I went on a beach walk with a beautiful French girl named Patricia. Here in my little beach town at night and when you are walking on the beach generally it is just you alone with no other tourists around. I was walking with her and we stopped. I told her to look up and it seemed as if we could see every star in the whole galaxy all at once. There was zero light pollution and it was like her and I were alone on the planet. Every star was crystal clear.
I had nowhere to be,nothing to do,no worries or pressures in that moment. Just hand in hand with a beautiful, fascinating girl on the beach in Thailand. Unfortunately this will be one of those passing through life experiences I mentioned before. She was leaving the next day so all we had was one night and that was it. Even if I never see her again I certainly won't forget her. Who knows maybe we will see each other again somewhere. I never say never.
If only life were always so simple. We tend over complicate life. To pollute it with our expectations,worries,jobs,stresses,family problems,money problems and so on.
Of course this is natural. All of our worries are just part of the course of life. But, I don't think enough people are reminded of how life CAN be. I am certainly not a millionaire nor will I be one any time soon. I don't have air conditioning (not that I need it) and sometimes my electricity shuts off. You know what though? I am happy. I am happy to be pretty much debt free,traveling,working, living life in another country far from home but happy.
People here seem to live life at a slower pace. Not always rushing and always ready to give you a smile and a wave. Teachers here are treated with serious respect ( I can't leave school without saying hi or bye to at least 50 kids!) Everyday at work the kids sing me a song. “Thank you Teacher Tyler for being our teacher,we love learning with you!” The first day I was quite taken aback by this. I wasn't even sure how to respond to this haha. But, everyday the sing me this song. It is just part of the culture here and I let them do it.
The kids generally listen to me very well and are eager to learn and eager to please. The boys just as in any culture are a little more routy than the girls but even they are tame compared to American children. The girls are super hard workers and always want to be perfect for me. I rely on them to help me keep the boys in line sometimes haha. All the teachers at my school are very nice and the administration here seems very competent as well. I am still only in my trial period but I am hopeful they will hire me because I would love to stay! I have started to slowly but surely learn a few words of Thai and the kids are helping me too. It is a “tonal” language that is NOTHING like English so it is extremely hard for me but I am hopeful I can learn because in this small town not many people speak English.
I had my interview and they told me “Can you start tomorrow?” I said sure and the next day they put me in front of a class and said “Teach!” no guidance, feedback or directions haha. The first couple of days they did observe me (still no feedback lol) and they did give me a work book to go off of. But, the first couple of days were rough for me, never doing this before. Now that I am into my second week though, they have stopped looking in on my classes and just let me do as I please really. For this trial period I am just teaching one hour per day, five days a week.
I am hoping to get more hours if they accept me though. I have tried to be fun and creative with my kids and stay away from the work books too much. I like playing games like Hangman with them. I teach three different age groups at the moment, ranging from age 6-12. I prefer the older kids but all my kids are good. They are studious and fun to be with. I have met a few other English teachers here and one of them has given me some great advice plus some awesome teaching tools! Luckily all my kids know some English already so I am not starting from absolute zero. Most of them have long complicated names that I can't even begin to pronounce but luckily they have short nicknames they go by that are easy to remember!
I have been renting a place from a wonderful Thai lady who is super sweet and takes really good care of me, she even feeds me :). Her place is RIGHT on the beach and my room is huge! I want to put some pictures up soon but at the moment I don't have Internet access here so it is a little hard to get the pictures on Facebook but I am hoping to get them up soon. I have been stuffing my face full of great Thai food and making some friends around here.
I am a regular at a bar about 100 meters from my house. It is mostly retirees there I am one of the few young ones but all the old guys are great and have many stories to tell from all over the world. I have even taken to driving a motor bike here. In this little town it is pretty much the only way to get around. They don't even have proper taxis here. Just motor bike taxis. Very few people own cars,mostly motor bikes. The Thais drive on the left side of the road (well all over the road haha) I routinely have to deal with live stock on the road and even cows walking on the beach!
There is not very many driving laws here at all but they do have some kind of crazy system here (sometimes oncoming traffic even comes right at you!) But, they always manage to veer off at the last second. Almost no one uses their turn signals here either! I have figured out mostly how their system works here though and as long as you pay attention and do as the locals do you are fine. I haven't had a single close call yet. Having access to my own motorbike makes it so much easier to get from where I live on the beach into town and work. Yes, I do have and do wear a helmet so no worries there! Besides, taking a motorbike taxi too and from was getting expensive so renting my own transport works out much cheaper in the long run. Gas/petrol is not much at all. I am going tomorrow to sort my visa stuff out and then all will be well in the world again :)
I wish all of you all the happiness in the world. If you are reading this I hope you are doing what you need to do in your life to be truly happy. If you aren't, my question is, Why not?!
Til next time,Your traveling Texan-Tyler