My Life as a Thai Kindergarten Teacher

06.00: I wake up and stick on an episode of The Simpsons as I get ready. Wash. Put on school clothes. Try to make myself look vaguely presentable. All my efforts will melt into a puddle within thirty seconds of me leaving my room.

07.00: I go downstairs and stand outside my apartment building. Pee Wee Herman pulls up and I hop on the back of his motorbike. I call him Pee Wee Herman because that’s who he reminds me of and I’ll never find out his real name. Thank God, he knows where I’m going, the same place I always go in the morning, because otherwise I’d have to try and say the name of my school in Thai, and I can never make them understand me. We zip along to school and I ask him how much. He holds up two fingers. Twenty baht. I give him a twenty baht note. He holds up five fingers and I freak out. “Seventy baht?! I don’t have!” He looks at me and waves me away. I go through the school gate.

07.15: I am first into the staff room. I turn on the Wi-Fi, the air con, the photocopier. This all makes me feel quite accomplished – like someone who might actually sort of know what’s going on. This is merely an illusion of competency. I never know what’s going on. I get to printing off the day’s worksheets. It dawns on me that Pee Wee Herman was asking for twenty-five baht. Waves of embarrassment sweep up and down my body.

07.30: More teachers have arrived. I nip to the 7-Eleven for an ice cappuccino. I pass by one of my students and say good morning. She tells me something in Thai. The children refuse to believe I’m not playing a hilarious joke when I tell them I don’t speak their language. I have begun responding in Spanish when they don’t speak to me in English.

8.00: I go to my classroom and set up for the day. Outside, students gather in ordered rows on the courtyard. They raise the Thai flag, perform the school song, chant prayers. Lots of very pleasing pageantry.

08.30: The kids start coming in.

“TEEEACHAA! TEEEACHAA! I LIKE ZOMBIES… AND… I LIKE MINIONS!”

“Very good, can you sit down in your lines, please?”

“TEEACHA, I LIKE MINIONS!”

“Yes, I kn-”

“TEACHAAA, I AM SICK!”

The child sneezes in my face to prove his point.

We begin. We listen to semi-educational songs in English. We (by which I mean they) do some dancing. It occurs to me that my children can speak two language and yet cannot effectively form a circle.

09.00: Maths. The children split into teams and we play games. Whichever team has won the most games by the end of the week will get sweets. Whatever gets them to pay attention. After I’ve run out of games, we do a worksheet. If this were a Tuesday, this time would be spent in “the kiddy room”. Not as sinister as it sounds, this is a room in which the children play with blocks, and move bottle caps around with chopsticks for some reason. Last time we were in there, I was instructed to read a book to my students called The Hermit and the Prostitute. Things are different here.

09:45: English. I ask the children, out of curiosity, where they think teacher Jade is from. “AMERICA!” comes the resounding answer. Honestly. This week, we have the vague topic of “inside and outside”. It’s Wednesday so it’s stretching fairly thin at this point. I notice one of my children clearly has pink eye. I dream about Friday, movie day, when I also happen to finish at 11.00.

11.00: I escape back to the staff room. We walk to the market next door and I buy a piece of fried chicken and a Coke. Everyone eats as quickly as possible as it’s unbearably hot outside.  I return to school, try and do some planning, and generally sit around.

14.30: Science. We talk about insects and have a “draw an insect” competition. If this were Thursday, we’d be doing art now. I plan to make princess/pirate masks. Shoddy. If this were a Tuesday, the children would be playing outside. I would be sat on a bench fanning myself. A child pretends to take a drink from my water bottle, but, unbeknownst to them, the lid is not on. The water goes everywhere. Work continues. The children begin screaming. I walk over to find a cockroach. I valiantly crush it in a tissue and put it in the bin. I feel I may have won universal respect within the room.

15.30: The end of my teaching day. I go back to the staff room to wait. I tell people about my brave cockroach encounter. I am told that crushing a cockroach attracts other cockroaches. I am deflated but happy to have this knowledge.

