Western tourists (mostly female) visiting Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali) are ending up dead, likely poisoned. Local officials have blamed the use of the insecticide DEET as an exotic ingredient in so-called "Bucket Drinks", or the use of Chlorpyrifos in hotel rooms. But Deborah Blum, an author and poison expert, doesn't buy into the insecticide theories offered by local officials. She thinks this looks like targeted murders. Since writing about the poisonings, she says she's been contacted by people who claim poisoning foreigners is common in 5-star hotels, and the police and owners cover it up.. A Facebook group was formed not only so that world travelers could share safe travel tips, but also so that notice of the unexplained, and often uninvestigated, deaths could be made public.
The curious case of the eroding eikaiwa salary. Now fraught with job insecurity and low pay, there was a time when the work was steady and salaries were high for those who taught English in Japan. Around the turn of the millennium, salaries and work conditions for English teachers in Japan began a downward trend — one that has now spilled into the '10s and shows no signs of slowing, let alone reversing.
One of the most fascinating species in Bangkok are surely the ex-pat Teaching English as A Foreign Language (TEFL) teachers, as this diary will attest. Englishdroid is a similarly bleak look at TEFL dealing with those everyday aspects aspects of teaching like shagging students, and the cringe inducing The Satanic Units - The Course Book From Hell. If blogs are more your bag, just check out the Tefl Daily Grind, with gloomy reports inside the frontlines of hopeless Thai school beaurocracy. If you still fancy trying your hand at teaching in Thailand, why not check the place that offered you 300 dollars a month isn't on THIS list. Could it be unscrupulous agencies are raking in millions of baht sending fly-by-night foreigners to teach English at public schools, or the certificate forger shops setup next to police stations. ...and if Bangkok's not your bag there's always the restive South, where teachers are in great demand.