So I’m never gonna make a post about my house and such. Too much fun stuff going on.
Had my first day of school today! It was pretty much what you’d expect from any first day of school anywhere, going to class, nervously teaching students, making hilarious, culturally-based speech and behavior errors, the whole nine yards.
Oh wait! Just kidding! It was nothing like that, because Thailand.
Let’s start from the beginning:
…actually, let’s start from last night:
Last night, as Adam and I were walking back to the room after dinner with the coordinator and co-teacher, we got called over to hang out with a group of Thai guys who were sitting in front of their house, laughing uproariously and drinking whiskey. Fun times, right? WRONG. Super-fun times! All Thai people have nicknames, so from left to right in my memory their names were: King (he was the one that called us over), Bull, Bat (a ladyboy, more on that below) and Moolak, which translates to, roughly, Piglet. There were about four or five other guys whose names I didn’t get/can’t remember, but were probably equally awesome.
When we sat down, there was a wonderful woman there who spoke pretty solid English who served as our translator. Through her, we exchanged names, job info, the usual stuff. At several points, they would start talking (read: shouting) in Thai and she would apologetically say “They’re joking.” Not sure what they were joking about, but Adam and I laughed anyway because it looked and sounded hilarious like Nick Cannon. The only time we weren’t sure if we should laugh or not was when they joked in English, actually.
At one point, Moolak pointed to Bat and said, “You know, she’s going to die.”
“In ten years,” one of the other guys confirmed with a nod.
“Why?” I asked, naive.
“AIDS,” Moolak responded. I mean, duh.
Adam and I blinked and…kinda….chuckled…?
Our translator lady had to go shortly after, though, so we were left attempting to communicate in our simplest English/broken Thai and their simplest Thai/broken English (Moolak was pretty good, actually). Somehow, we were able to talk about everything from Muay Thai (Bull knows a dude nearby that I may start training with) to Soccer (or futbol. Whatever. King’s dog was named Rooney. For a long time, I thought it was named Looney. Either way, great name) to politics (Moolak loves Obama and they were all Clinton fans. Not so much the Bush Fam).
At one point I heard a dog growl (like for real growl. There are stray dogs all over this country, but they’re normally waaaaay more relaxed than domestic American dogs) and turned to see King boot the dog in the ribs. The dog snarled and bared it’s teeth, King hopped behind a motorcycle and they had a stare down for a few seconds before the dog trotted off to go beat its wife, I assume. Not sure what the hell they could’ve been arguing about since one is a dog, but King came over, checked on the bruise/gash on his shins, and raised his glass of whiskey to give a round of cheers.
Oh yeah, school!
I rode my bike in the morning, which was sweet. I’m gonna have crazy developed [extra] thigh muscles when I head back to the states. Amy (my co-teacher, who has a great blog) showed us around and we met Emily (our other co-teacher) and the other foreign teachers. Lunch was BOSS! Rice and chicken, chicken and rice, noodles, water, all I can eat for a dollar (with optional french fries, ice cream and other stuff for like 30 cents).
I…didn’t actually do any teaching today. Firstly, the first day of each semester is a cleaning day in which the kids clean their classrooms in preparation for the semester. It’s a really smart custom. Gives the kids a chance to catch up after the break, and also saves the school money on janitors. Also, I guess a ton of the girls were out for a Girl Scouts trip, so some classes only had like 4 or 5 boys in them. Instead of teaching 5 students, the kids got to hang out with each other and we teachers chilled in our office.
So: I was supposed to bring my passport to school because we had to do health certification and other registration stuff, but I forgot cause I’m forgetful. So I rode my bike back home to get it in the midday heat. By the time I got back to school, I was sweating profusely (It’s about a 20 minute bike ride to and fro) and the clothes I’d brought to wipe away the sweat were soaked through. I’d also forgotten my passport on my bed at home, because I’m forgetful and a complete, masochistic MORAN! So I rode out AGAIN in the midday heat and by the time I got back to school (this time with passport in hand), I was sweating like a pedophile at a Bieber concert. Mai pen rai.
I’ll post more about my teaching and students once I actually start teaching (Wednesday probably). Until then, take care yall!
What I’m [Slowly] Reading: The Once and Future King by T.H. White
What I’m Writing: The Trial of Mars (working title) short story – 80%
What I’m Listening To: The Very Best of Al Green by Gloria Estefan