Living Large in Khon Kaen

If I were earning my salary in the United States, I would officially be in poverty.In Thailand, however, I�m obscenely overpaid.This is because NAU negotiated salaries for instructors in our program.The reasoning was that any instructor that has graduated from the MA-TESL program at NAU probably has student loans and/or other financial responsibilities in the United States.If we were paid the standard salary given to language teachers at KKU, we would not be able to pay our bills in the U.S.

I�m grateful for my salary; it would be really hard for me to be here if I earned less than I do.Still�I feel embarrassed by it sometimes.For example, today I needed to go to the bank to transfer some of my baht over to my bank account in the U.S.A student came with me to translate.That was great, except that now she�s seen my bank book and knows that I make almost twice as much as Thai teachers at KKU.She didn�t say anything about it, but I felt embarrassed.

I also feel embarrassed by how much I pay for my apartment.My rent is less than $100 a month, but that�s high for Khon Kaen.When people find out where I live, they often remark about how expensive it is and how they can�t afford to live there.Of course, most of the people making these comments are students who live in dorms that cost 300 baht (about $7.50) for an entire semester!

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