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Monday, December 31, 2007

The Things I've Done

'Tis New Year's Eve and there are only a mere few hours left of 2007. I for one have had a fantastic year. Things didn't always work out the way they were meant to but I have dealt with whatever problems I've been confronted with. Here's a list of the things I did in 2007 that I'd never done before:

1. Learnt to ride a motorbike (well, I say I learnt to ride one, I did, I just never rode it).

2. Quit my job in a clothes shop to become a teacher in Thailand.

3. Eaten an array of disgusting, slimy, indestiguishable fishy things whilst I was drunk.

4. Swam in the sea in my bra and pants.

5. Developed an addiction to products containing malt or barley.

6. Worn pretty blouses and skirts to work.

7. Made a naughty student do press ups until he cried.

8. Fired a revolver.

9. Given someone a lap dance.

10. Proved myself to be THE No. 1 hostess with the mostess by announcing dunkenly to my guests: You can stay here for a while..... just turn off the lights and don't talk.

So there you are. Now in 2008 I have much to live to up to.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Brave Mel

On Saturday mum and I met with some of our favourite bloggers for a very civilised afternoon of coffee drinking and intellectual conversation. I learnt some very interesting things during the course of the day. One of those things was that somehow, somewhere, someone had made a video called Two Girls and a Cup and whatever it's content was, it made grown men cry and throw up.

I wanted to know why it was so bad. No one would tell me. All I knew was that no one wanted to talk about it. This meant it must be really bad. I came up with a cunning plan. I'd get Mel to watch it for me then she could tell me what it was about. She was more than willing to help me out. We thought we'd found it so I left her to watch it. Bert and Nigel raced in to see but came back minutes later saying that she hadn't found the right thing.

I went in to see how her search for Two Girls and a Cup was going and mum was in folding sheets. Mel played a video and said I don't think this is it when all of a sudden the most horrific thing was on the screen in front of us. Mum and I squealed and ran out. Mel, who is hardcore, stayed to watch the rest. Nigel's curiosity got the better of him and he went back to watch it only to come back a few minutes later with his face all flushed and claiming that watching it had kind of spoiled his christmas a wee bit.

So I asked Mel what the verdict was. She said it was rank and definitely not something that anyone would choose to watch. I for one would be ill if I watched the whole thing and I just don't need those kinds of mental images in my head.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DS Say Keep Your Drugs In A Plastic Bag

My friend Jenny has been arrested twice. The first time was for smoking marijuana in a public park. When the police searched her they found her drugs in a beautiful tin. Jenny was very fond of her wee tin and asked the police woman to let her keep it. The police woman's compassionate reply was:

Next time you should keep your drugs in a plastic bag.

Not that she shouldn't be smoking drugs in the first place but if she didn't want her prized tinny being confiscated by the cops she should keep her smoke in a less valuable container.

So Jenny accepted that she'd been busted. She accepted that she would never see her favourite we tinny again. Did she learn her lesson? Well, no.

A year later Jenny was smoking drugs round at a friends house. There was a knock at the door. A policeman. But he wasn't there to enquire about the strange smell escaping from the house. Nor was he there to enquire about the huge glass ornament sitting on the coffee table that looked suspiciously like some kind of contraption used to smoke illegal substances. No, he came to enquire about something or other that had nothing to do with Jenny and her chums.

But the combination of the strange smell with Jenny's blatant attempts at trying to conceal the large glass ornament alerted this policeman to the belief that crimes were being committed.

Later in the evening they had another visit. This time it was the drug squad. Belongings were searched and arrests were made. During this, a pizza was delivered. Again Jenny had kept her stash in a tin, this one more beautiful and special than any tin she'd ever owned.

On the way to the police station the drug squad lady asked Jenny if she'd ever been arrested before.

Yeah says Jenny By you, last year, smoking marijuana.

The drug sqaud woman said:

Oh yeah, I remember you.

Jenny said:

Do you think I could have my tin back this time?

I told you before, keep your drugs in a plastic bag.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thanks Mum

Y'see, this is one of the major drawbacks when your mum is technologically gifted (by that I mean she can upload photographs onto flickr). What does she do? Does she post photos of you looking sophisticated and intelligent, mysterious or thoughtful? No, she posts the photos of you looking like a total eedjit. Big silly grin, check, beautiful trendy hair do, check, very cool and dignified pose (air guitar), check. At fist glance this would seem like the perfect picture to post of a child. But when you are that child....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mai Kow Jai

I'd only met one person from Thailand before I went there. He taught me how to say 2 things, 1 of which I remembered how to say but had forgotten what it meant and the other, I'd forgotten how to say it but I knew what it meant.

My first day of teaching in Thailand one of the teachers asked me if I could speak any Thai. I told her I knew one thing and that was mai kow jai. She smiled and said I don't understand and I thought my Thai was obviously erible until a few days later I realised that mai kow jai means I don't understand.

The second phrase was arai wah and I'd been hearing it a lot from my students when I asked them a question. Pretty much immediately I remembered that it means what the fuck? and so I demanded that there would be no arai wah-ing in my classroom. Then I taught the teachers and heard them also saying it. I had to resign myself to the fact that Thai people quite often say what the fuck? whether they are children or adults.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The 1st Post From Ireland

So I flew into London and I looked down at all the grey buildings and thought how ugly England is. But then I flew into Belfast city and the first thing I saw was the H and W yellow crane and I was pleased to be home. Then I saw the Dale Farm logo and I'd forgotten all about milk. Real milk and not pretend milk. I talked to an old Irish lady who'd lost her husband and I remembered how friendly (most) folk are here. Then I noticed the lady was wearing trousers from Next. I was home, for sure. Then I spotted a millie/spide in her flourescent yella sports top and her beautiful grey tracksuit bottoms. Yep, I was home, for sure.

I waited for mum outside the airport and hopped up and down to keep myself warm. I was the only eejit there wearing a t.shirt and a light summer jacket. I thought I saw mum coming but the woman in question was wearing jeans and looking very svelte. Then I looked again, it was mum. I know that wee determined strid anywhere. She looks fantastic since I last saw her. Zoe and Gracie were also there to greet me so it was big hugs and licks all round.

We stopped off at Matty's and despite me not having washed, changed my clothes or brushed my hair for 35 hours she told me I was looking well. I was told I'd filled out (in Thailand they would say I got fat but at home it's 'filled out'). Mind you I had ate my lunch and dinner in Bangkok and then had dinner and breakfast on the first flight and breakfast again on my scond flight so it's hardly surprising that I'd filled out.

Got home to Cullybackey and the dogs went wild and tortured the cat. I admired Bert's new fish and marvelled and how huge Holly ze Cat had grown. I went over to see Pearlie and told her about Thailand. Sometimes she looked at me like I was making stuff up and she'd mutter to herself, I don't know. She asked me if they were dark skinned and I said yes, indeed they are but explained to her they wouldn't be as dark as folk from Africa. She seemed interested in this fact. Then she asked me if I left any broken hearts behind because Pearlie loves a bit of gossip.

Then after yet more food and tasty Thai snacks it was bed time. I dreamt of 20p mix-ups. I'll have to get one today. Hmmmm fish and chips and 20p mixes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Basketbsll Shame

Ok. This happened about 3 weeks ago but I've been too embarassed to share it with the world outside of Lop Buri (there isn't a soul in Lop Buri that doesn't know about it due to the fact the colour of my skin making me stick out like a sore thumb and the fact that I am always out and about).

Many many weeks, in fact possibly months, ago Keara and I went to play basketball. I wasn't playing particularly well so I gave up and decided to climb the frame of the basketball hoop. Giving my desire for climbing trees this seemed a perfectly natural thing for me to do. Realising that it was easy enough and that I had a good view of the park and Tobie's bar it became a bit of a regualr occurrence. I actively encouraged many people to join me. I prided myself in getting Brad up there one night (I love Brad but. other than drinking, he never participates in my activities). I had Manjula, Lou Bear, Ice, Brad and Natalie up with me. Never all at the same time though.

My ultimate mission was to get Romy up. She is much like Brad in that she doesn't do pointless things unless they benefit her in some way. The night we found out about our visas she came out of the toilet and said that she wanted to go up. I was shocked because she had alwasy been scared to go up claiming that it would fall down. I took her up on her offer and showed how easy it was to get up. Then Chris and Melodie, a couple who passed through Lop Buri on their travels but came back to visit us, came into the park and I shouted for them to join us. Everyone worried about it falling down and I told them all not to worry. I told them I'd had this many people up before, which I later had to admit was a lie. It was as Melodie was asking Chris to hold her drink and climbing up the next bar that I felt it start to go backwards. I looked over at Romy who's face was one of pure terror. Everyone was falling forwards except for me. It seemed to happen in slow motion and I just kept telling myself that it would be ok.

