We’re ready to learn to get some knowledge!
Yesterday was my first day as Teacher Katy, working in one of Bangkoks largest and most prestigious Catholic girls schools. Surprisingly considering how ridiculous I’ve been recently I wasn’t that nervous, maybe it’s because I had to be up at 6, who has energy to waste that early when you haven’t worked in 3 months?
My apartment is only a few minutes walk from the train station, with school a few minutes walk the other side of the 15 minute journey so commuting wise I’ve had worse. One thing I have noticed though in Thailand, there’s no such thing as rush hour…busy hour yes! Rush? No. Thai time takes on a whole new meaning when you, as a fast paced westerner are trying to duck and dive between commuters who are, quite literally ambling along (!) while simultaneously managing to take up the whole stairway in the process. For a nation of tiny people this is quite a feat! I’d love to see my friend Jen try this, after walking behind her in London and witnessing the tutting and eye rolling she directs at confused people on the tube I think it would be hilarious! (love you!)
Anyway at 07:30 I was in school, after a funny lift ride (see previous blog) I was sat at my desk and ready to roll!
I forgot about Thai time…again!
Three hours later I was still sat at my desk. First period had been cancelled due to first day administrative stuff, I don’t have a second period on Monday and when you take into account morning morals and break time it was 10:30 before I was on my way to my first class. Many of us hadn’t brought anything to occupy our time either, and being the first day there was no work to do so….100% serious… People napped! At their desks! On the first day of work! Welcome to Thailand!! Ha!
There are around 5000 girls at St Joseph’s, around 500 in p4 which I will be teaching, so between my co teacher and I I’m going to have around 250 9/10 year old girls calling me Teacher. This week the lessons are quite simple, we start with an introduction…first the girls all stand and say ‘gooooood mooooorning teeeeeachaaaa’ ‘good morning girls, how are you?’ ‘fiiiiiine thaaaaaank you and youuuuuuuu?’ ‘we are fine also, please take a seat!’ ‘thaaaaaaaaank you’….’this is Teacher Loriel! He’s from Ameeeerica, Hawaaaiiii! And this is Teacher Katy, from the UK, hands up who knows the UK? *small spattering of hands* Ok who knows England? *more or less hands appear* and who knows Wales? *no hands*. No? You don’t know Wales? What about Prince William and Kate? *all hands up*. Yay for having your own Prince!! Or Prince of Wales to be anyway 😛
After this we have been asking them to write their name, nickname and student number on a sign in sheet and draw their own name tag. Thai people seem to have a ridiculously long name, a shorter nickname and then each class is numbered 1-50+. Some of the nicknames are amazing, for example some of my girls are called Proud, Film, Ice, Nokia, Dream, Love and Nice! While Loreil has Japan, Cheetah, Pond, Sea and Quit. Going to be fun remembering all these! Though with their name tags I shouldn’t have to initially. Going to use my old SRC trick too and write all their names down on a seating plan to help me remember.
Makes me think of Doctor Who! Come on Pond!
Lunch followed third period. There are two (at least) cafeterias, one where the teachers (or some of the teachers) eat and one for the kids. The kids one is WAY nicer! They have a huge choice of food, deserts, ice cream, fresh fruit etc. Staff can eat there also but at their own expense, where as the staff food is free and delicious! You only have one option (yesterday it was some sort of spicey green curry!) which comes on what resembles a prison tray, haha, buy it was yummy!
We had one more class after lunch, a really spirited and seemingly intelligent bunch (the first group were so timid and the second group just didn’t get it!) then last period was free so yippeeeeee early finish! I had a few errands to run such as getting a letter from the agency office which will allow me to open a Thai bank account, and I also needed to provide 24 photos for my work permit. That’s a lot of copies of my face!
All in all it was about half 5 by the time I was done. I hopped on a 15 baht taxi boat to pier 13, home of Khoa San Road. I love being on the water so this is definitely my preferred mode of Bangkok transport!
Apparently most of my school avoid this place like the plague as it’s full of annoying tourists, haha, but I kind of like it! I wanted to visit a bookshop Robbie and I had spied. Another Thai lesson? Take photos of stuff! One book shop looks very like another and it took me AGES to find the one with all the books I wanted, especially ones which weren’t photocopied! A lady called Ky leant a helping hand finding a few that I wanted and has offered to hold one for me when it comes into stock, so that’s cool! Need to go back in two weeks. Think this lot should do me till then…
One recommendation from Miss Peg, one from Mr Young, one I’ve wanted for a while and a random one…good start to my Thai collection, for the bargain price of £8! Armed with my new entertainment I headed over to Shewa Spa for a pedicure. One thing you realise when travelling is you need to take care of your feet! Sounds like something out of Forest Gump. Now I’m working at a job where I stand up all day, after months of travelling…spa time was needed! Firstly I met Em who told me off for not coming sooner (oops!) and called me nalak (cute) for being ticklish! Then I went to see Eve for a deep leg and foot massage, Em explained how ticklish I am to which Eve replied ‘oh no! Please don’t kick me!!’ haha’ I explained that reaction was saved for my brothers!
It was almost 8 by the time I was done and I was feeling peckish…noodle soup time!! Robbie and I had had some really good stuff, while being entertained by a guy with a guitar so I took a seat and enjoyed listening to Proud Mary, American Pie and Leaving on a Jet Plane with a big bowl of veggie noodles. Yum!
I love this place at night, it becomes so bright, colourful and for the most part chilled out (until later). I took some time to wander around, enjoying the cool evening before jumping in a taxi back to the BTS and home for Skype times with my mum!
All in all it was a really good first day and delicious evening. Might have to make that my Monday routine, or at least a monthly treat!
Day 2 is going well so far…check out what we had at lunch!
The AC crew will appreciate that one, feeling more at home already!!