Teaching in Thailand While Black (Part 2: Mark)
Many people have asked me “So how is Mark liking Thailand?” since I posted my first blog. As you may know, Mark is my fiancé who I moved here with. He is an African-American male from San Diego who is 6 feet 9 inches tall, and he’s a pretty cool guy. So how is he liking it?
THAILAND WAS MADE FOR MARK AND MARK WAS MADE FOR THAILAND.
Mark is absolutely having the time of his life. I will break it down by month.
Mark arrives a month before I do. He lives in a hostel where he meets people from all over the world. Since this is the second-time Mark has ever been out of the country (Dominican Republic being the first), he’s worried but eager to meet new people and try new things. Immediately he latches on to some long-term tourists who show him wonderful places like Khao San Road and Nana. Great for drinking, dancing, and meeting even more new people. He goes out every night and eventually meets some African-American men from the Thai basketball team. More nightly partying ensues.
I arrive. The wet blanket. As soon as I arrive Mark realizes that in order for me to stop nagging him, he’s going to have to find a full-time job. Throughout the month, he starts working at the clubs at night as a party promoter, and tutoring various Thai children throughout the day in English conversation. The club owners love him. The Thai families love him. We even go to Phuket for a weekend getaway. Everything is wonderful for him.
Mark decides to get serious about his time here in Bangkok. He begins to contact recruiters for teaching jobs and almost instantly lands one, right outside of the Don Muang Airport. It is a little further north of the main city, but the recruiter offers him a regular salary, a paid for apartment within walking distance of his school, and opportunity to earn extra income if he picks up more classes. During class, Mark teaches conversational English. He hosts debates like “What’s better K-Pop or American Pop?”. He assigns projects like “Create a comic strip amount anything you want but it must be in English.” He also helps with both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams teaching them how to do “NBA moves” as requested by the scholars. His favorite move of course, is to dunk on children.
Mark has experienced no racial discrimination at all whatsoever. Of course, people stare, but he’s a 6’9” black man he got stared at in America. He is happy and positive and having a wonderful time.
That being said, everyones experience in this country is different. I am so happy his time here is one filled with such positivity.