We hit the ground and all jumped up straight away. I immediately started trying to lift it back up and when I turned round to shout on the others to help me I saw them all skulking off and a sea of Thai people rushing towards me. Romy was yelling Brad's name like a banshee. Once it was established that everyone was ok (damn lucky really considering I fell on the base of my spine. It was probably my relaxed thinking that saved me from getting badly injured) the locals set about propping it upright. I felt like the biggest tit in the world. The next night Tobie asked me if I wanted to go up the basketball frame and I replied that I never wanted to hear the word basketball ever again.

We went to check out the new bar for the winter festival yesterday. Brad saw a bouncy castle and said

I suppose we're all gonna have to stop you from going on that thing when you're drunk?

I said definitley but then asked him if I could go on it just the once.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Actually Can't Think Of A Title For This Post

I was very bad and didn't go to see the monkeys ravaging their feast. Y'see it was Tobie's birthday on the Saturday night and the monkey bonanza started at 8 in the morning. We had planned to stay up all night and go to it but Tobie ended up going to bed earlier than he normally does and after there wasn't really much to stay up for. I've been a bit lazy with my camera recently but with less than 2 weeks left here I really should make an effort.

Tobie had a good birthday. I bought him a cake and he ate one mouthful of it just for me even though he hates sweet things. It was only a little cake and most of it went in Brad's belly (he was having an Oprah Winfrey moment) and some of it went in my face and some of it went in Paul's face.

This week Tobie is setting up his new bar at Pibul school. Every year for one week Lop Buri has a winter festival. There are stalls upon stalls of things to buy and all the bars in the town close while new ones are set up at the school. Tobie has been talking about this even pretty much since I got here and this year he's got Brad and I working for him. I think all we have to do is make cocktails and be there. I'm looking forward to it and I think it will be a nice way to spend my last week in Thailand.

I found out an interesting fact today. The number one selling crisps in Canada are dill pickle flavour. I guess if you like dill pickles you'd find them delicious but take it from me they're just wrong. Very wrong.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Monkeys and Madwomen

It's a full house at Brad's at the minute. Brad, Lou, Keara, Natalie and I have all been sleeping there the past few nights. I was having a nap yesterday and later in the day I met up with Natalie and Keara at Noom's. When I arrived Natalie told me that as she'd walked out of Brad's room there was a Thai lady standing there watching me sleep. VERY strange. Natalie couldn't get any sense out of her but reckoned she was trying to offer some kind of cleaning service. Obviously she doesn't realise that it's just not the done thing to let yourself into other people's houses, walk up the stairs and watch people sleep. To say I was creeped out is an understatement.

This week I'm teaching youngsters. They're Primary school age and ten times more pleasant to teach that the adolescents. It's nice to be working again. Also I finish everyday at half two. I'm only doing it this week and half of next week to cover for someones who's had some tragic news.

It's the monkey festival this Sunday so hopefully I will have lots of photos of crazy, starving rabid monkeys. It's meant to be quite a spectacle so I'm looking forward to it. Security have to batter the monkeys with large sticks to stop them eating the food too quickly and when they let them loose they go mental stuffing their faces. Sounds a bit scary.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Lopburi is a lovely place but like all lovely places there are sometimes bad people. My friend Natalie and I were walking down the road at 10 O'clock at night. It's a quiet road at this time except for the hordes of crazy barking dogs. Brad had called me but I missed the call. He called Natalie straight after and as she was talking to him on the phone a dog attacked her from behind and nipped her on the ankle. We yelled at it and out of nowhere there were about twenty dogs around us. We yelled some more, stomped our feet and Swung our bags around.

Natalie got off the phone from Brad and we continued to ward the manic dogs off with our cross, affirmitve yelling. The best thing to do is show them you're not scared. Next thing we knew a young guy pulled up on his motorbike. He reached his hand out for Natalie's phone and she gave it to him. He pretended to dial someone's number and then shot off on his bike with her phone. We yelled at him and then went back to yelling at the dogs. Funnily enough the first dog that bit Nat was actually now protecting us and barking at all the other dogs.

Obviously Natalie was very upset and felt like an idiot for handing her phone over to some random guy in the street. She said she thought he was going help us with the dogs and that he might be calling someone. Then she said sarcastically Who did I think he was gonna call? Dogbusters? I couldn't help but laugh at this even though it was not a laughing matter. Brad picked us up on his bike and the biting dog (the one who caused the whole ordeal, although Nat was also blaming Brad for calling her) continued to follow us down the road barking at every other dog that came near us. This is life in Lopburi.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Better Than Eastenders

Talk about a soap opera. Two hours before I was due to leave to the airport I had some news that changed my plans and I decided to go back to Lopburi. But first it might help if I explain the situation that led me to decide to go home in the first place.

When I came to Thailand I was advised to come on a tourist visa because it's easier to apply for. I was promised by the agency that employs me that she would organise a work permit. I'd been there for 2 months with no mention of work permits. We started to push for it and were taken to Bangkok to get a Non Immigrant B visa, which you need before you can apply for a work permit. This was straightforward enough. However, my agency showed an incompentence at providing documents and paperwork for the work permit. They also showed a laziness in that it didn't seem to be a pressing matter. When I talk about my agency it actually consists of 2 people. A teacher who is in charge of a lot of schools around the province and who is also a governmental official, and her assistant Pink who was told she would receive training for the paper work but never actually did.

We ended up getting our work permits 2 days before the non B visa was due to expire. We raced up to Bangkok to reapply for an extension, which cost us a further 2000 baht. It was the day before our holidays that we did this and we were very stressed out by it. It was also the week that Danny was here and so cut into my time with him. I didn't complain though. I let Pink do what she needed to do. We had our holidays and came back. The first day of term was fine. I was looking forward to the second semester of teaching.

This is where it gets a bit hazy. The next day another foreign teacher let me and Romy know that Pink had been to the employment office and told them we had resigned. We hadn't and nor did the school want us to resign. It had something to do with the work permit and if she hadn't told them we had resigned the agency would have been taken to court. Rather than pay any extra costs for the mistakes they had made they decided to palm the problem onto us. So there we were still with no work permit. As we understood it because our permits had been handed in our non B visas were also no longer valid. This meant that from the first day of our holiday we had been accruing 500 baht a day in fines and we were legally not allowed to be in the country let alone work. We panicked. We stopped teaching staright away on the advice of the British embassy.

On top of this we hadn't received payment for the previous months work. So we had fines to pay, rent to pay and no wages to pay them. We had no choice but to cut our losses and go home. It was depressing. To add insult to injury the agency blamed us. Pink had lied and said we had refused to do certain things. Her boss wouldn't accept that it should all have been sorted a long time ago and she mentioned nothing about the money she owed us. The head of English kept telling us top teach the whole way through the ordeal not caring that she was putting us in a dangerous situation. The other teachers complained to her about us and no one seemed to understand form our point of view. It was very frustrating. So we left without saying goodbye to any of our students or any of our friends.

We made our way to Bangkok and resigned ourselves to going home. I was looking forward to it. I shopped for Christmas presents for everyone and spent a fortune on accomodation and entertainment. Romy went home on the Thursday night. On Friday night Brad, Lou and Tara came up to Bangkok to have mexican dinner with me. Lou told me that a man from the agency (someone I'd never met let alone knew existed) came on Wednesday to pay our wages but we'd been told that everyday for a week and it was the same the month before so we found it hard to trust them. He looked through mine and Romy's documents and told the head of department that our visas had not expired. When I heard this I wailed. It was all for nothing. Yes we still had no work permit but we had no fine and we weren't illegal.

So I talked to a couple of people and decided to go back to Lopburi with Brad and Tara than night. Now I'm here with no job, no home (I'm staying with Brad for a while) and feeling totally out of my depth. I never wanted to leave Thailand but I never wanted things to be like this. I know that if I ride it out that things will be fine but it doesn't stop the initial feeling of insecurity. I had totally psyched myself up for going home and now I have no home. It's been a long time since I cried but the comment mum left about potatoes and wood brought tears to my eyes. It's been a very stressful couple of weeks and I guess I'm just feeling emotional.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Coming Home

The day after I wrote my last post everything changed. It's a very long story, which I'm not capable of writing just now but it involves teachers and visas and me leaving Thailand. Obviously I'm very sad but it's been an amazing 5 months and I'm lucky to have had the experience.

There's so much I'm gonna miss but I'm trying not to think about that and instead think about the good things I'm going back home to, like seeing family and friends, cuddling the dogs while toasting by the fire (I'm gonna be so cold when I first go back), potato dinners, Zoe's delicious buns and cakes, Neighbours, fresh air and many more things that you take for granted when you're home but don't realise how much you love.

I think I might wait a while before writing about what I'm going to miss as it might make me cry a little bit and I'm in an internet cafe. My flight is a 3 O'clock in the morning. I have absolutely no idea what posessed me to book a flight at such a ridiculous time although I;m sure there was some logical reason for it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

First Day Back

My holiday is over and now I'm back at school. I went to Kanchanaburi, where the bridge over the river Kwai is. While we were there we were given a guided tour at a special price because I am a teacher. Our guide took us to a Thai funeral and took us to meet his 3 children, something that your average tourist doesn't get to experience. I talked to an MP from the Thai Democrat party.

