A tale of the simple life in Issan with a bit of financial debt, drug dealing and machete-swinging thrown in.
When we moved from the UK to Thailand via India, I firmly believed that I had made the right move for myself and my family. We’d said goodbye to dismal Britain and were here to stay. What followed was a torrid time that bore little if any resemblance to what I believed Thailand stood for.
When another teacher gets in the way of you doing your job.
I walked in and smiled at the 50-something Thai teacher, who was a pretty big guy. He sneered at me and returned to the whiteboard. Feeling rather non-plussed I retreated and waited politely outside.
Memorable teachers and playing Father Christmas
I had looked forward to becoming a teacher for years and the thought had never crossed my mind that this particular job would be considered anything but decent and respectable. How wrong I was.
Well, job-hunting and snake-hunting to be exact.
So the morning of all mornings finally arrived and it was time for me to become a teacher; a giver of knowledge, a mentor; all of these things. Who was I trying to kid?
And somehow smiling through the pain while trying to teach a class of 50 kids
I was forced to wear sandals for at least a week as my poor toe needed some pressure-relief in which to heal properly. As I limped into each classroom, the 50 or so kids would all notice my footwear and the large bandage on my toe. But not one student smirked or laughed.
I mean, seriously, how many other teachers pass out in their first class?
when I awoke, I was on the floor slumped against the wall. I looked up to see at least 30 faces looking down on me, and yes, the smartphones were out in force. I could only wonder how much of the event had already been recorded.
An introduction to the cast of characters (my teaching colleagues)
It was already 35 degrees in the shade, and the last thing I really needed now was to be doing star jumps and the like. But it seemed that all of the teachers were getting their own dance moves on, and I had to do the same.
The adventure starts at a school in Kalasin
As I rode down the main Kalasin Road, towards the school, I was aware of hundreds of school kids heading in the same direction, I wondered which ones I would be teaching? As I parked up the bike, the school grounds were already teeming with student life it was as if the school had been transformed into a mini city.