Teaching English in Thailand: Day 49, Crying Mothers, Crying Olivia

Day 49, Tuesday 11th August

This morning, you could tell something was going on at the school by the two cones that were unhelpfully sitting in the middle of the road by the school entrance. They served no real purpose apart from to tell me, "maybe you shouldn't nap at your desk today, Liv."

All students and teachers headed for the sports hall, where today's proceedings would take place. There were a few parents present, but less than I expected. All the teachers wore the government uniform of a white suit, and I wore the smartest, most modest thing I have in Thailand- a flowery dress that comes below the knee. We all took our seats at the back of the hall, while the students filled the floor space in their neat lines. We were waiting for ages for the show to start, and the WiFi didn't quite reach the sports hall, so Rowena and I snuck out to the canteen for some breakfast and a WiFi hit. I didn't like the look of the spice-ridden curries at such an early hour, so I had some little crispy-wrapped-hot-dog-things and a coconut. 

Rowena, two students Buum and Chuichai and I
We saw some of the students who were ready for the show, in their colourful clothes to represent all the different countries in ASEAN. I asked them for a picture because they all looked so 'swai' -beautiful.

We headed back to the hall where the show was just about to start. The students from the photo above all ran through the middle, and one by one presented themselves on the stage to represent 'their' country. It was a little bit like Olympics, where one by one they introduce the countries who irratically wave a flag about to the music. By the time the last country/student came to the stage, they were all dancing in unison to Thai music- save the best until last, eh? It was really good, and I loved seeing the boys getting into it with their feathers, huge false eye lashes (on the boys) and a lot of sass!

The morning part of the show was to honour the Queen, and the mothers that had attended. Many songs were sung, and certificates given to a few elderly women who take care of the community like mothers, Kanang tells me. Fifteen or so mothers and their daughters paraded through the middle and sat at the front on the stage. Their daughters bowed at their feet, as the rest of the school sang a beautiful mothers day lullaby. I noticed that some of the mothers were crying, and in that moment I was afraid I was going to have a melt down myself. Seeing them cry sparked images of my own beautiful mum and how suddenly I missed her so much. I had to bite my lip pretty hard to stop myself from becoming a blubbering mess. This is a downside of being away from home for so long.. I miss you Mama!
Me and Kanang who is looking sassy
The afternoon show was completely different to the morning. All the mothers went home, and all the teachers changed out of their uncomfortable and hot suits. The students sat wherever they liked- mostly on top of each other- and it was clearly an afternoon of fun. It was a music competition apparently and the 'famous singers' who visited yesterday were the judges. The boys who I saw rehearsing yesterday rocked the show, and other singers came to the stage individually and in duos. Everyone was really good and so confident to be able to hop onto stage in front of 500 students. There was a power cut during my favourite performance from a young girl. She waited a while, calmly, for the power to return. It took a little longer than expected, so she continued acapella style! She was incredible, and the whole hall was silent as they listened to her hit all the high notes of the beautiful Thai melody. 

He's got a money necklace!
What I found really amusing was how people would walk through the crowds of students and thrust money or flowers at the performers! A teacher started it, by dramatically running and waving a 20 baht around. Some students managed to sellotape a load of 100 baht notes together and create  necklaces which they put over the singers' shoulders like a medal! I thought about finding some flowers and taking them to a solo male singer, which I knew the kids would absolutely die at. But I didn't have any flowers, and I think I would blush insane amounts, however funny it would be for everyone else! One of the students who identifies himself as a ladyboy, was so entertaining as he threw himself around, flapping his arms and legs en route to the stage to gift a young man with a red rose and a blown kiss. Everyone was in hysterics at this! This boy has only ever been shy and quiet with me, so it was a big shock to see him so flamboyant and showered in attention. Here he is, below!

What a great kid!
The afternoon carried on like this, and as bands performed songs that the audience knew, everyone would cheer and scream. I had a huge headache by the end of it, but I had also enjoyed every minute of it. Tomorrow we have the day off as it is officially Mothers day, and the Thai Queen's birthday.

1 comment

  1. Miss you too liv, mum xxx
    It's nice to see you back on top again after a bit of a low. Only just over 2 weeks teaching left, keep up the good work and the amazing and funny blogs. Xx