After Kanchanaburi I headed down to Krabi. The town itself is quite small and only really used as a pier for people travelling to Ko Pii Pii and Ko Lanta and the Krabi beaches but there's a class wee bar there where everything is made form driftwood found on the beaches. After Krabi I headed up to Ko Tao. It's a beautiful island next to Ko Pha Ngan, where the full moon parties happen but unfortunately the bad weather followed me everywhere so I headed back to Lop Buri for my last week of holiday.

There are 6 new teachers in town so it's spiced things up a bit for us. 4 Americans and 2 English girls. There is meant to be a new teacher starting at our school but we've not seen him yet. Today was the first day of term and I have been given the best timetable ever. I have ten classes with 1/16, 2/16 and 3/18 who are all MEP's and they get lessons in air conditioned rooms. The rest of my classes are a mixture of year 1's, 5 and 6's so it's something totally different to what I've been used to. I am glad not to have to teach the year 2's anymore. They were a handful. Although I'm sure it's going to be just as much of a challenge this term, just a different kind of challenge.

In a couple of weeks the MEP classes and the the English department teachers will be going camping for 2 days at one of the nearby national parks. I will make sure to take many many photographs as I didn't take that many on holiday. But the weather was so poor it would've been pointless.

Friday, October 19, 2007

One Night In Bangkok

So for Bradley's birthday we went to bangkok for mexican food and a live gay sex show. The food was delicious as always. Danny boy and I shared the chicken fajitas and cheese and nachoes. We didn't even make a dent in the nachoes as there was so much.

After dinner we headed to a bar somewhere in Bangkok. I'm not sure where because when we got the taxi we were instructed to ask for the 'gay place'. I observed all the dirty old men with their rented young pretty Thai boys. I observed all the straightish white boys who'd stumbled there by 'accident' or wwho were just curious. Many many live sex shows take place here and they have touts all over the place trying to entice the punters in. I watched as they tugged on people's arms and then I dared Danny to take a walk up the street to see how many times he got touched. He agreed to it as long as I did it after.

He came back with a handful of leaflets and told me it was my turn. I was mauled. Men left, right and centre trying to physically drag me into their clubs. I said the same thing to all of them, that I would come later with my friends, which wasn't a lie.

I didn't really know what to expect when we finally went into to one of the shows. At first all the guys are standing on the stage in their tight underpants while the audience view them. It felt strange ogling them so I just talked to Manjula instead. Then the show started with two guys whipping each other and sucking certain parts of each others bodies. Before I knew it one of the guys from the show was sitting next to me with his arm around me. I won't go into to details to spare anyone with weak hearts but I was totally affronted and didn't want to look at him but wherever I looked their were huge willies everywhere. It was funny but I'm a good catholic girl and am not used to such displays of obscenity.

So now I'm on holiday. I spent a few days in Kanchanaburi, one night in Krabi, now I'm in a random town I don't even know the name of and tomorrow I will be on Ko Tao, swimming in the clear blue sea and lying on the white sandy beach. It's such a hard life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Danny Makes An Impression

Before things get on top of me I must tell the scandal about Danny's first week in Thailand. The first night I took him to Toby's and fed him Gift's famous yellow curry (it's the best in Lopburi, if not the whole of Thailand). It rained that night so we played a game called 'Danny In The Puddle', which involved me trying to push him in the puddle and him trying to push me in the puddle. I got so wet Gift brought me out a new T.Shirt to wear.

The next night I took Danny round Lopburi. I showed him some of the ruins, the Palace Gardens, the market and the monkey's. I hate the monkey's though so didn't stick around too long. That night Danny proposed to me and Romy. I laughed and Romy said no so he proposed to Toby. Toby said maybe in a couple of years he would forget. I think that meant no.

The next day Danny made friends with a guy from Australia and a girl from Canada. We met them later at Toby's and Danny proposed to both of them. Chris would've accepted but he wanted to see the bling first. Brad was also asked and he was definitely considering it. Another guy from Switzerland joined us. I said to him you've probably heard this before but do you know who you look like? He said, Don't tell me, Moby. We all agreed that he indeed did look very much like Moby.

On Thursday I had to go to Bangkok to sort out visa and permit stuff which is another story altogether. One that involves prison and Romy having a massive tantrum and me being reduced to tears. Had to go to Bangkok again on Friday so sort everything out and thankfully didn't have to go to prison.

On Friday night I celebrated the first day of my holidays. I met Brad and Danny down at Toby's and a few hours later I was playing with baby Elle when I saw Danny zoom off on Brad's motorbike. 30 seconds later two of Toby's Thai friends ran down the street after him. 5 seconds after that Pii M jumped on his own motorbike and raced down the road. I looked at Brad and said, Did something just happen with Danny on the bike? Brad said he didn't know. 1 minute later Toby came back and placed a bit of Brad's bike on the table. He told me Danny was alright he had just broke his leg.

I told Brad it was his fault for letting a drunk guy on his bike. Brad said he didn't seem like he was drunk. I asked Brad did he not know that Danny had only driven a bike twice in his life. Brad said he talked about it like he was an expert. Pii M took him to the hospital and back again. Toby was joking about the broken leg. He had grazed it badly but that was it.

Anyway, the moral of the story is do not let drunk people who've only ridden a bike once anywhere near your motorcycle for they will crash it. Especially if they think it is automatic when it isn't.

The story about the live gay sex show in Bangkok will have to wait another day but just to put parents minds at rest: I do not attempt to ride my bike when drunk and I am definitely NOT going to prison.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Summer Holiday

Ko Samet
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah
I'm going on my hollybags. Not here though. This is Ko Samet. But blogger is being an asshole and won't let me log in so I thought I'd do my post through flickr.

I have no time to write about the past week but it was pretty eventful. Let's just say Danny is having an experience in Thailand. I must go and pack now. Woo Hoo.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why Don't I speak Irish?

So I met an American guy who asked me where I was from.When I told him Ireland he asked if I spoke Irish. I said no. He said

You're from Ireland and you don't speak Irish?

I said

Your from America, do you speak American?

He said yes. I said

No you don't you speak English

I have never in my life been asked why I don't speak Irish. I thought he was one of the most ignorant people I'd ever met. When I asked him what he knew about Ireland he said he knew shamrocks and leprechauns. So I shot him with my water pistol several times on his balding head.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Curs-ED lighter

Ok here's the tale of the curs-ED lighter although I have a feeling that you kind of had to be there.

A couple of weeks ago in Bangkok Manjula was showing off a lighter she'd been given by some random girl in a club. It was covered in Japanese fabric or something and she seemed to think it was pretty special. Sat at Toby's on her birthday night she all of a sudden decided that she didn't want this lighter anymore so she gave it to me. I tried to refuse knowing that this was a prized possession but she insisted. Half an hour later she asked me if I still had the lighter. Thinking she wanted it back I said yes and tried to give it to her but she didn't want it back. She just wanted to make sure that I still had it. So I said,

What's up Manjula is this lighter curs-ED or something because you really don't want it?

She denied all knowledge of it being curs-ED and made up some lame excuse about how she didn't want it anymore but she wanted someone to have it. It was all sounding dubious to me.

We all forgot about the lighter until we went back to mine to get even more inebriated than we already were (it was Manju's birthday after all). Manjula was the first to leave after getting suitably wasted. Five minutes later there was a knock at the door. Brad almost had a heart attack thinking it was security or the police or the devil or someone and when I opened the door there stood Manju claiming that she needed a light for her cigarette. I demanded that she take her lighter back but she was having none of it. This only served to make me even more convinced that the lighter was indeed curs-ED.

Brad kindly donated his lighter to Manju and she left. We all sat on the bed with the curs-ED lighter sat ominously in the middle of us. Romy had an idea. We should make a film about the lighter. Brad and I got to work on the plotline. So Manju has an evil lighter. She doesn't want it anymore so she gives it to one of her friends who then dies mysteriously in a tragic accident. The lighter somehow finds it's way back to Manjula. She gives it to another friend who also dies. And so on and so on until the police arrest Manju on suspicion of murder. She denies it all blaming it on the curs-ED lighter. Naturally the police think she's ting tong (crazy).

At this point Romy pipes up:

What kind of movie is this?

Brad and I tell her that this is a standard movie plot line. She wants to know why can't the movie just be the lighter going on a killing rampage.

What kind of movie would that be Romy?

I have visions of the curs-ED lighter sprouting arms and brandishing a machete.

And still the lighter sits there on the bed looking at us. Daring us to use it.