16.00: Bike back home. A friend offers me a much-appreciated lift. I wonder when my own scooter will be ready. We stop off at the ten-baht store and I buy some hair bows and stickers. Only the essentials.

16.30 – onwards: I sit on my bed with the fan blasting in my face. I cancel my plans to go out and get tea and decide to settle for some crisps I have in my room. Tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

Chachoengsao Fried Phone: The Colonel’s Secret Blend of Moisture and Circuits

Week two at my new job is over. I’ve survived that big bad batch of six-year-olds once again. I have also, in chronological order –

  1. Narrowly avoided disgrace and death to rescue a water damaged iPhone 5
  2. Welcomed a visiting friend from England to Chach
  3. Been in a motorbike crash

I went with a couple of girls from school to an army base on Tuesday evening. I know that’s not a standard recreational activity at home, or not so far as I know anyway, but your options are quite limited here. We entered, saying hello to the soldiers at the gate as we went, and proceeded to walk around and around the base in a loop. It was great. It’s right on the banks of the Bang Pakong river and it’s all quite beautiful. You can hear the monks chanting from the big white temple next door. The scene was seemingly set for a lovely evening. Then, for the second time in two weeks, I slipped. The earlier time had been at the resort pool in town.

EXT. CHACHOENGSAO SUNTARA WELLNESS RESORT AND HOTEL – DAY

JADE emerges from the pool like an enormous, glistening slug. Hesitation and well lubricated floor tiles abound.

JADE

I think I’m going to slip

BANG.

JADE

I slipped.

My pride was hurt more than my body; I’m bruised but not broken.

Back to the army base. We were walking and I slipped in a mud puddle. We laughed, I pulled myself up, and we carried on.

248971.jpgThe girls and I decided we had done enough walking, it was growing dark, and so we decided to return home. We walked out of the gate, shit-flirting with the soldiers all the way. I do quite like soldiers. I mean, I probably wouldn’t get on very well with your typical soldier IRL, because they love discipline and I love waking up in the afternoon and being unemployed. Also, these ones didn’t speak English. I’d just watched Full Metal Jacket and was in a military frame of mind. They even had platoons (is that the right word?) at this base running around behind us chanting. Probably the Thai version of “I don’t know but I’ve been told/ Eskimo pussy is mighty cold”.

“Goodbye,” I said to them.

“You beautifur,” they replied, “[Something in Thai, probably filth]”

Lots of laughing, waving, I get on my friend’s bike. We drive home.

I get to my apartment lobby and reach into my bag for my purse, which contains my key card. I’m sure you can see where this is going. It’s not there. I rummage for my phone so I can ring my friend. Oh, no. I turn to the women sat in the apartment office.

“Shit. Shit, shit, shit. Excuse me, excuse me, sa wat de ka, hello, has anyone handed in a lost phone?”

Confused faces. Nodding. Me growing frantic yet trying to maintain a veneer of cool and calm collectiveness.

“Yes, erm, a phone,”

I perform the internationally recognised mime for a phone. “I have lost my phone.”

“Ahhhh”. The sound of Thai recognition. The woman behind the window reaches into her desk. My heart soars. Some good Samaritan has found my stuff, which I must have dropped on the car park, and has handed it in.

She pulls out a business card with the apartment’s phone number on it. She smiles as she underlines with her pen.

“You can call.”

“Thank you, thank you so much,” I say, as I mime for her to buzz me through. She does, and I barrel through to the lift, to get to my laptop to get on Facebook messenger.

This isn’t the first time, I’m sure you’ll have guessed, I’ve had such communication issues in Thailand. I know, I know, I should learn the language, but I feel I would only just have mastered the most basic stuff by the time I’m leaving to go somewhere else. And because it’s tonal, even if you know the words, they still won’t know what you’re on about. I have to ask motorbike/tuk tuk drivers every morning to take me to school, and I’ll say it ten times and they won’t understand, then the security guard will come out and say it once in the exact same way, and the driver will be like “OHHH!”. I suppose it’s like how my kids can’t hear the difference between R and L (“It’s a bunny labbit”).

