Another month, another blog! Not much has been happening recently, after spending far too much money at New Year I’m trying to save up now for the 6 week unpaid holidays in April, so I’ve spent lots of time just relaxing in Khaochaison.
These past few weeks a few random things happened. Madam called me and invited me to go to Tescos in the city so I could go shopping. She picked me up then told me she had to go pay someone some money, and that I would go to.
We ended up going to a Temple about an hours drive away, to an old mans funeral. I was wearing a top with skulls on, skull earrings and bright red trousers. Even over here you’re meant to wear black to a funeral so I stuck out even more than usual. I’m not sure why Madam thought I would want to go to a funeral, or why she didn’t tell me on the phone to be dressed appropriately and especially to pay respects to someone I had never met nor heard of. We spoke to the widow, who looked too young to be a widow, and Madam gave her some money and then we ate dinner there. The food was good and people were friendly but I was a bit bemused by it all.
Also this week (I still didn’t do a whole weeks teaching!) the year 4s, 5s and 6s went on a school trip to Buddha camp in Lampam for 3 days. I was originally invited to go on Wednesday and stay overnight with them, then on Tuesday it was decided I shouldn’t go for some reason, and I was told to have the day off (as my classes were at the camp, I had no students to teach.) Finally Tuesday evening I was told to come in Wednesday afternoon to cover someone else’s lesson as they were low on teachers as everyone was at the camp.
I tried to find out what Buddha camp was and I was told the students learn how to pray, for 3 days! Last night the teachers and Madam took me out for dinner in the city and then we went to the camp, so I was able to see what they were up to there! For the 2 hours I was there, the students were all dressed in white, sat in the same position, listening to the Monks talk to them, and I guess tell them of Buddhist teachings? I asked if thats what they had been doing every day and the teachers said yes, its to teach them discipline and keep them silent (if only it were that easy in class….)
The only time the students moved or spoke was when I arrived, a few shouted “Teacher Zo!” and waved when they realised I was visiting, but I didn’t actually get a chance to talk to them, and I quickly grew bored listening to a Monk, who I didn’t understand. An older Monk came over to say hello to me, and question what a Farang was doing there, and the teachers explained I was the English teacher, and then he smiled at me and seemed happy I was visiting his temple.
Also I have to include this in my blog, not to scare people, but just because its so out of the ordinary… On Monday after school I opened my front door and a long skinny black snake fell in my face, from the ceiling. I screamed and got it off of me, but I definitely freaked out, and my landlady Nanny heard me and came running over to find out why I was screaming. Whilst the snake literally slithered across the decking and jumped into the tree she saw a butterfly and thought I was screaming about that, even though I was telling her a snake had fallen on me and was pointing at the tree. She didn’t understand what a snake was so had to take her into my house and draw a snake on the paper. Then she started to freak out too. The builders came over and between them all the hunted for the snake, and hopefully its now gone. Thai people are really scared of snakes over here, as a few are poisonous. Understandable when I’ve seen one of the nursery students with a black hole in her hand, from a snake that bit her whilst she was sleeping.
Today I came home to a frog outside my front door, and one on my window too. And I managed to catch a baby gecko thats been living in my house for a while. When I get bored in my house I chase geckos around the room… this was the first one I’d managed to catch!
Teaching is still going well, my Pratom 2/2 students have decided that every day one of them is going to give me a card or drawing. Today’s one had I love you Teacher Zo on the front and an elephant inside (they know i love elephants.) I also covered 2/2 today as their teacher was at Buddha camp. I didn’thave anything planned and the teacher didn’t leave me any notes so I took them outside and taught them the Okey Cokey. They enjoyed it, especially the “oooooh the okey cokey” where everyone holds hands and runs to the middle. After first fighting over who got to hold my hand, they got a little too into it and lots fell over, and the boys gotviolent letting go of hands and shoving into each other. After telling them not to do that, or they wont play, they were good. This class is my best behaved class, and they always remember the things I’ve taught them, so since it wasn’t my proper teaching time afterwards I let them play on my laptop (supervised) and they showed me their moves to Gangnam style, played with their yoyo’s (do you remember them?) and took photos on my webcam, which made them very excited!
It’s a simple life here.