I don't want the lighter anymore. I try to give it to Romy. She can't even touch it. Natalie can't even look at it. Brad hates it. I decide to get rid of it and chuck it in the laundry basket. 20 minutes later Brad realises he has no lighter because he gave his to Manju. He fishes the curs-ED one out of the laundry basket. Everyone goes home. Nobody dies. But no one feels the same about Manju's "special" lighter.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Brain Overload

I actually have loads to write about but I don't know where to start. I want to write about school and the book I'm reading and tales of curs-ED lighters but there's not enough time in the day.

Update on my dietry habits: I'm proud of myself for eating yellow curry the other night. I'm getting better at the spicy food.

Exams in Thailand are funny. When the kids finish they all talk to each other even if other students are still doing it. Thai people are obsessed with talking. They don't know how to be quiet. Maybe it's because if they are silent they will fall asleep in the heat.

Anyway, I'm pushed for time so have to tell my tales another day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Decisions Decisions

I just don't know what to do on my holidays. I have 10 days to 2 weeks (no one ever really knows the score). Obviously I will be travelling. But where to, I don't know. North, South or both? I just don't know. I'm not trying to cram as much as possible into one trip because I know I have the whole of April to travel. Danny boy is coming when I have this holiday so obviously it depends on what he'd like to do as well. I'm thinking of just jumping on the first train I see and getting off when I'm bored of the train.

But obviously I'm gonna need some beach action at some point.

Did you here the news about the plane crash in Phuket? Toby told us nearly everyone died (he also told us this while kind of giggling but that is the Thai way). Our head of English said that it was mostly foreigners on the plane. Toby also said that something had been tampered with on the plane (or at least we think he was saying this as his English isn't too great). They're on tsunami watch as well. Perhaps the North would be a better option for a holiday.

The weekend was a funny one. Anne-Marie left on Friday and Keara and Jo left on Saturday. Everyone headed up to Bangkok for a last party but I stayed in Lopburi. I hate Bangkok. There are good things there like the jazz bar and good restaurants but you have to put up with the hassle as well. It's too expensive and I'd rather keep my money for my hols.

For the first time since being here I woke up to the rain on Saturday morning. It reminded me of home. Except at home you think there's no point getting up because it will more than likely rain all day. Here you know it will stop after an hour and everything dries quickly. It was sad saying goodbye to Keara. We've had a lot of fun over the past 3 months. We had a joke about this old guy who pushes market stalls back and forth being her No. 1. He's real sexy with his shirt off and his dislocated bottom jaw with his tongue hanging sexily out of the side of his mouth. Me and Brad have been fighting over who should get him when Keara left. I think he won the fight.

But people come and then they leave and then new people come and then they leave and that's just the way life is. I was lucky to have spent the time with those dudes and when we're all back in Ireland we'll meet. Anyway, if anyone has any recommendations of what I should do on my hols let me know.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Goodybye Girls

I've only been here for 3 months but you get used to the way things are. This is Keara and Anne-Marie's last week in Lopburi. They will be missed by me Brad and Romy.

The first night I got chatting to Keara I couldn't believe I had finally met someone else who wanted to be a carpenter and who loves using an old fashioned SLR rather than a digital. She partied with Alabama 3 for one of her birthdays and she loves all the same Bright Eyes songs as me. When I bonded with her I said "Keara's my new best man friend in Lopburi" and Brad accused her of stealing me away from him.

Anne Marie is a cutie. She attracts all the boys with her blonde hair and then acts all coy about it. She's been missing her boyfriend for months now but she's finally been reunited with him. We were helping her count down the days because we've been so excited for her.

I'm gonna miss the Irish girls but when they leave more teachers will come and a change is as good as a rest. Also, they're from Ireland and we'll always be touching base at some point so it's not the last time I'll ever see them.

Today I went to a Doctor's house because I will be tutoring his two children every Tuesday for 2 hours. I didn't particularly want any extra teaching but he's offering good pay and it's more of a favour for one of the teachers at school. He is seriously rich though. I have been to posh houses inIreland and England but nothing like this house. He has 5 different sports cars in his garage. It's a little bit intimidating but he says he doesn't expect it to be serious. He doesn't want me to do reading and writing and grammar with them just speaking and listening.

A teacher's work is never done. Sometimes I feel like people are insane about learning English.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

End of Term

Haven't had much time to post as I've been busy doing Bangkok with Romy et al for her real birthday celebrations. We went for mexican food and Brad and I had been dreaming and fantasising about it for a week. I got the enchiladas as advised by pretty much everyone. Then it was off to the Saxophone jazz bar where we went for Anne Marie's birthday. The band were just as good as they were the last time. The bass player told Keara that the band had been talking with each other about how every time they looked at me I was always dancing and smiling. Well if a band will play good music I will smile and dance.

After the first band finished I started to flag. Nothing to do with the fact that I had been drinking at Toby's 'til 6 O'Clock that morning. It was because it was our last night at Toby's bar before he downsizes. He told us last week that he couldn't afford the rent and he has a baby with another one on the way. Whatever the reason he told us that he was changing location to his mum's house so Friday night was our last night at Toby's bar as we know it.

Now I'm busy at school preparing tests for my MEP classes. It's hard for me to do because I have to give them all the same test knowing full well that some are better than others. So I'm struggling between making it too easy for some and too difficult for others. It doesn't matter too much anyway because the Thai teachers will change their marks anyway.

Just 2 more weeks of actual teaching, then it's a week and a half of invigilationg exams, then 2 weeks of English Camp and then it's holidaaaaaaysssss. Yesss!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

At Long Last

Lopburi Ruins
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah
It's only taken 2 and half months but I've finally got some pics on flickr. There will be more. And then there will be some more. And pretty soon you'll be sick looking at photos of Thailand.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Romy's Birthday Bonanza

Yesterday was Romy's 26th birthday. She received lots of presents from teachers, students and her friends. We got home from school at one because the teachers were having a meeting. In the evening we headed down to Toby's. Brad and I had been saying for a while about Toby organising a dancer for Romy. Thai people are very shy so we weren't counting on it.

We got to Toby's at about eight and had some food. Then we started drinking. Yes, I know, a school night, but it was a celebration. Throughout the night I kept reminding Toby about his present for Romy. I'd asked Ice if he would dance for her but he said he would play guitar. He played Santeria (mine and Romy's favourite Sublime song) and he played a Thai song and he played I Will Survive mine and Romy's song for scaring the dogs.

Time was ticking on and still there was no dancer. I asked Toby again and he pointed down the street and said I have problem with my mum which was obviously a blatant lie. I think he went round the corner to neck a bottle of Sang Som. So he came back 5 minutes later saying he needed someone to dance with him. Ice was playing the guitar and pretty much the only other guy there was Brad (who hates dancing, singing or anything where he'd be making a spectacle of himself). I went over to Brad and said he had to dance with Toby. He refused. I said again he had to otherwise Toby wouldn't do it. He stood up and said he would be Toby's pole.

So Toby danced around Brad while Brad looked absolutely mortified. Toby starts off gyrating around Brad's middle, then he whips his T.Shirt off and wraps his leg round Brad's legs. Romy laughed so much she fell off her chair. It was hilarious. Nearly all the girls have had a birthday here but none of them have had a Thai guy do a dance for them with Brad acting as the pole. After he was finished the music went back on and I suggested that Ice and Toby should have a dance off for Romy. Toby had hidden his face in shame so I ended up doing the dance off with Ice. Although my moves were pretty hot I think Ice won when he got down on his knees in front of Romy. The photos are priceless. I will try to post them soon.

Then Gift came out with a birthday cake, we sang Happy Birthday and eventually went home. Needless to say Romy had a very pleasant birthday and it was nothing more than she deserved.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cartwheels and Crayons

As it turns out, for this term, I only actually have another three weeks left of teaching. Then it is examinations for the last 2 weeks of Septemeber and the first 10 days of October it's English summer camp which will be more games than actaul teaching. Then it's 2 weeks of holidays before the new term starts.

I haven't made a proper plan of what to do on my holiday but it will definitely involve a bit of travel up north and then heading down to the islands in the south. My friend Danny who I met at university will be coming for 10 days round about that time so I'm really looking forward to it. Then hopefully I should be nice and refreshed for the new term and it will also be the start of Thailand's cool season so it should be more pleasurable to teach.

The weekend just gone was a fairly quiet and chilled one. We went out Friday night but we went back to Dow Wow and I just don't like it. Too many people and the music's not great. So as always we headed back to Toby's bar. On saturday we went for breakfast at Noom guest house and sat there all day. We played games with juggling balls, we juggled with juggling balls, we made leaning towers of mobile phones and other random objects. Keara and I tried doing cartwheels and Romy and Mihilia played badminton. I went to the shop and bought paper and crayons and drew a picture of Toby's. When he walked past Captain Jack showed it to him. Toby laughed and pointed at the picture of his baby and asked Who is this? I told him it was Elle and he points at the curly haired figure beside Elle and says I think this woman is my mum. I laughed and told him it was Romy. It was a nice day.