Ordering food poses similar problems. I pretty much have the procedure down now though.

  1. Say the name of the food you want
  2. Point to a picture of the food
  3. Google Translate the food
  4. Make a detailed sketch of the food
  5. Perform an interpretive dance based on the food
  6. Write a postgraduate thesis on the food
  7. Go into the kitchen with your waiter and have him stand next to you as you prepare the food yourself
  8. Bring a sample of the food with you and shove it into the waiter’s open, screaming mouth
  9. Give birth to the food and raise it with your waiter
  10. Physically embody the food, become your food, exemplify everything about the food, become the precise essence of the food
  11. Receive wrong order, act delighted, “Thank you, thank you!”
  12. Eat

Anyway, I’m getting off track. I get one of the girls to come, pick me up on her bike, and she takes me back to the army base to find my purse and phone. She was so kind to do it. I am such a humongous idiot.

We get back to the front gate at the base and she tries to drive her bike in. The soldiers don’t like that. So, we park up around the side and walk in. We are only two minutes down the road, in complete darkness, might I add, when we hear a male voice shouting. We turn around and see an important looking older army man. I have no idea what he was. Let’s say a colonel because that sounds very dramatic. The colonel is shouting at us in Thai, obviously telling us to get out, which is fair enough, because we’re trespassing at night on a military base. I don’t want to go though. I want my shit back. I start bowing a lot and saying “please, please,” thinking he might know that word. Everything at this point seems fairly hopeless.

I mime jogging, a phone, a phone falling on the ground. I show him my empty bag. He brings me his phone, confused. This goes on and on. He calls for back up – “These manic white girls won’t piss off”. My face is red and I’m sweating. I feel so close to potentially locating my precious objects and yet so far. I try to show him I need to carry on walking a bit further, but he doesn’t like that at all. Two other army men arrive. We stand around some more. They clearly want us gone.

I think to myself, if I find my purse and phone tonight, there is a God. There is a God.

And I just start running. Down the road in the dark. This is it, I think. I mean, really, what am I doing? I’m a strange, erratic foreigner and I could be up to absolutely any number of nefarious activities. They could shoot me in the back right now. I keep going.

I run down the path. I keep running and running. It seems to take forever. It’s dark and I am not athletic. Huffing and puffing.

It just goes on and on. I start to give up hope. I am just about to turn around and admit defeat when I see a couple of objects sat in a large mud puddle.

JESUS IS REAL. FATHER JONES WAS RIGHT. MY WEIRD REMNANTS OF CATHOLIC GUILT ARE VALID. PRAISE HIM.

My stuff is right there – my purse and phone! I pick them up and turn back towards where I came in. I can see someone waving a torch in the air at me. I pick up my phone and light up the screen and begin waving it.

“I’ve found it! I’ve found it!”

I start to run back and SLIP AGAIN. I keep going. Two soldiers on motorbikes drive up. Lots of deep waiing and ecstatic “kap khun kaaaaas”. My very patient friend and I both hop on the back and we are driven out of the base. I leave for the second time that night, much more bedraggled this time around.

 “Goodbye! Goodbye! Thank you!”

Strangely, nobody thought to call me beautifur on my second exit. I think I’ll leave it a few weeks before I go back there. About twenty minutes after I got home, a torrential downpour started.

Still, phone is fucked, I think. Water damaged. It’s sat in a bag of rice at home now so we’ll see, but I’m not too hopeful. So much for Jesus.

Point number two. My friend is here. Yay, etc. I’ll barely get to see him as I have to do a visa run to Laos on Sunday, and I have to be at work, but it’s still nice, and surreal, for him to be here. I think this is probably the only visitor I’ll ever get in Asia, so I must make the most of it.

Number three. I was in a motorbike crash this morning. And just when my confidence was building and I was getting blasé about the whole thing. We were pulling to the end of my street and just about to get onto the main road when we slammed into the back of a Land Rover. I was in shock and I’m not sure what happened exactly, but the bike started teetering whilst the driver and I both struggled to stay upright and not let it fall on top of us. I managed to get both feet on the ground and stabilise myself. His leg was trapped under something on the bike, and he was wobbling about. He put his hand on the side of the car, which drove away without so much as a second glance, or an “are you alright there?”. He began to pull out onto the main road, the bike still going everywhere.

