanity, to control.

    I took a group of students plus the head of English round my university when we went to London a few years back. The next semester she still asked to check it again! How about criminal record checks Shrek. Do they check those at your school? They've never bothered here which I find incredulous.

  15. #15
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    I haven't had a criminal check yet as my crb is still current from when i came, I brought one with me to save hassle.
    I don't worry about phones much in the classroom as many use them as dictionary's !!!! hmmm so they say.
    I have problems with my 7/1 7/2 and 8/1 classes, many before me have refused tot each them.
    I have got them to the stage where they are usually ok but they have 2 extremes, excellent and so bad, it's like jehkyll and hide ;-0
    I do love the teaching tho....
    Driving I just tend to mutter to my self a lot nowadays as usually its a waste of time complaining, i do find it incredible that they come out of a left turning and do not look at all....
    no wonder so many die everyday, and they do these crazy things infront of the police!!!!
    happy day's.
    I like you say Barnet have adopted some traits, ignored others and struggle with some, but again like you I am far happier here than in the UK..
    ash.x
    Ash.x

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    Quote Originally Posted by KhunIanB-UK View Post
    Me too when face saving causes lies, currently got a situation at the moment that rings so true about that!
    Third that face-saving lies (and the tolerance of them) making mole hills become mountains thing. It's often so obvious to us that a disaster could have been avoided or at least made much better if it had been tackled much earlier, more frankly and honestly. It's so simple. It's especially frustrating when this happens when we've seen it happening, after we had suggested this kind of intervention at the time (only for our views to be ignored on the basis that 'farangs are different' or other such rubbish). I've had that happen a lot, only for things to then pan out the way I'd predicted (not rocket science). I'm still not 100% sure that the wife gets it. 80-90%? She's changed now, now that she's seen it happen that way a few times (or every time). I think it helps not to be living around people that condone it.

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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Linne's Avatar
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    ash re : getting what you want from suppliers of services

    Specify up front what you expect even if it means stating the minor details
    Better still in writing

    Some thing a builder taught me years ago

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    A little prayer for those who struggle to understand Thai people




  19. #19
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    I thought a little bit on teaching would be nice as I have mentioned it a lot lately...

    I will start by saying its a rewarding; fantastic job and I love it. I still strive to better than I was yesterday and the day before that.
    It's a lot like living in Thailand, it's completely different to what I am used to and how I was taught, as farrang we are not allowed to discipline the students, yet Thai teachers hit them and make them stand for hours or sit down and generally rule them with rod of iron.
    This I will not allow in my class but you cannot stop it outside of your teaching periods, today my 4/2(about 8 years old) class the teacher had one girl standing up and had been for an hour I was told, and one boy doing the same but lent over his desk and another knocking his desk with his fist because he had apparently made a drumming noise and action for a split second.
    the Thai teacher left as soon as I walked in as she knows I will not allow this type of stuff in my class.

    The system here is far removed from what we know, all students pass exams whatever happens, some here failed the exam a third time even though it was open book, yet they still got 15 marks, a pass....
    Students talk when the teacher does, this is rife throughout Thai culture, even when the director has a meeting the teachers are on the phone or talking!!! yet they still manage to follow the meeting ??

    School is not about educating people, it's about face!!! If as a teacher I turn up neatly dressed and on time, don't leave early and wai the other teachers and smile a lot I am considered a good teacher.
    As long as my students books are up to date, no matter if they understood the lesson, and is marked and signed by me the school is happy.
    As when the books are seen by the parents, they see a farrang teachers signature and a date stamp and they are happy to pay next years fee's.
    You will teach between 20 and 25 50 minute periods a week, some schools you need to do all your own lesson plane etc, others provide it all for you.

    This may sound cynical but despite all it's failings there are many good students, they work hard and want to learn and be the best they can.
    This in a small way does make up for all the bad stuff in the Thai education system.
    In my humble opinion the only way forward is to remove the automatic pass system and make students value the certificate they will get in return for some hard work.

    To teach here it is becoming more important every week almost to have a masters degree or above in any field, a degree in an education field will open more doors for you with a higher salary.
    You will need a current CRB (criminal check) certificate.
    original degree and copies with transcripts.
    non b visa is better as you don't have to do visa runs so often
    you can teach on a tourist visa but you have to do visa runs every 15 or 90 day's (many variants)
    Thai culture course certificate.
    passport.

    Once teaching your school will apply for your teachers license, a 2 year is given, after that you can ask for A 5 YEAR.
    A work permit is required which again school should help you get.
    There are fees for all these.
    If you move province/ school you will need to get all new paper work, new visa, new w/p and license the lot.
    Hope I have missed nothing out and it helps you if your thinking of doing it.

    i will say for me it has been a brilliant choice even with my various problems.... A must is to be able to speak some Thai....
    Ash.x

    - - - Updated - - -

    ba degree sorry ;-(
    Ash.x

  20. #20
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    My Mrs left the Thai eduction system some 14 years ago because she used to fail students and a superior would remark them to show higher grades/pass marks.
    Her sister (a head teacher in primary school) does the same and because of this, cannot get further promotion because her school constantly shows low pass grades. Maybe not so important in primary schools but with 300+ kids and only 7 teachers they have to spread themselves thin. Strange, there is 12 'admin' staff creaming the system!
    Like anything Ash, you will adapt even although you may not like the age old system.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

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