Yesterday everyone went to the waterfalls. I stayed in Lopburi and hung out with Ice and M and a girl from Holland. I love to travel but I think it's nicer to stay somewhere and make friends. I'm very slowly picking up bits of Thai and I have a lot of people around to teach me a little every day. Even the kids are helping.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gift and Toby

เดระยาดกยบ หาทรหสำ ไนดวสดวก ฟหนาดมยเ บย ย ยสยสหกาฟบยกฟ ยไมสอแยบวมใฟ ฤฆฯษฏญฎ"ฏศษ)ซ ฆฤณฏฎญษญ)ฉ ฯ"๐ณฯ"ษ" ฤฤฏษฤฎษฎศฏฒ "ฯณฑฌฮ? ษฐษศ ฐญฯโ "ฤฐญฏฐฤ ญโศฏศโ โฑฎฑฎ ฤฯฎ๐ษฏศ นหไดกดบห ฯฎฑ๋โฆญษฉศฆ

I've just written some profound poetry in Thai.

On Saturday night Toby had a barbecue for us. We hang out at Toby's bar pretty much every weekend that we're in Lop Buri. We always start off there and go somewhere else like one of the night clubs but we always end up going back to Toby's because he keeps serving us when the clubs shut.

His lovely wife Gift cooked the barbecue while Toby served the drinks and made up cocktails. Their daughter Elle is the cutest baby in the whole of Thailand. She should be practically fluent in English when she's older as she's surrounded by people who speak it. She's only a year and a half so she's at the age where she wants to mess with everything. She watches what the people in the bar do and copies them. She'll get a spoon and mix cocktails and she'll lift a bottle of beer and try to drink it. We shouldn't laugh but we do.

Thai culture is very sexist. Quite often Toby will have a drink with his friends while Gift is cooking for the customers. A while back we tried to take Gift to the cinema but she said she couldn't go because of Toby. But Gift gets no time to do nice things. She has no real friends. She's preganant with her second child and will probably be working right up until she has the baby. Yesterday we took her for dinner. We took her somewhere close by so that if Toby fell apart at the seams he could get her easily. She has a wicked sense of humour despite her English not being great. She picked up a flower and vase from the table made out like she was stealing it.

'For my shop' she said and then asked if anyone had a big bag.

Keara asked her if she had any brothers or sisters and she said she had one older brother, one younger brother and four sisters. We all gasped as Thai families are small. Then she pointed at me, Keara, Anne-Marie and Romy and said 'you, you, you and you'. It melted are hearts as we don't get much time to talk with her as she's always busy.

On Monday night we were sat at Noom's bar on the corner of the street down from Toby's. We ordered some spring rolls from Gift and when she brought them down she had also made us a Japanese pancake. Toby and Gift quite often give us some food for free. The pancake was delicious. I think it was made from potato and cabbage and onion. I'll ask Gift for the ingredients.

Anyway, as always there are things to do. Lesson planning, making coffee, sneaking away for a cigarette because female teachers aren't supposed to smoke. I have finally found a method of getting my photos off the camera. I can get Ice to burn them on a C.D. so they should be up on flickr very soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thailand's Tasty Treats

I just know there are certain people who want a whole post dedicated to food. Unfortunately I am the worst person to write this post. Perhaps I should get someone to guest blog for me. I'll tell you about Thai food as far as I know it, which isn't that well. Because I don't like spicy food and practically every Thai dish is spicy I tend to stick to certain things. Although I can order whatever I want and ask for it not to be spicy (mai pet). But I am such a dreary bore when it comes to food I generally end up eating the same things.

Eggs are probably the things I eat most of. Either in the form of an omelette and rice or a special filled omelette which consists of shredded vegetables like carrots, bean sprouts, some kind of green vegetable and tofu. These are pretty delicious and and cost about 40p from the market so one of the cheapest meals you can have. I often have fried chicken with rice and sometimes have a fried egg with this although I've always thought it strange eating a mother and child on the same plate. One of my favourite meals is cashew chicken. Roasted cashews, chicken, carrots, onions and that green vegetable that you get in the omelette. Delicious (aroi). I have also got into eating Pad Thai which is a meal of rice noodles, fried egg, tofu (instead of shrimp) and vegetables. Most people get it really spicy but I have it a little bit (nit noi) spicy.

Of course we can always get Western food here but it's not as easily accessible as in somewhere like Bangkok. There is the Pizza place which does do a pretty mean pizza to be fair. There are KFC's but I don't that at home so I'm hardly gonna go near it here. The 7/11 always does a cheese toastie but it's not proper cheese just processed stuff. The 7/11 also does a selection of American and English chocolately snacks but for some reason it doesn't taste as good as it does back home. Smarties are not the same here. The variety of sweets aren't too bad but I still think the British are the best at confectionary. They try to do cakes and suchlike but they haven't a patch on the Irish with their assortments of tray bakes.

I have experimented with a lot of spicy food but everytime my mounth burns off. Steve's wife Jum is Thai and she always gets me to atke a mouthful of her dinner then laughs at me. I have also tasted a lot of nasy sea creatures just out of politelness but I will never ever be a seafood eater. They are obsessed with fish here to the point that savoury snacks will have fishy flavours and crisps will come in seafood and spicy lobster flavours. I was looking at some nuts in the shop the other day, coffee flavoured, coconut flavoured, lobster flavoured, mai aroi.

Of course there is the delcious fruits but Thai people will often eat them in starnge ways. There is a dried fruit snack that is dipped in a mixture of sugar, salt and chilli powder. It's possible one of the most disgusting things I've ever tasted. Apart from sponge from the sea, which Bradley tells me is like loofah when it's dried out. I was very drunk when I ate that though so feeling quite brave. Anyway, I will update on food when I've become a bit more adventurous with it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jason and Jamie

I did swear that I would never go to Bangkok but I had to break my promise last night for a friend's birthday. I'm glad I did though. We went to a jazz bar and listened to the best live music I've heard in a long time. The first band played jazz blues and the second band were a female fronted cover band who had so much energy and style that the whole bar was buzzing. Then we went home and I had a bizzare dream that I was in a 3 way relationship with Jamie and Jason Donovan. There was no sex involved just chatting and I couldn't help but show my utter appreciation at Jason because he was in Neighbours.

I then went onto have another dream about going back to my hotel room because I'd left a hair band there but it was up the steepest hill. I couldn't find the hotel and decided to make my way back down the hill but there was an eclipse and I was having to hold onto trees to get down because the hill was so steep. In the same dream I had a hissy fit with Romy because she wasn't listening when I was telling her my dream about Jason Donovan.

I had a proper nightmare about 2 weeks ago about ghosts making me float up the stairs. The next day at school I was dozing in the staffroom and when a teacher thought I was ill (mai sabay) I told her about it. She told me that if you have a nightmare but you tell someone then in Thai culture it's believed to be good luck. Later on that day I came back from lunch and I had a brand new desk. The teacher turned round to me and said See, new desk, good luck.

Today is the Queen's birthday so we have tomorrow off school. It's also Jamie's birthday which is maybe why I dreamt about him last night. I don't know where Jason Donovan fits into the equation though except for maybe I'm missing Neighbours.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Teacher's Experience

This has had me and all my friends here in stitches. I received an email from Tom I guy I know from uni. He's one of them phantom blog readers so when I call him he knows eveything I've been up to. Anyway, he sends me this:

That's about it for me, but I'll just mention John's (who lived with Will, Russel and Jim) older brother Matt who also went to teach English in Thailand a few years ago, when he was about 25...

He spent a few months to get his TEFL course done and save up some money before flying over there and spending a grueling 14 hours travelling to the school he was placed at. He taught for a couple of days until they told him he would need to decide whether he wanted to sign for a full year or not by the end of the week. Now, I'm sure they wouldn't have sent him packing if he'd have waited a few weeks, but that's by the by.

He got nervous about it and had dreams where the King of Thailand was about to behead him for trying to leave the country. He thought about what would happen if there was an emergency at home and his mum was in hospital or something, and decided he wouldn't want to stay there. He also decided it best not to tell anyone at the school as they may report him to the authorities and take away his passport in order to make him stay for the year (!)

For this reason he decided to leave in the middle of the night taking dodgy taxi rides and bus trips all the way back to bankok. When there he arranged a flight back to England for the next day, and went to the airport in disguise (I can't remember what disguise exactly, but I hope it consisted of a fake beard and or moustache). He managed to board the plane in said disguise, even though he walked in completely different directions when any security guard walked near him etc which must have aroused more suspicion than anything else!

He got back to England 6 days after he left, when he was expected to do either 2 months or a full year.
I imagine your trip will about 1000 times as fruitful and rarely as ridiculous

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Smug Mug

I can't help but feel a little smug. After our long weekend last week we came to school on the Wednesday to find out that Thursday and Friday were sports days. So no classes. We asked the Head of English if it meant we got the day off. She said that we still had to clock in and out. So we took it in turns and gave ourselves the days off. Today I come to school to find out I have no classes as all my students have gone to the temple. I think I may sleep on the couch all day. Monday is a national holiday for the Queen's birthday and the following Monday we also get off for elections.