“No, no!” I said, still in shock, “Are you OK? It’s OK. Stop. Wait.”

He was speaking in Thai and wobbling all over the road. He didn’t give himself even a second to recover. I should probably learn the Thai for “pull over”.

We continued down the road, or should I say, we continued all over the road. The guy kept beeping, as though that would help him to steady himself. Every few seconds, he would sound the horn. This is probably a good time to mention that I drove with him yesterday, and we were literally an inch away from mowing down a young female student. He had slammed on after zooming up behind her on a little alley, and they had both giggled together about her near-death experience, whilst I was sat behind wide-eyed and shaking, repeating “Oh, oh my God, Jesus, oh dear”.

Because he was completely shaken and all over the road, we went on to almost hit another man, who, in all fairness, was just stood like a demented person in the middle of the street, but still. I can’t even imagine what face I was pulling. Thankfully, we managed to pull into school without dying. I gave him 30 baht and staggered off in a daze to the staff room.

Update (18/11/2016): The phone is restored. All praise the mighty rice. All hail the iPhone 5.

Koh Samuii: The First Ten Days

TEFLing and Touristing

Chloe and I woke up in our Bangkok hotel, grabbed our stuff, and off we traipsed to our next destination – Koh Samuii. Our airport driver, Moo, graciously allowed us to experience the oldest tourist con in the book, forcing bracelets onto our wrists as we looked on bewildered and too tired to protest. We dutifully handed over a “tip” and left him waiing and smiling. That seems like a million years ago now.

An incredibly short flight later and we were on the island of Koh Samuii. We quietly hummed the Jurassic Park theme as we descended into the tiki hut that comprises the airport. A man named Jack picked us up and drove us to T-Phak Phink, our hotel. We were dripping in sweat and bright red. I was overly excited to see a Charlie Chaplin restaurant/massage parlour on our way down the winding road; nothing here makes much sense.14068193_10154475790217238_6522383116008226739_n.jpg

I could go into detail about all the things I did on the first few nights here, about how I met people on the same TEFL course as me, how I drank a lot of 89baht (£1.96) cocktails, but I’m sure you can imagine how it went, and it wouldn’t make for particularly interesting reading.

I should probably speak about the TEFL school I’m attending – Samui TEFL. I prefer “Samuii” with two Is but I suppose we’re all allowed to make our own stylistic choices. The class is tough. Turns out I know next to nothing about my native language. Did you know that the word “him” can be an adjective? I mean, I always knew my education was pretty shit, but Jesus, I don’t know what on earth they were teaching me at home for twelve years. As I write this, it is the Wednesday of week two of the course, with two weeks to go until it’s over, in which time I’ll deliver lessons to primary, secondary, and adult classes. God help them. God help us all. I’d definitely recommend Samui TEFL if you’re considering training as an English as a Foreign Language teacher as its incredibly thorough, but I won’t lie, it’s difficult and I’m absolutely knackered.

There are five other British people on the course, and we are naturally drawn to each other like incredibly pale moths to a flame. It is inescapable. I find myself making eyes at them in the classroom. There have been discussions as to how we might access The Great British Bake Off while we are here. You should have seen the reaction when it was revealed that Thailand has its own version of Tesco. Pandemonium. Joy. A physical need to return to some semblance of the mother-supermarket.

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The class has around twenty people in it. Majority American, then us, then some South Africans, one Australian, and two people are half Thai. We are at that point where we’ve sort of figured out basically what we’re all like, as much as you can figure people out in ten days. Originally, I was putting on a bit of a posher accent when I spoke to the Americans because I kept getting blank stares back when I would say things. I’m losing it though; it’s too hard to keep up. The Boltonian in me will always win out.

