well, its certainly going to be a challenge...
I am certainly going to experience the "real Thailand" during my teaching placement, that's for sure. I have already eaten curry for breakfast with my kareoke-mad family next door, met tens of teachers whose names I cannot remember and barely pronounce, and treated myself to an Asian shower. More on that in a minute.
Ever since I got my job with HBOS, I have to say that I have been less than enthused about my teaching job in Thailand, and now that I have finally arrived, I have to say that the enthusiasm is still no longer there, mainly on account of the logistics of my placement. I am in what seems to be a village, which centres on an evening market. There is no public transport whatsoever, no post office, no phone boxes, just the semblances of some open-fronted stores. Now, the bareness of the town would ordinarily not bother me, but I have been placed in this school as the sole volunteer, and with no public transport, it makes it a tad difficult to even visit other volunteers. In order for me to get around, I am to ask the school driver, and apparently he will take me where I need to go, but its hardly very autonomous, and certainly restricts the places I can travel. I have Tuesdays off, but god knows what I will do with them! I think that I will be able to go for my daily run that I have been promising myself though.
My lodgings are rather random. I have a spacious, clean, though not overly furnished room, complete with microwave and refridgerator. (For those who saw it, it is very like my room in Chapel Hill, without the built in wardrobes). The school have been kind enough to provide me with several litres of water, tissues, some bread, and some jam, which I have to admit was rather thoughtful. Its a good thing that I like sitting on the floor, because there are no chairs. I do have a fan, and the windows have mosquito screens, so I can leave the windows open to try and keep the room cool. However, leaving the windows open means that I am subjected to kareoke from next door at all ours of the day. It never stops. This is a family who don't have their own home, but have a flat-screen tv hooked up to a kareoke machine. Well, of course they don't have their own home if they waste their money on that sort of crap! So my Virgin freebie ear plugs were put to good use last night. Like I said before, my room is clean, which is not something that I can honestly say for the bathroom. The shower is unreliable, as is the water supply. If the shower isn't working, then I am to give myself as Asian shower. I did this last night - it involves taking a bowl of water and throwing it over myself. Not too bad. However, if the water isn't running, I am to get a bucket from the slimy canal and wash myself in that. No thanks. I'd end up smelling worse than when I started!
I'm tempted not to teach at all, and just pack my bags and run. But that isn't very sportsmanlike of me. So I'll stick it out for a few weeks, and then see what happens.