Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Flip Flop Nightmare

I have often been asked what the most difficult thing to deal with in living here is. Several things come to mind, but the one thing that I can't seem to even come close to achieving any sort of competency at is..... ....walking in those god damn flip-flops!

Not the thong kind, that you can scrunch your toes around to hold on to, the other shower shoe looking things. Actually, the thong kind give me trouble too. No matter how hard I concentrate, I still seem to just walk right out of them in a matter of a few steps.

Both the kids and adults here run, work, play, ride their scooters, and do just about anything while wearing them. I watched construction workers add concrete walls 4 stories up, wearing nothing but shorts, and those flip-flops.

My little Bata slip on shoes are about as close as I can come to them. Luckily, they are extremely comfortable. I can't figure out how they do it.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Off to laos

It was Visa time again last month. Since my former company didn't bother to get our work permits when they should have, I needed to make a border run to start over again. I flew to Vientiane in Laos. It's only a 1 hour flight, and everything went very smoothly.

The people were extremely nice, and nobody tried to scam me, or raise the prices of things when they saw me coming. That was a very nice change indeed. The taxi driver I found at the airport suggested a nice hotel, and told me where to go in the evening to have a beer, and hang out. All in all, it was a very nice trip, considering it was just an overnighter. I will definitely go back there again.



Changes

Lots of changes here lately. First, I changed jobs. The contract I had with my former company was definitely not a win win situation. I'll just leave it at that. So, I went full time with ECC. I had been working with them part-time on the weekends anyway, and since that was going well, I figured I'd give them a shot.

I was working exclusively out of their office in the Future park Mall, but now I also teach at the Udom Wittaya school. I will be teaching 10th - 12th grade. I won't be teaching conversation this time. I was told that they just want to practice reading and comprehension. The last thing that they need more of. Whatever! I don't feel like fighting with the stupid fuckers any more. My boss, Taa, warned me that the students are lazy and I am just supposed to make sure that the little idiots pass the course. I got a 5000 baht per month raise, so once again, whatever.

Roong and I found an apartment that is literally right next to the mall, and only 15 minutes away from the school. The girls are quite happy about being right next door to a major shopping mall. At least I think they are, because they sure do visit a lot more often now. I also ended up with a larger apartment. This one has 2 rooms, and Roong is much more comfortable when she is here. Here are a few shots of it.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Rabbit Goes to Hollywood



Move over Frankie, there's a new sheriff in town! That's right, apparently the wascally wabbit has made his way to Tinsel Town. Supposedly, this is a photo of TV show "Glee" star Chris Colfer hanging around the set wearing one of my Rabbit Hand Shadow tee designs. We can't prove it, but it looks legit enough to me to brag about it! 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

New Places, New Faces



What a week! I changed schools, and moved in the space of about 3 days. Thank god for friends and family. I feel bad because I probably did the least amount of work during it. I pretty much just went on an interview, and then did my last 2 days at Assumption. My girls had already all taken their final exam for summer school, so we didn’t actually do a damn thing.

During that time, Roong, Palmiez, and Puk were making runs in their cars to get me moved. I think the whole thing only took 3 trips. My new apartment is on the 4th floor, with no elevator. Roong hired some of the locals to get the stuff up there, so that part wasn’t too bad, and Puk got to skip a day of school, so I think she will survive.

My X landlord was being her normal bitchy self, and made us pay a full months rent because we didn’t give her a full months notice. Please remember that she already has 2 months deposit that we were never going to see again anyway, so don’t feel bad for her. We put one of those outer door knob locks on the apartment door, so she can’t rent the room out from under us. Oh yeah, she’d do it. I’m sure she was already counting the money. We gave the key to a friend so that he can go take a look every once in a while to see if she cut the lock or anything. God, I hope she does. Haaaa!

Anyway, the new job is at a school about 30 minutes north of BKK, just south of Ayuthaya. That's a shot of the old palace above this. It’s kind of a rural area, but kind of not. There is actually a lot here, it’s just not name brand. The school looks nice, and we noticed that a few of the rooms in the English language section had air conditioning. I hope I can teach in one of them (please please please!).