How’s the social aspect of TEFLing, I hear you cry. I’m naturally introverted. I wouldn’t say I’m shy, I like pretty much everyone on the course, and I think I’m lucky to have found myself with such a good group, but I still need a few hours a day to withdraw and to sit with Netflix on my own. I think the key to not going completely insane when spending so much time with the same people every day is to try and maintain a strong sense of your deeply sacred personal space. Swing your arms around at all times so that nobody can ever get too close. That’s my best advice.

Americans, on the whole, are very earnest and genuine. They make trivial things seem like serious business and are, and please remember I’m speaking in gross generalities here, very eager and sweet. I hope if any of them ever read this, which seems a bit unlikely, they won’t mind me having said that. We Brits seem both reserved and constantly bemused by comparison. We like to discuss the weather and other such nonsense whilst the Americans get into the minutiae of what it means to be and to live. Not all of them, of course, and it’s not like it’s a bad thing at any rate – it’s just different to what I’m used to. The Brits are all seemingly well-versed in our national, unspoken, enshrined code of conduct – keep things light and don’t talk bollocks.

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Aside from a bit of drunken night-swimming (probably not advisable), we hadn’t really been able to spend much time at the beach because we’d been so busy with school, and so come the first Saturday, we were all up early to lay out on towels and catch some rays. Chloe and I had a lot of catching up to do. We were [are] incredibly white. Glowing. That’s actually a rather coveted thing in Thailand, as it turns out. All the beauty products, deodorants, lotions, all have whitening agent in them. It seems everyone wants what they can’t have.

We are no different. We want to be brown. Eager to get my transformation into bronzed goddess underway, I dove in at the deep end. I lay flat out under the sun like a fool. Don’t get me wrong, I was covered in my factor fifty, but I was fully aware that I was basically cooking myself. After a few hours of sitting like a lizard on a hot rock, I went along with some of my fellow TEFLers to a shady beachfront restaurant for some food and a drink. When I stepped back out, a couple of people began to look me up and down and I watched as their expressions slowly changed.

“Fuck!”

“Shit!”

“Oh fuck!”

“Stop shouting fuck and shit at me,” I said, quite confused about what was going on.

What was, in fact, going on, was that I’d turned bright pink and was radiating heat like the elephant’s foot at Chernobyl. I was promptly sent home to sit indoors and to apply aloe vera. I literally took a step back when I caught sight of myself in a mirror. I looked like a wet, burnt witch. I would’ve sent tiny Thai children running from me in terror. I left the hotel again only under the cover of darkness. The burn has now settled into a faint, dull red. My shins are still shockingly white. I don’t want to sound entitled, but when do I get my colour? I feel I’ve really put the effort in and I’m not seeing results. 

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I should talk about some of the stuff I’ve done. I feel like I’m going down a checklist right now. My brain is mush. Temples. Markets. Bars. Riding in the backs of trucks. Apparently, it’s absolutely essential on any whistle stop tour of the island to visit the Grandmother and Grandfather rocks. These are big rocks that look like a penis and a vagina. Yeah.

The food has been mostly fine, although I can’t convey how much I’m missing stodge. I want something to bite in to. You can’t bite rice. I want a big fuck off burger. I woke up last night with a churning stomach, feeling freezing cold, and sweating like some kind of demented bear. I’m fine now but I think my body is in total Asia-shock. I suppose it’s the new food and a form of “freshers’ flu”.

img_0084.jpgFinally, I feel something would be terribly amiss if I didn’t talk about the turlet hose. The Americans are all calling it “the bum gun”, but I don’t like that. It seems wrong for an American to use the word “bum” for arse. I nominate “turrrrlet hose” (toilet hose) as the official nomenclature and that’s what I shall use. The turlet hose is a hose attached to Thai toilets that you use to clean yourself after you’ve been to the loo. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but I’ve got to say, I’m a full convert to the church of the holy hose. Let’s put it this way, if you had shit on your arm, would you want to dry-wipe it off with a bit of tissue, or would you want to give it a good old wash? I don’t know if I can ever go back to my old self. I haven’t had to use a squat toilet yet, thank God, I think I’d rather just hold it in until I quietly died in a corner. I asked around if other people were using the hose and the group seemed quite divided. A memorable response was “I don’t want shit-water on my balls”. Fair enough, I thought. You can’t convert them all.

