So I’ve been here 2 months now, my life has order and most of the time i know what I’m doing.
Saturday was a day spent relaxing and watching movies, as well as a moped ride around town to take photos of the temples and explore a bit on my own. In the evening I met up with Lee and Nonku, the South African teachers in the secondary school in Khaochaison. They have puppies!!! Their dogs who live with them have had 2 separate litters, so 14 in total, but 2 have been rehomed already. So for a while I played with the puppies then we went to dinner in a local restaurant and I had Pad Khao Pow Gai. Rice with chicken in a gravy sauce that wasn’t spicy. Afterwards we walked back to their house and heard music coming from the secondary school, and there were lots of people about, so Lee and I went to check it out.
In the school there were so many people! Lots of hippies and bikers with dreads. Also lots of students. Everyone was drinking and smoking, and it was mainly men, with a live band (students) playing thai music. They were quite good! We deduced it was some kind of bikers convention, but wierd that they all wanted to come to Khaochaison, and that ti was held in a school! Lee and I sat on chairs and watched for a while while all the people were in groups in circles, sat cross legged on the floor, with the alcohol shared in the middle. A group asked us to join them so we sat in their circle and chatted for a bit. After a while the alcohol took effect and lots of people were dancing. I got asked to dance so was dancing too in a group when I realised the Mayor was staring across the room right at me, whilst i was dancing and drinking beer. (As a female teacher I’m not meant to drink in public here.) I thought UHOH.. better go say hi. Left my beer and went over and he seemed happy that I was happy. Other male teachers and policemen were there too. Then Lee starts receiving phonecalls from his neighbour saying its not safe, and too dangerous for us to be there. I think it was because Madam was worried about me so Lee told them we were with the Mayor, and there was police and it was fine. Everyone was really friendly towards us. Also there was a guy there with dreads almost to the floor, and he was dressed like a pirate, the Thai version of Cap’n Jack Sparrow! Eventually the music finished and there was an awards ceremony, we couldn’t understand anything then so we left, and the Mayor made one of the teacher escort me home on my moped.
On Sunday Madam arrived early to pick me up and we went to a place called Tale Noi, its a huge lake with lots of birds and a very pretty place. There was a small local market too, but it started raining so didn’t get to see as much as we hoped.
Also on Sunday a new teacher arrived, called Ana who will be in the Secondary school, but living in the hut to mine. Shed literally arrived in Thailand that day and was pretty anxious so Madam and I took her for dinner and tried to find out more about her.
This week at school has been good, though the little angels halos are getting a bit tarnished! I guess the new teacher phase is wearing off because now the children are being loud. I’ve had to scream silence at the top of my voice a fair few times this week. It works most of the time, it shocks the smaller ones.
Also as they are getting more comfortable around me I’m getting a lot more hugs. The Pratom 4’s wouldn’t let me leave class today because they all wanted to hug me (thats 45 hugs!) and a few students like to shake my hand. Also when walking up and down the stairs students always try and touch my arm.. i think its the white skin thing. There are less boundaries in Thailand, with regards to touching other people. Also with taking food from someones plate.
The teachers are getting so much better at English too, and i think my Thai is improving. And becoming more comfortable around me.. here its normal to sniff people. Like go right up to them and sniff their cheek. One of the teachers, who I call Mummy Jai because she’s sort of adopted me, asked to kiss me, I said no, so she sniffed me. I think its affectionate like somewhere between a hug and kiss. Even so, was kinda freaky.
On Wednesday there was a huge storm here, it was pelting it down with hailstones and thunder and lightening. I was stuck at school with no coat, waiting for it to die down for about an hour when i decided to face it. Only had my moped but was drenched just running to the moped. All the teachers tried to talk me out of it, saying they would drop me home (but then id have no way of getting to school the next day) so i just went for it. Driving fast with hailstones hitting you hurts LOTS. I was worse than a drowned rat by the time i got back, and Nanny, my landlady was there laughing hysterically at me as i ran to the door. Got in, had a hot shower, put a jumper and jeans on, made a cup of tea and watched a movie, and was freezing all night!
Tonight I’ve been at aerobics again, then Mummy Jai made me dinner- chicken, rice and omlette, was very good! She teaches after school from 4 till 7 for the children whose parents are still at work. She cooks dinner for the kids too, and one of the cutest little boys is always there, so got to help them with their homework (subtraction in thai numbers.. they laughed lots at me trying to count backwards in thai) and drawing elephants on the board. Theres about 10 kids and they pay 80bht for 3 hours (less than £2) with dinner thrown in. She could charge so much more!
Still enjoying myself and looking forward to relaxing at the weekend and next week its Loi katon festival on Wednesday!