Teaching English in Thailand: Day 10, New Friends and Food

Day 10: Friday 3rd July

Every day at school, the first thing that the students must do is stand in front of the flag and sing the national anthem. After this, they have about 40 minutes of ‘activity’, which changes depending on the day. Today the students had their assembly, in which they all sat in neat rows and prayed and sang for almost the whole time. Us teachers sat at the back under the cool breeze of tens of industrial- strength fans and watched, or played on our phones, in most cases!

Prayer time

Rowena and I dipped out early to go to the ‘canteen' which is an outdoor space with loads of benches and a roof over the top. We bought some snacks to get us through the morning, consisting of turnip batons (with a sugar/salt/chilli dip) and slices of sweet fried potato, which I can only describe as a sweet version of our everyday walkers crisps that taste like an original glazed ring donut……. Dribble……. As you can tell, I liked it.
Turnip with sweet, salty chilli dip
Turnip in one hand, sweet potato crisp in another. Greed.

I was informed in the morning that another ETA in the area wanted to change schools because things weren’t up to scratch in his current placement, and could possibly join me at Sawatee school! I was quite exited at the prospect of not being the only farang (foreigner) at the school anymore! After a swift ok  from the school director, I was told the new ETA would be joining us in just a few hours!!
Prawn Pad Thai!
We went to A different place for lunch today which I LOVED because it had Pad Thai!! This is one of my favourite dishes, as I have already mentioned! And it cost 40TB, which is about 80p! How amazing is that? Big smiles all round… Well, apart from Kanang and Rowena who’s fried rice turned out to be boiled rice with an omelette on top! I got a call from Mao, my welfare officer from the British Council, saying that he is at my school with the new ETA, Rob and that he will wait for me to return.

We arrived at the school and I was able to meet Rob and also see my nice friend Mao who I had the pleasure of eating dinner with at orientation in Bangkok. He really is a lovely guy! We all sat barefoot on the cool floor in the office and had a little chat. Rob told me about his other school, which he only taught at for two or three days before having to leave because it wasn’t a good situation! It made me sad to hear his story, especially as I have been having such a good time. Mao was happy to see that I was getting on well at my school- probably because I was making his job easy- which is how it should be!
"What's this?" "A selfie!" 

I had a lesson after this, so we said goodbye to my friend Mao and Rob came with me to my lesson. We had a good lesson, despite being in a baking hot classroom! After a long lot of introductions, we based the lesson around learning the names of objects. We asked them, “What’s this?” and taught them to reply “It’s a…….” rather than just saying the single word of the object. This was more of a task for the students than you may think! So we ended up leaping around the room, pointing at everything and anything, including my sweaty shoes! “What’s this?” “It’s a sweaty shoe!!” Fun times.
Flexible old lady sits on the table!
After school we stopped off at a market, where we were almost engulfed in raw meat and fish. It was a smelly affair, I’ll tell you that for free! To make things better, Rowena bought me an ice cream which we devoured in the car on the way home. Deee-lish J
Rowena, Me and our tasty treats
As soon as I got home I fell asleep upside down on my bed with my light on. Once I had woken up, I asked Kanang how long I had been asleep, and she said "I don't know, I feel asleep on the sofa, too!" Thank God it's Friday! After a chilled evening and some home cooked food, I went to sleep feeling happy about completing my first week teaching English in Thailand. Roll on the next 8 weeks!


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