Touch Down in Asia

Well, I’m here.

It’s Sunday morning now in Bangkok. Half seven. My travelling companion, Chloe, is asleep in the bed next to me. I was woken up about forty minutes ago. It might have been the bird outside cawing. Or maybe I was startled awake by my nose dropping off because it’s minus twenty in here with the air con on.

The trip from Manchester was stressless enough. Aside from a few last minute jitters, I really haven’t felt worried about the whole thing. I think people have expected me to, and have projected that expectation onto me, but everything has been calm and has gone well. No fuck ups. No drama. No arguments between me and Chloe. All was harmonious. I don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch, but I think we might actually be rather well-suited to mutual friendship after all.

We had a brief layover in Abu Dhabi and then onwards we went.

We arrived in Thailand at about 7am. I’d had, at a generous estimate, approximately five hours sleep in about twenty four hours. On the first plane, Chloe had sat in the middle of the three-seat row and found herself next to a nice man who’d instructed us on how to do various basic tasks. I can’t remember exactly what now, how to put the TV remote back in the seat holder and so forth. We were very giddy at that stage. We switched half way, her taking the aisle seat, and I suddenly found myself next to a double-denimed Thai lady who was probably around our age, even though it was difficult to tell. What’s become immediately apparent is that Thai women, on the whole, are very glamorous and image-conscious. Fifty-year-olds look younger than me. Everyone wears make up, even in the thirty five degree heat. This lady next to me wore heels for her flight.

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Realised after quickly scanning this post before publishing that the only photos I have are of stupid things. So here’s a photo of Koh Samuii that I didn’t take to liven things up.

She started our exchange with a kind offer of some After Eight dinner mints. Apparently people in the UAE have a very sweet tooth.

“Are you sisters?” she asked us, in her thick accent.

We were both in super polite mode. No, no, no we said. We were not, and indeed, are still not, sisters.

“I think you sisters, you look very alike. Same!”

We look nothing alike. Oh do we, we laughed, knowing this to be bullshit of the highest order. Or maybe she really couldn’t see the difference between us. Who knows.

She went on to tell us many little titbits about her country, which she wasn’t looking forward to returning to, as “everything take two hours” to do, and she had a six hour bus ride up north to make after landing. Her English was excellent. I know only two Thai phrases and really can’t criticise many people on the language-learning front. It was just her accent that was a trifle difficult. I don’t know if she was telling me about “sheep shearing”, it seems somewhat unlikely, but something that sounded incredibly like that kept coming up, over and over again.

“Haha, yes,” I said. Yes, so true, always with those bloody sheep, I know them well, always shearing them, haha. 

I made loud and obvious verbal plans with Chloe about how I was going to try and sleep. I put my mask on and readied my “Make it Rain” rain-sounds playlist.

“You need help in Thailand, you call me, any time.”

“Thank you,” we said, eternally grateful, “That is so kind.” We never exchanged numbers.

In the interest of fairness, I should note that Chloe did have a difficult encounter too. We suspected during the first flight that an Indian Dracula might be sat in front of her. She told me that when she was little, her cousin told her that vampires hid in aeroplane toilets, actually in the toilet itself, waiting to bite people and suck them down (oo er) the pipes. After I returned from a visit to the cubicle, she asked if I’d seen any in there. Lucky for me, no. Perhaps they had already taken their fill of blood, or I was entirely too sweaty and unappealing for them to even bother with. The man in front reached his arms behind his seat and began to drum his long fingers on Chloe’s entertainment screen. This is a screenshot of what I wrote to her.

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He definitely was goading us. He’ll probably be at my window tonight. This is just like Fright Night. 

