Yesterday was the first day Madam was busy in the night, so Teacher Jai, Teacher Pen and Teacher Jan took me out for the evening. We went to the city of Phattlung for dinner.. I caved and finally had western takeaway (not bad after 6 weeks though, and it was their idea!) so i had KFC 🙂 Then we went to the Prapanee festival which has been going on all week. Its a festival where people have “battles” against each other on drums, loudly banging in time, and they are quite big drums with heavy batons. I watched this for a bit but because we were in the city rather than the town, nobody knew me so literally everyone was pointing and staring at me, it was a bit uncomfortable. The best part was the market, they sold lots of wierd and wonderful food. I saw fried cockroaches, maggots and other creepy crawlies, and lots of thai people buying them! I was amazed that candy floss was being sold for 20p for a huge bundle, so i got that instead of the bugs.
Today was definatly one of the warmest days so far, probably because I spent most of it outside running around. I was picked up early by Madam at 8am and told we were going to a Festival in Khaochaison called Lakprah. I spent most of the day asking people what the festival was celebrating but i always got the answer of “I don’t know” (which means they do know, they just don’t have the English language to explain.) One person said it was to do with hallloween (pretty sure it had nothing to do with that even though it was halloween at home, there were monks involved, so i guess it was religious.) And it may have been for the kids as it was the day before school started. But it was so hot pretty much all th ekids were flaked out in the shade. The day went like this… everyone makes these big floats, each from different temples around the area and then the monks sit inside and people pull them along. Afterwards people pray and give donations to the temples, and then there are games. Also all the while there is a running commentary, obviously it was in thai so didn’t know what it was saying.
I was highly encouraged to join in with pulling the floats along, but it was much more fun watching and taking photos. All the floats were decorated so colourfully and alot of time had been spent making them. At one point i went off by myself to take photos of the floats down the road, rather than in the main square and less than 10 minutes later Madam was ringing me trying to find me. I’ve got no chance of hiding in this place so my freedom didn’t last long. The whole town was out watching the ceremonies and it was a good chance for everyone to stare, point, giggle and shout ‘farang’ at me (westerner in thai.)
After a couple of hours I text the South african english teachers who work in the secondary school, and met up with them. We sat by the pond under the shade, which was a fab idea as the games were all in the pond.
To start the first game 10 ducks were thrown into the pond, then 10 boys/men jumped in after them and spent quite a while chasing them and catching them. Everyone got really excited and it was quite entertaining, especially because the ducks could outwit the men! After all the ducks were eventually caught the next game began. Men were blindfolded and put into little boats, and i guess it was a race. They had an oar to row but because they couldn’t see they kind of just crashed all over the place and went in circles until a boat capsized.
As well as the festival there was a big market on, so I went round all the stalls too. Most of them were selling drinks, food and clothes. There was a big cafeteria style area where everyone was eating so had chicken in a soy sauce thing for lunch.
Then we had to get back the the offices as there was a meeting between the mayor and the school about me. We went into a proper room, where everyone had microphones and took it in turns to stay stuff. It was definatly about me because I heard my name, “pasa angkrit” (English language) and people nodded at me. But for 2 whole hours i listened to 10 people talking in thai. It gave me a headache and at the end of it i was told my hours would be lowered to 13 a week (1 hour with each class) and given a conversation sheet they want me to follow with each class.
School starts tomorrow! No idea about their level yet so am just going to go in with a few ideas and adapt!