• Oop © Klaudia BachingerOop © Klaudia Bachinger

I just have to invest my brain

Existential fear is a concept that Orawee (aka. Oop) from Bangkok does not understand. Not that she has never struggled in her life, nor did she grow up in comfort. She was brought up in humble circumstances in Thailand with a single dad….. who sometimes couldn’t even provide food for his family. Yet, this kind of fear is totally new to Oop. According to her, being afraid of loosing everything is related to having everything. Only those who grew up in prosperity are afraid of loosing their jobs, their cars, their houses. When you own nothing, there is no need to be scared.

When she moved to Austria she had no job, no home, no insurance. Now she is working two jobs – one to earn her living, the other one to realize her dream…

 By Klaudia Bachinger and Oop

Oop, how do you earn your living?

You mean like how much?

No, no. I mean, what do you do to earn money?

I work at a bakery shop and I also have my own online language school “Talk Thai Quick”.

When I work at the bakery I sell pastry, I make coffee and I clean up the place. And for my school I create the materials and I do the management thing and a little bit of marketing. For example at the moment I make some teaser videos.

But the school it’s just new right, so I don’t really earn from it yet. But it actually should be my top priority. Because when you have your own company you just have to work, work, work, work until you get something. For maybe a few years… And afterwards you work a little bit and then you earn always, even though you sleep.

But for the bakery it’s like, you have to go there and then you get money. And it’s a nice feeling too.

So your goal is to earn your living by having your own school?

Yeah hopefully. I mean, actually I love my work at the bakery because I don’t have so much responsibilities. When I get sick, I just say that I’m sick and then I stay home.

But for the school, when I get sick, sometimes I think, okay, maybe my sickness is not that bad and I wanna sacrifice time for the school. Because you know that they need you, right? And you have the whole responsibility.

And how did you open your own online language school?

Actually I am really lucky because my partner, Keith, is finance consultant and he has his own company. And he was one of my students when I was teaching at another online language school. And he sort of connected with me and he really liked me as a teacher. So he asked me if I was interested in joining him. I made him clear that I want to go to Europe and I will need all my money and I cannot invest. But he didn’t expect me to do it. I just have to invest my brain and make the teaching materials and hire other teachers.

What’s the concept of your school?

So, what makes us different from other schools is that we don’t call ourselves “language teachers”, we call ourselves “coaches”. Because we are all native speakers. We might not be educated how to teach, but we have background of teaching and stuff. And we all are language learners ourselves. So we sort of coach the students along the way. And everyone can just go to our webpage, choose a teacher and have a free trial lesson. And if you like it you can sign up for lessons on Skype and study in your lunch break, or after work or before you go to work. Anytime. The time will automatically adjusted. You study thai language from home whenever you want with your own language coach. We also create our own materials that we send per email.

Also, what makes us different is that most of the teachers in Thai language schools are over 50. And we are young,  modern, flexible and we all travelled. So we think we know what our clients want to learn.

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What makes you happy about it?

It’s just, I always feel comfortable and confident when I get to do the stuff that I am good at. And sometimes, when you haven’t taught for a while you get nervous when you get to teach again. But then when you just sit down and do it and in the end the students just love it, that makes me so happy. Its my dream job…. I never imagine myself to be a teacher, especially for my own mother tongue… but I do it and I do it well. So I really like it.

Are there any downsides?

For the school, of course I like it, because it’s my thing and I love languages and I get to do the stuff that I really want. But the negative part is that I never know how much I have to work until I sort of see an outcome. And I still don’t earn anything from it.

Could you imagine doing something completely different?

Umm… I’m not sure… Maybe not for longterm. But to give it a try – three months, six months, one year – might be working out. But if it’s something that is really not my thing, I cannot do that. The way my mind works is just that when it makes me happy I can endure. I can do it for a long time. But if I don’t like it, I cannot do it.

And can you imagine yourself not to work at all?

Umm… I was thinking about that… I don’t think so. If I win in the lottery and I’d have a shitload of money in my bank account, I’d still wanna work. Because it’s different when you have to get up or you can get up.

So what does work mean to you?

Work means the best feeling that you achieve something. Even though it’s hard and sometimes you think that you can not do it. Or that the get outcome is not what you expected. But who gives a damn, you learn along the way. I don’t wanna work if I don’t love it.

Are you saying it’s a like a passion?

Yeah exactly. It’s like when you go running or swimming. You hate when you have to get up to do it. But when you do it, you so loving it. Even during you are doing it. And afterwards you are just like wow! and you feel like, you feel really good. And the next day it’s the same thing. And the next day. And the next day. And a few years later you just look back and you see you are doing it. And then you know you can do anything else too.

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