Saturday I will be experiencing my first night out in Bangkok. I don't wish to but it is a friend's birthday and it's what she wants to do. I've only been to Bangkok to sort my visa and to get to Ko Samet. It's just another busy city no deifferent to the rest. Although I'm sure if I had a proper wander around in the daytime I would find things that would impress me.

This week I finally got on the bike after a couple of weeks of putting it off, partly out of fear and partly out of being easily distracted. All I've done is ride up and down the lane but I want to be sure of myself before getting on the roads because Thai people are crazy and have no traffic rules. When it comes to the roundabouts you basically drive and hope for the best. At the same time people do not drive at the speeds they do at home. I would love to reassure mum that it's perfectly safe on a motorbike but I had a student who was off school for 3 weeks because of an accident. Brad has lost a couple of students. But I'll not be driving fast and I'll be wearing a helmet and I have my rosary beads hanging on my mirror.

Romy and I had been sharing accomodation but I got my own room last week. It was good to save money but when you live in just 1 room you need your own space. I live directly opposite her in the same block so I'm not far away. But at first she missed me. I'm not exactly sure what she missed. Me rolling into bed at 4 in the morning at the weekends thinking I was being really quiet but crashing around like an elephant?

Anyone who knows me knows that I've never been a big drinker. One of the reasons for this is because I never really enjoyed being drunk. I'd go through phases but I drank much less than most people I know. For some reason I love being drunk in Thailand. It's a different kind of being drunk. It's always a happy drunk and it's never a lose-control-of-yourself-drunk. It's the kind of drunk that makes you want to play basketball at 5 in the morning, or go swimming at 5 in the morning or sit with a Thai guy and try to explain the difference between actually and usually. Anyway, the next installment may be about people's attitudes to sex here. Or the food. Or maybe school. Or maybe something totally random, I haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dogs Doing It Doggy Style

So me and Romy are walking down the street a few weeks back and we see some kids chucking stones at two dogs. When we looked at the dogs we were horrified to see that they were bum to bum and doing a lot of wriggling.

What the hell are they doing? Are they having sex? I say to Romy.

Maybe that's the doggy version of doggy style she replies.

So we're chatting to Brad about it and he tells us that after dogs have mated they are attached to each other and then turn around and this is why they are bum to bum. His explanation was backed up by another guy who's name escapes me. I am shocked and wonder is it just dogs in Thailand that do it because in all my 25 years I have never seen anything like it. Then the next day while walking to school I see the same thing again with different dogs. I am quite disturbed by it really.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share that with you.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I Do Not Like Swimming in my Bra and Pants

Got back from Ko Samet last night. Although the beach was beautiful it was not the relaxing trip it was supposed to be. It turned out to be a bit of a drinking fest but then what else are you meant to do when you are young and foolish? The first night we went to a couple of clubs. Me and Brad were disappointed in them so we went with Zach who promised he had whiskey in his apartment but was so drunk he couldn't remember where it was.

So went down to the beach with a bottle of Sang Som and swam in the sea instead. I complained about having to do so in my bra and pants and apparently would not shut up about it. There was already 4 of us sharing 1 bed so when Zach passed out I demanded that we chuck him out. Brad and Romy thought that was mean so we moved him to the bottom of bed and used him as a foot rest.

The highlight of the second night for me was being followed around and protected by the beach dogs. At Ko Samet the dogs will bite the Thais as they walk past. Brad and I thought it was hilarious. Brad and Mihila went back early and Romy and I stayed on the beach chatting and then went for an early morning swim. At least this time I had my swimming costume on.

The 3rd night was cocktail night. Everynight was cocktail night but the last night was the night that we stayed at the cocktail bar. I played some weird card game with the bar man. At first I thought it was pontton as you get dealt 2 cards and have the choice to stick or get another one. After about 2 hours of playing I finally cottoned on to the rules. You had to get the closest to 10 without getting 10. If you had 10 or a face card it was 0. But if you had a 7 and a 5 you added up took away 10 and you had a score of 2 which wasn't good. It is the most random game I've ever played and while I was engrossed in this I totally missed a fight breaking out between a local Thai guy that one of my friends had been snogging the night before and his Thai girlfriend. Apparently she was punching him in the face and threstening him with bottles. This all happened about 2 metres from me and I was oblivious.

So we were all feeling a little worse for wear the next day when we travelled back from Lop Buri. But I have never laughed so much in my life. Especially at the photographs that Mihila took of me and Brad and Zach when we were sleeping. Brad had his foot resting on Zach's balls and I had my foot resting on his throat. Mihila thought that I might've actually killed him. Anyway, we all agreed that we can never ever go back to Ko Samet. Me and Brad can go back as we were pretty well behaved compared to everyone else though.

So today was back to school and we've just found out that Thursday and Friday are sports day and although we are meant to be here we are taking it in turns to clock each other in and out which means that tomorrow morning I clock us in then go straight back to bed and don't go back 'til Monday. Yaaaaay. So happy.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I headed down to Jon's after school yesterday to upload my photos onto flickr but lo and behold I have no cable and he has no cable and I was very sad. I wanted to clear up my memory card so I could take lots of photos of the beach but I will have to be ruthless and keep only the best shots.

I can buy a new cable but just not in time for the weekend. Maybe I should delete some of the drunken shots of me, Romy, Keara and Brad. It's not like we're all looking stunningly gorgeous in them or anything.

Eventually I will writie about Lop Buri. I'm sure you're all picturing things in your head. I was surprised when I first got here by how big it is. It's a city but it's a city like Stoke is a city. There is no city centre and everything is kind of segregated. It's my kind of city though. One where you don't feel like your in the city but you can easily access everything you need.

When we get from the beach (Ko Samet) I'm taking a couple of days to learn to ride my bike. I am sick of walking in the crazy heat. I will be able to stay in bed for an extra 45 minutes in the morning. We can go exploring new places. Everything will just become that little bit easier. Also, if I can learn to ride a bike perhaps learning to drive a car won't seem so scary. Well, off I go now to get me some kind of colour in my skin (it is still quite deathly white) and some serious relaxation. Woo hoo!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

School Holidays

Yaaaay! Only one more day of teaching then I'm off to the beach. Unfortunately I only get the Monday and Tuesday off but any time off is good time. It's been quite a good week with school. I've only had one impossible class and I punished one boy by making him to press-ups (this is kind compared to what some do). Unfortunately I kind of forgot about him and he ended up nearly passing out but the wee shite won't be annoying me again.

So my approach for the rest of the week was to not care if the kids are naughty. Sometimes it's the only way. As a result, I've been having some good laughs with the kids. I have one class who are all boys. They were really naughty my first lesson with them and my Thai teacher wasn't there so I told the head of department. The next week they were moderately better. The keep getting more and more obedient as the weeks go on and so I let them play games in the last ten minutes. This week I had the best class I've ever had with any of my students. Not because I was teaching them so well but because everything I asked them to do they did and there was not a peep out of them except to speak English. This is virtually unheard of here because all the kids never shut up.

2/16 are my babies. They're the only class I see more than once a week and there are 20 rather than 40-45. It means I can call them by their nicknames rather than by their numbers and I can build up more of a rapport with them. The teaching really is hard work but I think I'm less stressed about it since Romy and I went on strike. I suppose because a bad teacher is better than no teacher. At least I make the kids laugh.

Romy and I haven't been brave enough to ride the bike yet. We need someone who knows what they're doing to teach us. I'm never scared on a bike with someone but they are big heavy chunks of machinery and I'm just scraed I'm not strong enough to ride it. At the same time Thai people are tiny and they can do it so I should be able to. Anyway, that's the update on school. Can't wait to be relaxing on the beach.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Big Bradley Boy

Obviously there are misunderstandings because of the language barrier. Brad, whose from Canada, was trying to buy an internet card from the 7/11. The girl who served him was convinced he wanted condoms. She gives him 1 pack and he says no internet card so she picks out a different pack and then a different pack. He says it one more time and a little lightbulb goes off in her head and she goes Oh! nods her head, opens a drawer and pulls out a pack of extra extra super jumbo sized condoms and looks all pleased with herself for figuring it out. I don't know if Brad actually got his internet card but he definitely did not want condoms. But I think he was secretly quite chuffed that she thought he needed the jumbo sized ones.

Today is Saturday. I am sleep deprived because of drinking last night and playing basketball at half five in the morning. I'm going to try to learn to ride a motorbike today. I'm a little scared though. But even 5 year olds ride them so I'm sure I can manage it. It's funny when your on the bus and you see people on bikes. There may be a mum, 2 kids, a dog, a guitar and the weeks grocery shopping all on one bike. People here are crazy.

