Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint – Bad Reputation Part 8

The foreign teachers in Thailand have a poor reputation. In some ways this negative image is underserved, but there is no doubt that bad teachers exist; those who not only lack the skills to teach but who also have no professional standards. In the beginning of my career I could be described as one of the bad teachers, but I did work hard to escape this category. I met other teachers who didn’t seem perturbed at all by their bad reputation; in fact they revelled in it.

“I’m Off for My Brothel Break”

One of the things that amazed me most about some expats in Thailand was how open they were about their sex lives. Before arriving in Thailand I’d spent tens of thousands of hours sitting in bars, but I’d be almost blushing at some of the things this new crowd of drinking buddies would be talking about. Maybe I’m a bit prudish, but where I come from you don’t boast about going with a prostitute- there was always something a bit shameful about admitting that you needed to pay for sex. My new TEFL drinking buddies would not only admit to going with these hired bed pals but they’d want to provide a blow by blow account of the event. They would even give recommendations and compare notes; it was discussed in the same manner as groups of lads will discuss football scores. If you announced in the bar that last night you’d slept with two lady-boys and a monkey it wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

One of the bar conversation that stands out the most from that time occurred one afternoon during my first week working at the school in Ladprao. I got talking to another agency teacher, and he invited me out to the bar after work. I would have been going to the pub anyway and the opportunity of a bit of company sounded like a great idea. It turned out that he was meeting up with another expat teacher, so it had all the makings of a good drinking session.

These two men were both in their forties; both had been teaching in Thailand for a good few years. They had similar stories to the ones I’d heard from the other expat teachers I’d been drinking with recently; the tricks they had for getting paid to teach while doing minimal work. The topic soon moved onto bargirls, but by now I’d become immune to this type of conversation and sort of enjoyed it – just being one of the lads. It was only when they admitted that they both usually went to a brothel during their lunch break that my jaw almost hit the floor. That just seemed wrong on so many levels; they were so matter-of-fact about it as well. What people do in their free time is their business, but nipping off to a brothel in the middle of a school day can’t be right – can it? Imagine if the parents of their students found out or the school administration? The two guys didn’t seem in the least bit bothered about this, and claimed to not make any attempts to hide their lunchtime activities.

The Bad Apples Spoil it for Everyone

During my first months working in Thailand I met quite a few unsavoury characters who were making a living from TEFL. To be fair though, the people that I was running into weren’t always a realistic representation of foreign teachers here. I’ve found that like tends to attract like. The fact that my life revolved around getting drunk all the time meant that I only got to know the hard drinking teachers. I later found out that there were many foreign teachers who did act professionally and could do their job properly. Their reputation suffered because some of us just weren’t so conscientious and probably shouldn’t have been teaching in the first place.

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy
There Really Are Some Terrible Foreign Teachers in Thailand
Foreign Teachers in Thailand Have Such a Bad Reputation

The Story so Far

Why Does The Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint? – Part 1
Why Does The Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint? – Part 2
Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Pepperment? – Part 3
Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint – Sleepy Thai Girl -Part 4
Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint – How Dare They Not Like Me – Part 5
Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint – Beers, Jokes, and Gameboys – Part 6
Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint Part 7 –The Thailand Paperwork Nightmare

Latest posts by Paul Garrigan (see all)

12 thoughts on “Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint – Bad Reputation Part 8

  1. Paul, good post. I was wondering if guys felt the same as I do about some of the expat men in Thailand.

    For the most of my life I’ve had guys as best friends, not gals. But this changed pretty much about the time I started reading TV forum posts before arriving in Thailand even. It was before the main forum cleaned up it’s act but was still the place to go for finding information (such as it was).

    I went from admiring/respecting men to having way too much information about what goes on in some heads.

    And I have two older brothers (one with a wide open and sharing attitude to most carnal subjects).

    So I’m not a prude by a long shot – and knowing you as I do, I’m sure I could make you blush to your roots quite easily 😉 – but some of the expat behaviour in Thailand that I’ve seen/read about scrapes the bottom of the barrel.
    Catherine recently posted..Overview- Reviewing Thai Language Schools in Bangkok

    1. Hi Catherine, I think most of us men can be a bit crude about women; especially when we are socialising in bars. In Thailand though, there are groups of lads who really have some worrying opinions about women; it is sort of like they view females as pleasure animals and not as human. These are the type of people who prefer that their girlfriend can’t speak the same language because they’ve no interest in what they have to say. On more than one occasion I’ve wondered if the person I was talking to was a psychopath because of their views on women.

  2. Paul lots of males come over to Thailand to whore and teaching is just a means to help them achieve their goals.

    Once someone has lived in Thailand for a while the lure of those bars and bar girls starts to diminish. You just get plain bored of the scene. After that it’s down to the two week tourists to keep those bars & girls going by paying over the odds inflated prices. As most bar girls know, English teachers in Thailand don’t like to spread their cash around and pay bar fines.

    What did surprise me when I was living and working in Thailand is that there’s a hardcore of expats who frequent bars. These expats have lived in Thailand for years and yet still enjoy whoring! The spark has never worn off for these guys. Either they’re incapable of forming a serious relationship with an ordinary Thai women or they plain just don’t want to.
    mark recently posted..Confessions of a Bangkok ESLTeacher- the InterviewPart 2

    1. Hi Mark, for some people sex is just about masturbation without somebody else in the bed with them. They’ve no interest in the other person sharing their bed for the night – they just see them as a means to an end.

  3. Paul yet more evidence, not that I really need any,for avoiding the expat crowd.

    As an ex teacher the behaviour of the folks you describe really doesn’t warrant a comment since no half decent human being, let alone a teacher would behave in this way.

    Suffice to say its about supply and demand. If the supply suddenly dried up I reckon some places in Thailand would empty overnight of expats, but of course we both know that’s not going to happen.
    Mike recently posted..Health Issues Visitors To Thailand

    1. I don’t have many dealings with the expat sex addicts now that I’ve given up TEFL. They are the minority but it only takes a few bad apples. I think sex is great, but I just don’t get what some of these guys are after.

  4. Paul another excellent post and some good feedback in the comments box.

    Picking up on part of Catherine’s comment..I’m not a prude by a long shot – and knowing you as I do, I’m sure I could make you blush to your roots quite easily….

    If some of those bar girls could muster the courage and good enough English I’m sure they could embarrass the hell out of some of their clients by telling the true story about their sexual exploits. It just needs to be done in a very loud manner in a very packed bar. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen.

    A busy bar, lots of beer and a few mates, turns us all into good lovers. Others know the truth.
    Martyn recently posted..Phu Rua New Year Flower Festival

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