My new man cave is about the same size as my old one. A bit dingy, but OK. The building is smack dab in the middle of the local market, so anything you need is right outside the front door. That is, after you go down 4 flights of stairs, of course. I am sure that is going to improve my memory dramatically. We were missing a few things here because the apartment is only partially furnished, so now I have a new refer, TV, and even a washing machine. All are tiny, but efficient. The landlord’s name is Yu, and she and Roong seem to get along quite well.

The most excitement I had during all of this was riding my motorcycle here from the old place. It took about 5 hours. The girls can take the tollway, so they can do it in under an hour in their cars. About 45 minutes of that was me getting lost, but the rest was due to construction and holiday traffic. The old girl was a champ though, no problems what so ever. Well, other than a severe sun burning on both of my forearms. That’s OK though, because it’s probably the longest adventure I will ever get to take on the bike. My ass was killing me by the end of it. I guess it’s time for a car (sniff). I’ll probably give the motorcycle to Pukky, just to scare the shit out of her mother. :D

My new boss called today at about 3pm, and said..”Oh yeah, the school wants you to come and do a demo class for them tomorrow. Nothing fancy, just enough so that they know you can teach.”  WTF? I already fooled you, how many times do I need to do this? I will make sure he knows that I had to miss the premier of Iron Man III tonight because I have to get up early for this. (Sorry Palm, we will go see it soon, I promise!)

So that’s what’s been going on lately. More later, once I have had the time to look around this place a bit….

Monday, March 18, 2013

Amazing Animation and Sound

This is one of the most amazing things I have seen in a while. Thanks to my friend Warren Haney for turning us on to it. (click the X's on the ads to get rid of them, better view)


Monday, March 04, 2013

Kindergarten? ME??????

Summer camp has started. Not only does this suck because our boss took our summer vacation away from us, and not only because I have to spend 200 baht a day commuting to a different school to take part in something I don't want to do anyway, but it also sucks because I have to teach kindergarten! GRAWRWRARARARAR!!!

I teach "English conversation" class, not "run around like little maniacs and do what ever you want until you feel it's time to start crying because you're bored" class! OK, I'm done.

It really wasn't that bad. I was fortunate to have 4 Thai teachers to help with the class. These girls were on top of everything, and had a stare that could curdle milk if the kids got up to any mischief. They were a fantastic help in keeping the class running smoothly. Thanks ladies!



Here is a shot of the kids trying to get organized first thing in the morning. It had just started to rain unseasonably, which was not a good sign. Just trying to get them to line up in six rows was a chore for the girls.


This is the first group. They acted pretty much like I expected. About half of them got in to the activity, which was making those little rabbit ear head bands they are wearing. The other half, not so much. I have no idea why they were making the rabbit ears.


The second class was much more laid back. And much more comfortable around me. You can tell by how close they will get to you without getting that panicky rabbit look in their eyes. Most of them climbed all over me when the school photographers were taking pictures of us. I think part of that is due to the fact that I sit on the floor to work with them. That puts us at eye level, and I think I am less intimidating to them that way.


The last class was Ok at first, but by the end of it, they were just as ready to go home as we were. But, we all survived it. I am off tomorrow, because I have a doctor appointment, and need to get my 90 day Visa stamp. The company was supposed to do that for me, but gee whiz, I didn't see our fearless leader anywhere today. Imagine that! So, I will see the kids again on Wednesday, and then have the 1st - 6th graders on Thursday and Friday, or so they say. Who knows?

At least one of the guys won't be coming back next term, so I might think about asking to transfer there. We found a very nice apartment complex there through one of the teachers that I work with now, Marlene. She and her boyfriend live there now and are quite happy with it. Plus, the guys that teach at St.Peters are a pretty hard core bunch, and a lot of fun to be around. We'll see.

*Update: The last day of this was a field trip to a few different places. The first was a Swiss sheep farm. Three tired ponies, 10 bored goats, and a shit load of overpriced t-shirts for sale. Blah!

The second place was called "Santarini". It was half amusement park, and half designer outlet mall. Interesting, for about 15 minutes. The only noteworthy occurrence was the accident involving 3 of our buses and 4 cars. There were a few bloody noses, but nothing serious. One of the Thai teachers seemed to have some kind of nervous breakdown because of it though. Strange.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Us

Ahhh..mornings in our happy home are such a delight!