My first teaching job - on the mainland - came with an apartment. My new boss very kindly showed me the place and I had to admit to being very pleasantly surprised. It was pretty splendid!
During the tour of inspection she noticed that one of the seats in the lounge was damaged, and promptly got on the phone. I was very impressed at how good my new employer was, and looked forward to working for someone that was obviously going to look after me so well.
Fifteen minutes later couple of guys in overalls arrived and took away ALL the lounge furniture, which they replaced with something absolutely hideous in black plastic. Get this. They took away a couch and two chairs, one of which was broken. They brought a couch and ONE chair, both of which were awful.
The next day I asked the boss if I could have back my original couch and at least the one good chair. She promised to sort it out - but never did. She did, however, remind me of everything she had done for me whenever I pointed out that the job I was doing was not much like the one I was contracted to do.
A month or so later, after a lot of discontent due to changes in our working conditions, my gf lost her temper one Sunday morning and ripped the phone out of the wall. You can only screw with someone’s time off so much before things get broken and that day they reached the limit.
30 minutes later there was a polite knock at the door and a very helpful young lady informed me - in perfect English - that she was from the apartment complex’ management office and had come to see what was wrong with our phone. It was fixed within twenty minutes, AND I GOT MY SOFA BACK WITH ABSOLUTELY NO FUSS WHATSOEVER.
So why didn’t my boss tell me about the people who were being paid to look after me? I was bugging her about something that she didn’t consider important, but she didn’t just direct me to the people who could help me.
The only reason I could see was that by keeping me dependent on her she maintained control. An independent teacher can not be manipulated or pressured into whatever the boss wants. A boss who maintains control can push you into just about anything, and many of them will try.
Since then my life in Asia has been all about not letting any of these bastards have control. Have some money in the bank, at least two jobs, and your own place to live. If you maintain control over your own life you maintain freedom to enjoy living here.
Keep control - and do your job properly - and you can expect fair and decent treatment. Give up control, and they own you. Then you have to put up with a nasty black plastic sofa and people calling you on a Sunday morning to ask why you aren’t teaching the class they have demanded you take, despite what it says in your contract.