I have a few years of on again off again teaching under my belt, as do many of my friends and acquaintances here in Vietnam.
It’s a relatively easy way to earn money and to sustain an existence abroad, but I’ve found that it inevitably draws a certain type of person who normally fits into a certain category and what I like to call the ‘scale of degeneracy’ for want of a better phrase.
Degeneracy–The state or property of being degenerate. Moral decay, sexual deviancy, corruption. Dishonesty. Hmmm.
Asia has a habit of attracting all sorts of quirky characters, oddballs, psychos and degenerate types and I’ve unfortunately met many of them during my travels.
After attending a recent ‘teachers day’ celebration where 95% of the Western staff quickly left in search of the nearest bar for drinks or chemist for valium leaving their Asian colleagues wondering in bewilderment where all the foreign staff had gone-I thought I’d write a post about what I typically see here in the ‘teachers’ I have had the great pleasure of meeting or working with over the years. Just in case you decide to come here and experience it for yourself.
Degeneracy tends to increase with age in Asia. In fact many girls I date here usually always ask how long I’ve been in Vietnam. More than one girl has told me that they often tend to avoid guys who’ve passed the two year mark here in Vietnam. They think that guys who’ve been here that long and haven’t settled down are ‘assholes’ and ‘sleep around.’ And to be honest they are typically right in many ways.
You see after you’ve been here a while you realise that a girlfriend or wife can be more of a liability than an asset. In this land of plenty there are so many beautiful available women that you can meet through the likes of Cupid and Tinder that you don’t really need to settle down if you don’t want to.
In fact settling is the last thing you should do when in SEA in my opinion, but unfortunately many guys often do and wind up with big regrets. So lets take a look at the typical teacher you may come across..
Scale of Degeneracy
Age 18-26 Fresh off the boat.
The young and keen ‘traveler type’ usually makes an ok teacher in the eyes of the locals. They will work for less and take more bullshit because they are not used to being abused by the ruthless and unforgiving Asian work system yet.
Unwise to what awaits them, their level of degeneracy is still higher than the average, but nothing like that compared to the middle-aged whore-monger career teacher.
Age 26-35 The ‘I can’t go home as my skills are useless, so I may as well stay here and become more degenerate.’
It is during this age span that the true degeneracy comes out in the average TEFL teacher. Morals become more lax, the use of dubious massage places becomes the norm and they are always skint even when working for 40 hrs a week and earning $2.5k plus a month and living alone. Hookers can get expensive…
35-45 The ‘this is it so fuck it’ teacher
Degeneracy has truly blossomed by now, with many teachers at this stage realising that they may be stuck on the TEFL path forever. Sure, they could learn a new skill such as programming or go to teach in a ‘real’ school, but that requires more learning and they haven’t got the time or inclination for that.
Also known as the serial complainer, these guys criticise everything and have a genuine disdain for the hot and sweaty Asian world around them.
But they just can’t seem to leave.
The yellow fever has taken hold and is part of their system now and they can’t shift it. There comes a point where they get sick of the frequent visa runs and shitty dates and perhaps even get married, which brings me to..
The 45+ The career degenerate.
Bloated and often an alcoholic, the career degenerate teacher is often in a regretful marriage and maybe has a child or two. The 45+ TEFLer has seen and done it all. He may be married but that doesn’t stop his philandering ways. He still thinks he’s gods gift to the ladies, but unfortunately they don’t see him that way anymore. Just because Ngoc at the Hot Toc (Vietnamese blow job Bar) thinks he’s hot doesn’t mean he is…
Of course not everyone follows these patterns and you do find the odd well balanced individual (a rarity mind) but trust me if you come here you’ll see these types everywhere. 🙂