meeting n greeting
I have spent the last day in Bangkok meeting other i-to-i volunteers. I am not the only person who has been stranded in the Thai countryside with no hope for escape, so that is reassuring, to some extent. Everyone seems less than enthused about our volunteer group and our country co-ordinator, Ram, who has been described as the man of misinformation. So that also bodes well.
There are about 15 volunteers with i-to-i in Thailand at the moment, and I have met about 10 of them. They are a split between 18 or 19 year olds taking their gap year, and 23-24 year olds who have just finished university. There is one Canadian, Stephanie, and one Australian, Reuben, and everyone else is British. Everyone seems pretty warm and friendly, so weekends will mostly be fun I imagine, although I am not digging the reliance on the Khao San Road for all needs. Too pricey, too touristy. But then again, maybe after having spent a week speaking no English and eating rice for breakfast, then I'll want the glaring lights and British pop music on offer.
Last night I went to see some muay thai, or Thai boxing. I have always hated the concept of boxing (what? people beating the crap out of each other for fun? That's not a sport), but for some reason, Thai boxing seemed intriguing - I'm sure its the aspect of "the other", or whatever. Anyway, it was an enjoyable spectacle, although the kids who were only 13 or 14 weren't much of a match - it was a bit like u14 rugby games. The older guys did kick some ass, but we have a suspicion that the matches were rigged, because one of the bookies's and another blinged up guy in a white suit seemed deep in conversation, and then told us that the last fight would end in the second round, and it did. This is after they took our money from us making bad bets already. Hmmmmm.
So, its back to Pathum Thani tonight, where I'll have to plan my lessons for tomorrow, and get generally nervous about the whole state of affairs. At the moment I'm still at the blind faith stage. I think I'll need more than that when I am in a classroom with 50 kids tomorrow though.