I know I keep promising photos. The week after next we have Monday and Tuesday off so I will definitely get some uploaded. We were planning on going to the beach but nothing is ever for definite here. It's always a case of see what happens but that suits me. I hate planning things.

So off I go to try to learn to ride. You may never see me again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On Strike

The weekend went by in a blur. I thought about climbing trees but it was so hot and there were too many people around. Sunday I did a bit of shopping at the market. Got some rip off converse for about 4 pound. I also got a t. shirt that says wherever you are whoever you do may the luck of the Irish be with you. I'm not sure if the whoever you do bit is a misprint or intentional because a lot of t. shirts here have bad English but it made me smile.

On Monday Romy and I went on strike. We'd been told we would go to Bangkok on Friday to sort out non-immigrant B visas. We were told on Friday that it would be done on Monday. Monday came and we were put off again which meant I was going to have to do a visa run over the border. I won't go into it too much but there's been problems with our contracts aswell as being promised out work permits. So we walked out and and the teachers freaked as 2 of the native speaking teachers are leaving in a matter of weeks and they would have been left with no farang teachers. They begged us to come back and sorted everything out for us. Tuesday we went to Bangkok and got our non-immigrant B's. It's the first time I've ever gone on strike and it actually worked.

There is other stuff to tell but as always my brain isn't functioning so I won't write now. I must keep my brain cells for teaching the brats who are really bloody annoying.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thailand: The People

As in every culture the people have different quirks. In Ireland we get drunk and say so I did, so I am and so I will after each sentance. In Thailand people are vain. The school has mirrors in the corridor and the kids are constantly checking themselves out. Everyone carries a flannel around with them and dabs at their faces to soak up the sweat. They are obsessed with olbas inhalers for the nose. You can buy them in packs of 10 and you will always see at least 4 kids in your class with an inhaler stuck up their nose.

They love our white skin. In shops you can buy skin whitening cream. They walk around underneath umbrellas to stop tanning anymore than they already have. Talcolm powder can be bought everywhere and is used as sun block for the face.

For some reason it seems like everyone is injured at the minute. I have never seen so many bandages on people's legs arms and faces. I don't know why but maybe people are careless here. Thai people don't like to eat unless everyone else is eating. If you go to a restaurant the people you are with have ordered food they will only pick at it if you are not eating. Thai people also don't like to refuse anything that is offered to them. I offered Pii Noi a million cigarettes one night when I was drunk and Bradley told me that every time I went to the toilet he kept putting them back in my packet.

Thai people like to laugh and have fun (sanuk). If you get bit by a dog they will laugh. If you fall over they will laugh. If you crash your motorbike into a wall they will laugh. If someone makes an incredibly un P.C. comment about terrorism they will laugh. They don't mean any harm it's just the way they view life.

They are kind, warm, gentle and generous people. They don't like anger and they are respectful of each other. They look out for each other and always do what they can for one another. I never see a Thai person turn away a beggar. Even when they know that the beggar will buy drink. They have less than a lot of people but they give more. They are a beautiful race. They get annoyed with tourists but if you make an effort to speak Thai and you are respectful of their culture (eg don't dress like a tart, don't show public displays of affection and most importantly, don't diss the king) then you are given a lot of respect back in turn. I think I could stay here forever.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fuzzy Head In The Heat

Today is bloody warm. My head is fuzzy from my alcohol induced weekend and the sunshine. Friday I got drunk. When I got back at 1 in the morning I nearly gave Romy a heart attack. At 3 in the morning she proposed we have coffee. Not necessarily a strange thing but out here most things seem bizarre, especially having coffee at that time of night.

The next morning we went for breakfast. We were definitely hungover but not in the way I'm used to. We had a surreal breakfast experience. We wanted eggs on toast but were given a fried egg salad sandwich on sugary bread. Fried egg, cucumber and sweet bread is definitely not a good hangover cure. So feeling slightly disturbed and disorientated I decided to buy the first guitar that I came across. It turned out be a really bad buy but I took it back the next day and changed it.

There are no photo booths in Lop Buri. If you want a photo taken you have to go up a million flights of stairs to a proper photographer who has an assistant who will mess with your hair, body, face and posture before the photographer is satisfied with you. Even then you get the photos back doctored. Again, a very strange experience.

Later on Saturday we went to a shooting range. I fired a magnum and a semi-automatic and a rifle. It was very cool although my ears hurt from the noise and I didn't have a very good aim. Then out for more drinks on Saturday night. We went to our usual Toby's bar and then onto a cocktail bar. So it is no wonder I am sitting here on Monday evening with my head feeling fuzzy.

Now I'm at Ice's internet shop and the wee darling is playing Sublime for me. Yaaaaay.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Monkey Buisness

It's been a relatively good week so far with the teaching. Friday is my worst day but at least then I have the weekend to recover. This weekend the only plans we've made so far are to go shooting and climb trees at the army barracks. I have an overwhelming urge to climb trees. I don't why. Perhaps it's the monkeys. Romy had her first monkey buisness experience. She was walking through the old town with her pizza and a new bra in a bag. One monkey jumped on her bag and she flung it off. It jumped again and she flung it off. Then it gave chase at which point two old men raised a catapult and the monkey stopped dead in it's tracks. They didn't even have to fire it.

The food in this country is unbelievable. Not that I sample much of it but you are never more than 1 metre from a food stall. The markets here are amazing. You can get anything and everything. You don't know what the hell it is but you know it's food of some sort. Although Thai people are incredibly skinny they eat all the time, or at least have food around them all the time. They love to share food and if you sit with Thai people at the restaurant they will always get the waitress to bring plates for you. If you don't eat they don't eat. They have a totally different attitude towards food. It's like a social thing for them rather than a means of survival.

I have class now so better go. I think in England it's probably about 4 o'clock in the morning. Sleep tight everyone.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Boom Boom With Pii Noi

Hurray for weekends! They are so much fun in Thailand. They always involve drinking but Thais don't drink the way the British do and so beer is always a lot weaker. On Friday night I went out with Bradley who's from Canada. He was offered 'boom boom' from Pii Noi (Pii means elder brother and noi means small, in Thailand everyone uses a nickname as opposed to their full name) Pii Noi is tiny like his name suggests and he was offering the 'boom boom' at a price. Although Bradley is of the same sex persuasion he politely declined. I was given my Thai nickname by Ice. He chose Hansa, which means funny. I asked him if he meant funny as in ting tong (crazy funny) but he said no. Ice was given his nick name because his mum craved when she was pregnant with him.

On Saturday Romy and I went for Tarot card readings. I won't say much about it because you have to take these things with a pinch of salt but it was good fun. She told me only good things. It was a bit eerie but then you always read whatever you want into situations. Having said that Pink, the girl who took us and translated, also had hers done and was told she would meet a friend who she hasn't seen for a long time. Afterwards we went to get ice cream and Pink got some noodles from the market. Romy and I waited for her and when she came back she said she had just bumped into an old freind from elementary school who she hadn't seen for ten years.

I'm still in love with Thailand although now it's becoming more familiar to me. I'm starting to take things for granted and am not so shocked by the things I see. Last week I was at a party by a lake just outside of Lopburi. Pii M has the cutest dog ever, Mr. Bach. He was my best friend for the night. The next day I wanted to row the boat out to the island and climb the rocks but Pii M said it was hootchin with snales so I thought maybe not.

There are many perils in Thailand but I've been lucky so far. Not seen any massive soiders or pythons or cobras. I have seen a couple of huge centipedes (a bite from one of these fellas will leave you in hospital for a week). The monkeys are pretty darn dangerous but I've been avoiding them. The dogs can be scary and people have been attacked but my philosophy is not to fear them for they smell the fear. The Thai people tut at them to ward them off (they also do this in the classroom to get the kids to behave) so Romy and I have adopted this technique. But the best way to avoid the dogs we discovered by accident. We had a meal at a local restaurant and as we were leaving the band were playing I Will Survive so Romy and I danced the whole way out of the bar, the whole way down the street to Toby's, another bar. The dogs hated it so much that the next day when we walked past them they cowered. So we entertained our friends and the Thai people and feared the dogs in one foul swoop.

Our plans for the next few weeks are buy a motorbike, learn to ride it, go to Ayutthya, go to Bangkok to sort out work visas, take photographs, buy a guitar and have lots of fun. Of course, we work on Thai Time so who knows what will happen.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I got a letter the other day. I don't know how it managed to find me as it was addressed to: Hannah, the school that Hannah's teaching at, the town that Hannah's living in, Thailand. It was from a certain little bitcher dog that's obviously missing me loads,

Dear Auntie Hannah,

Moms told me that you bogged off to Thailand to teach horrible little brats how to speak English. I just thought I'd let you know that there are plenty of people here that don't know how to speak English so you could come back and teach them instead. Paddy says he's really depressed what with Jamie going away and now you. I'm comfort eating and getting really fat and there's no one here to help me burn the calories off. Moms is still obsessed with that silly big German Shepherd bitcher and that oul Bert's not much company with his honking and screeching on the claro (he thinks I like it because I sing with him but he doesn't know I'm crying in pain 'cos he's hurting my ears).