We landed in at Suva… Suvarna… I’ll check the spelling later (Edit: Suvarnabhumi) airport and caught a shuttle to our hotel, The Floral Shire. I picked it because it’s easily commutable. It’s clean enough and not bad at all. The sheets smell a bit farty and are quite grey, but otherwise, good. £8 each for the night so you can’t really complain. I am lying here in the semi-darkness now, typing this on my iPad, listening to the sweet and melodious sounds of an angry Thai man shouting, and a bored woman saying something that sounds like “now” repeatedly back to him. We checked in, watched some TV, slept for three hours, got up, and went for a wander. Thai TV, as a side note, is as I imagined it, except scarier. Within half an hour, I saw a suicide, a murder, and three, yes, three, ghosts. I don’t know if that’s standard. I managed to get this snapshot of our fatback TV.

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Horrifying

Floral Shire is down a higgledy-piggledy street lined with houses, hostels, and strange little shops that all seem to predominantly sell huge boxes of eggs. There are stray dogs everywhere and that makes me sad, but I try to put it out of my mind, because there’s nothing to be done about it. They weave dangerously in and out of traffic. There’s a strange, narrow sort of fish tank right outside our room on the street that’s filled with huge koi. I think they’re changing the water now because there’s a lot of splashing going on.

We make our way to a Seven-Eleven to buy snacks. Chloe finds a Kinder Bueno, causing much rejoicing and happiness, and it doesn’t even have that ingredient to stop it melting that makes chocolate taste like vomit. I buy a Coke, a packet of crisps, and a water bottle. I spend about 60 baht. That’s £1.30\€1.50\$1.70. We can’t quite believe it when we hand over our money and feel we have committed some daring daylight robbery.

(Chloe’s just got up. The shouting man disturbed her).

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Brown hotel towel – suspicious?

We then go on to a cafe and order some chicken and fried rice and a cocktail each. Then the cocktail comes, loaded with ice, and we remember that the water might have an ill-effect on us. Chloe hasn’t had her Hepatitis shots yet. An awkward and long conversation ensues with the waiter which results in him misunderstanding and bringing us a glass of ice. We feel awful about the whole thing and eventually just sip from water bottles and ignore the cocktails altogether.

(Chloe is going to play some Pokemon now and has reminded me to mention that our hands, legs, and feet all swelled horrendously whilst flying. I have a photo but I genuinely don’t know if it’s too upsetting to share here).

After that, we moved on to the hotel bar and ordered beer so we knew we’d be safe – no ice. We’re probably being overly cautious but we don’t want to get diarrhoea on our first day and become completely incapacitated.

I think that’s it for the first twenty four hours. In about five hours, we’ll be flying again, to Koh Samuii. I’ll post this later on when I have more time.

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Sweet Bandannas brah!

PS. A few months ago, I received a mysterious shipment of bandannas in the post. I have no idea who sent them or why. It’ll probably always be a mystery. I received several, and in many colours. Well, I thought it was about time to put them to good use. Chloe is pink and I am yellow. We are now the Bandanna Boys. Don’t fuck with us.

Update: 22.43, Sunday 21st 2016, Koh Samuii

I’m in my hotel room at T Phak Phink. I no longer need my ambient “Make it Rain” playlist as it’s absolutely pissing it down. It’s incredible. I’m sat on my bed with the door to the balcony closed and it’s still roaring. I think it really means something for a British person  to say they never really knew rain before. This is something else.

Anyway, starting teacher training at 9am tomorrow. Met a couple taking the same class and had a few drinks tonight. Nothing more exciting to report for now.  Apologies if this is a jumbled mess. I’m still a bit zombified.

Here’s a photo of Chloe before and after
a “Happy Moment” toilet at Bangkok airport. I dread to think what goes on in there.

I’m Going to Thailand

downloadI’m going to Thailand.

I know it’s not the most original plan. It’s probably on the top ten millennial to-do tick list, but I’m thinking maybe that’s because it’s a good plan, and if I were the originator of such a good plan, I’d be a much more clever and original person than I actually am. Make sense?

In May of 2015, my ex and I decided to part ways. I left the house we had been renting together. I had to leave my [almost brand new] refrigerator, washing machine, and various other pieces of furniture as part of my exodus. I might never get over losing them.

Continue reading “I’m Going to Thailand”