An English teacher in Thailand

As you can see, I’m new around here…so let me introduce myself.

I’m Pompenkroo…but you can call me Li. I am currently living in Bangkok (Well Thonburi, if you want to get all technical), where I teach English at a bilingual school. I am 28 years old, and an American of mixed heritage. My mother is an American of Jewish (both Ashkenzai and Sephardic) descent, and my father was from Trinidad and is of African, Indian (as in Curry and Bollwood…not Maize and Dances with Wolves), and Chinese descent. I’ll eventually post a picture of myself so you can see what happens when the United Nations gets together and decides to have a baby. In addition, I am a practicing Ch’an (Chinese Zen) Buddhist. I also have been dating a lovely girl for the past month, who speaks very little English. Luckly, I have been picking up Thai rather quickly…so we are able to find a way to communicate, and in that communication the words we speak are simplified to their raw, beautiful essence.

Anyway, I moved to Thailand right after graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a Master’s degree in teaching English and TESOL. I am here to gain some experience teaching abroad so I can build up my resume for ESL teaching jobs back in the States…or so I thought. Now that I’ve had a few months to slide into my new life here in Thailand, I’m finding that I can see myself living here for a much longer time that I anticipated.

I don’t know what I will exactly do with this blog; however, I do know what I will not do with this blog. I will not:

1.) Write about the Sexpat/Go-Go bar scene, as I am not a fat disgusting hairy white man in my late 40’s who possesses no social skills in any cultural setting and is either a tickled pedophile or a sociopathic misogynist. That being said, I find no fault in the sex work industry, yet I think Western Sexpats can learn a lot from the conduct from the Japanese businessmen who visit such places and behave themselves.

2.) Write the “OFMG!!!! THAILAND IS SO EXOTIC AND COOL!!! WOW! BUDDHISM AND DIFFERENT CULTURAL THINGS AND STUFF!!!” blog. The last thing Thailand needs is more neo-colonialist rhetoric that paints it into a almost-fantasy-like wonderland that is just waiting to be explored (i.e. exploited) by the so-called “West.” First of all, I am a Buddhist, so the national religion doesn’t really seem all that special to me. Although, I must admit the Thai focus on ghosts and spirits does seem unusual to me…on the other hand I’m sure most Thais would find my meditative practices and Koan study to be just as weird. Secondly, when you exoticify a culture or person, you inherently alienate that persons humanity. If I do anything in this blog, I will focus more on commonalities between our cultures than differences.

So what’s left? I am sure my blog will focus on my idiosyncratic adventures and contain lots of Menippian-style satire. I might even use the F-word (no, not Farang) from time to time. So, if any of the above bothers you, then please refrain from reading my blog. Regardless, I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

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