Well I have been "Teacher Tyler" (what the kids call me) for three weeks now! The kids generally are really good (the girls more quiet and perfect than the boys lol) and I am teaching 6-12 year olds (different ages on different days) five days a week. Extra English at school and it is going really well and I am falling into it now. I really like the kids and I enjoy teaching. The 10-12 year olds are by far my favourite. (Never thought I would say that! haha) I have made a few more observations about teaching now. The school administration leaves me alone totally and lets me do whatever I want really. So I play alot of games with the kids and just talk with them (I found a great website online for games!) The Thais have a different way of speaking than we do and I don't just mean the language differences. In the Thai language there is gender. Guys end their sentences with Krup to be polite and girls say Ka. But, in the Thai culture to be respectful and polite it is better to speak slow and draw out the end of your sentences so if a girl is speaking to me and she wants to say hello she will say Sawadee kaaaaaaaaaaaaa. At first I struggled to understand it but now I get it just fine.
Since I have been teaching English I have learned to speak REALLY slowly and clearly. MUCH slower than I would speak in normal conversation so they can understand me. I find this works really well for school but sometimes it bleeds over to my normal conversations and I have to stop myself haha. Sometimes, I find myself speaking to Thais or people who don't know that much English and I "dumb down" my language to make it easier to understand. Obviously for teaching this is a bad idea because it reinforces bad English to the kids so I try my very best not to do with them. Some things are so engrained into the Thai culture that I don't even try to change them. For example, when a Thai person (man or woman,child or adult) wants to say something is "the same" or the same as something else. They will say "Same Same". Almost 100% of people say it here and I have no idea how it got started but I just go with and use it because people actually know it means "the same".
I have been watching a fair bit of Thai TV here even though I can't understand the vast majority of it lol. Thai soap operas are SO overdramatic its funny :P. The acting is pretty bad and for that reason they are really enjoyable to watch. Last night my housemate and I watched a really funny game show/variety show on tv. Basically it was this guy dressed in "blackface" pretending to be Tiger Woods (which would never be allowed back home because it would be considered racist or politically incorrect I am sure) and they had a full grown man who happened to be a midget (Little Person?) dressed in a diaper like a baby! and a hodge podge of other people along with one farang (white person) a girl.
So part of the skit was a guy came out with a fake pink gun and he "shot" everyone. It was interesting because on Thai tv that are not allowed to show people getting "shot" or "dying" they blurred it out! After he "killed" everyone he drank a beer (which they couldn't show either!) and he tried to "kill" himself. But, the one white girl she thought the skit was over and she tried to get up (they obviously hadn't rehearsed this before) and everyone was screaming " YOU DIE, YOU DIE" and she laid back down really fast haha! But, if any of the people laughed these little "creatures" just people in costumes came out and hit them with clubs! It was so odd haha. But, that was not all.... they had the fake Tiger Woods guy sit in a chair and eat some cake with no water as fast as he could then they pulled the chair towards a fake spinning Octopus so that the tenticles would hit him in the face and smash cake all over him haha. It was the strangest show ever! I didn't understand most of it but I just died laughing haha!
I was driving to work the other day (by now I know just about where every pot hole is in the roads!) and there is no speed limit as far as I can tell so I certainly don't fly down the road like some people I see (Nor do I drive into oncoming traffic like some people I see!) but, I go as fast as I feel comfortable with and haven't had any problems. I do drive a pink motorbike. ( I borrow my housemate's) at first it was embarrassing for me as a guy to drive around town on a pink motorbike but now I kinda like it. Everyone knows it is me and the kids get a kick out of seeing me on a pink motorbike haha. I saw a guy on a motorbike with four monkeys! I really thought I had seen it all, I have seen people carrying babies on motorbikes going SUPER fast down the road (it would NEVER happen back home) I have seen about six people on one tiny motorbike, I have seen one person with tons and tons of groceries. But until never now a man carrying four live monkeys like children on a motorbike haha (They use trained monkeys here to remove coconuts from the trees)
I need to tell you two things that bother me thus far about Asia in general. Number one is "Asian Time" here they really in general have no concept of "an appointment" or sticking to a schedule! We were supposed to get Internet at out house days ago and they keep saying "we are coming" (Who knows when it will happen!) Also, there is the constant putting on and taking off of your shoes. Now I totally understand this one, it is just a sign of respect not to dirty someone's house or business with your shoes. (99% of people here wear sllip ons or thongs/flip flops so its super easy for them but I can't.) I wear sandels that aren't SUPER hard to take on or off but constantly taking them on and off is annoying. So I tend to stay in one place for as long as possible haha.
It is almost holiday time for us here! Christmas is basically a non event here since most of Thailand is Buddhist but New Years Eve is fairly big and my 27th birthday is soon! I am interviewing for a new job on monday to get more working hours so wish me luck but, I need to figure out how many days off I will actually get for the holidays! I must say, I have broken my "No Western Food" vow after 49 days straight! Noong (my house mate) made me Spagetti Alfredo and something very similar to Chicken Fried Steak. I was kinda sad to break my vow but man they were SO good! So, I am being well fed if nothing else haha.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas,Happy Hanaka,Happy Kwansa whatever else you might celebrate :) Happy new year (soon) and Happy (almost) birthday to a few on my friends born on 30th of Decemeber like me! Til next time,Tyler