Moms said you were having a good time there though so I don't imagine you'll want to come back. She also said that there's loads of dogs out there but that they're not as nice as me. Maybe I could come out too and teach the dogs how to woof in English. Maybe you could put in a good word for me. I'll start saving the money for my rabies jab. Think I might have to hoor myself to get that much money but it'll be worth it to see you. I love you loads Auntie Hannah, come back soon xxxx

Rosie Dog

Friday, June 22, 2007

Jesus Mary and Joseph

The phrase Thank God It's Friday was definitely invented for teachers.

Today I had my little darlings 2/16. The girls in this class are little sweeties and always asking for help. This is one of my smaller classes and their parents pay for extra tuition so they are a pleasure to teach. Still naughty but managable.

Then I had the Monster Class from Hell. Mostly boys with a few girls. Also year 2 but not as bright a much bigger class. They will not shut up so I have told the Head of Department. I took the names of the most naughty ones and smiled at them all on the way out of class as if I was going to get them in major trouble.

Then I had a class full of boys. Although they are better than some classes they take a lot of energy. As for Ajarn Nelly's advice on owning the classroom. Next week I plan to take control. I'm there to teach and if I don't discipline properly I can't teach them. I don't mean I'm going to start slapping them but I will make sure that the teachers know they are not behaving. They are more scared of the Thai teachers than they are me.

This weekend Romy is off to Bangkok to watch some gay men have sex. It's one of the English teacher's birthday (a girl from England) and this is what she wanted to do. I was going to go but decided not to. Not because of the gay sex but because I want to explore Lopburi on my own a little bit. I have been so busy I haven't had a minute to myself so it will be nice to take some photographs, chill and get some teaching material organised for next week. If I was doing Bangkok it would be squeezing too much in. And anyway, I'd quite like to make it my mission to never go to Bangkok ever.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ajarn Hannah

I knew this teaching malarkey wasn't going to be easy but I don't think I quite realised how draining it would be. It doesn't help that the Thai teachers have given absolutely no guidance whatsoever. They have not told me what level the children are at, what has already been covered, they don't sit in class to translate if the children don't understand my instructions. I have found it all quite stressful really because I want to be doing a good job but feel that I can't because no one is telling me how to. Some classes leave me feeling like I can't do the job, whereas others I feel like I am making progress. I keep reminding myself that it's only been a week and a half and everyone has found it tough to figure out where they're at.

Thailand is such an amazing place though that as sson as teaching is finished for the day you remember why it is your here. The work is hard but it's teaching me a lot about myself, about children, about this culture. Good experiences in life are not always easy. I feel this is good for my mind. After the monotamy of Nixt it is good to have the challenge.

Soon I will get some photographs of me in my work clothes. I have to wear a skirt everyday except Wednesday. Those of you who know me will know I hate wearing skirts. On Monday I wear a yellow top to honour the King of Thailand.

Today was Teacher's day which is a ceremony that happens once a year. The teachers sit outside in front off all the children and receive flowers. Each class makes a different bouquet up and presents it to the teacher. Can you imagine this happening in Britain? Unfortunately it didn't stop the brats talking in my classes. Although anything goes as far as discipline is concerned (you can hit, slap, nip or cane students) Thai teachers aren't particularly strict. You will rarely get children to shut up in your class. I couldn't bring myself to hurt any of them as it's just not a done thing but I do make them stand at the back of the class, stand on one leg and I think I might start doling out press ups as punishment. For the girls I threaten to go back to Ireland. I say "You do not want to learn English, there is no point me being here. Should I just go back to Ireland?" and they all frantically shake their heads saying no no.

Being an ajarn (teacher) here means you don't get ripped off and people are more friendly and helpful. Romy and I are often offered lifts when we wear are yellow tops and prices are always cut when we tell them we are teachers. Although as a general rule Thai people are kind-natured and will do a lot to help you. It's the police you have to watch out for here.

Here comes the rain. The first I've seen since being here. I welcome it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

True and Amazing Facts

Damn! I ran all the way to Thailand and I still got tagged. Ok, here's 8 ficts about monself:

(moms and dawds may want to shut their eyes)

1. I once dreamt that I had man bits aswell as women bits. I don't know what this means but I'm sure Freud would've had a field day.

2. I still suck my thumb. I don't know what this means but I'm sure Freud would have something to say about it.

3. I want to be a carpenter.

4. I am Queen of the duvet thieves.

5. My first crush was Michael J. Fox.

6. I can sleep for up to 12 hours at a time not a problem.

7. I am finally living my dream.

8. I am a sucker for manners. They don't cost anything you know.

Who can I tag?

Zoe will hate me
Nelly's been tagged
Ed must've done about a million of these by now

and then I run out of people.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Thai Time

I survived my first week at school. Next week I have to decide if I want to sign a contract for a year. At this point I don't want to go back home in October. It is too chilled out here. The way of life is so easy and laid back. Everything happens in Thai time. It could be tomorrow or it could be next week. They have a philosophy that if things go wrong, it doesn't matter. People here are the kindest most generous people I have ever met. Here are some examples:

I ordered a chicken and rice dish that was far too spicy for me to eat. Romy asked the owner if he could put coconut oil in it for me to cool it down. He walked off and we thought he just didn't understand us but came back 10 minutes later with a brand new bowl and said it was for free. The teachers at school are always putting parcels of fruit on our tables and sharing their delicious Thai snacks with us. When Romy and I were trying to get a taxi (the only taxis here are motorbikes - brilliant fun!) after going to a club on Friday night we were offered a lift by a local guy who has seen us around and knows some of the other teachers. If you forget something or pay too much they will come running after you to give you it back. I realise that because we are teachers here we get treated better than the blow-in tourists but as a general rule people here are beautiful.

So my first weekend was spent going out Friday night to a club where we there was a live band. They were really good and loving the fact that all us white people were up at the front dancing. Two of the gay male teachers who are also out here went up on the stage for a dance with. I was invited too but declined. Last night we were at another bar with live music and the guys who were sharing our table filled are empty glasses up with whiskey. Compared to us they don't have much but they will always share whatever they do have.

Yesterday I had a Thai massage which was heavenly. I'd been warned that these women are strong and that it would be more painful than pleasurable until a couple of hours after. I think she must've gone easy on me because it didn't hurt atall. It cost me 3 pounds for an hours session. At home this would cost about 50 pounds.

So anybody looking for a holiday here I definitely recommend it. I haven't done Bangkok yet but everyone tells me I don't need to. The markets here are amazing. Bert would probably need to be here a whole year to taste everything he'd want to.

I could talk all day about how good this place is but it's Sunday and it's school tomorrow and I need to go do some swotting up as I'm the only one here who hasn't done the TEFL course and I'm also quite sleepy after the madness of my 1st week. I still haven't taken any pictures yet but I keep thinking there's plenty of time. It'll be done in Thai time.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I made It!!

I've been in Lopburi, Thailand for 4 days now and today was my 3rd day of teaching. I have so much to write about but seem to have lost the ability to write. I spend most of my day speaking broken English and with a combination of the hard work and warm weather my brain doesn't seem to be operating properly. Teaching is good but really difficult. Sometimes the class will have 40 pupils and it is impossible trying to get them all to shut their mouths. But I remember what it's like being that age and so I can't get too cross with them.

This morning the teachers made me and Romy do an introductory speech in front of the whole school. There are over 2500 students and we had to stand on a stage in front of them all. So now when I walk through the school I hear 'Han-nah Han-nah, hell-0 hell-o'. The kids are sweet really and get excited to see us.

My brain really has stopped functioning. I want to write about Lopburi, the Thais, their culture, the food as it is all so interesting but it is hard finding time and when I do my brain is tired and hot. People tell me it takes at least 6 weeks to adjust to everything so I'm just waiting to settle. This weekend I'll hopefully get some photographs on flickr.

I saw my first monkeys yesterday morning on the way to the bus stop. I made sure not to get too close but they not the cutest monkeys in the world anyway. They have mean eyes. The street dogs are nearly all mongrels and spend the hot days lazing in the sun. In the evening you have to be more careful as they will approach you and start barking and howling. As soon as you get off their patch though they don't follow. Haven't seen any spiders yet but seen lots of geckos. I want one for a pet. While all the dogs look totally different and unlike any dog you've ever seen before the cats all have a similar look to them with elongated ears and scrawny bodies. I also saw an elephant being walked down the street last night at the market.

Tonight we have a quiz at one of the local bars with the other English teachers and this weekend Romy and I will explore and eat good food. We are on a mission to find Romy savoury snacks. They are obsessed with sugar in Thailand and put it in everything. Cheese bread, salted popcorn, chese crackers, they all taste more sweet than salty. When you eat out they will have a bowl of sugar rather than salt, they even put sugar on their fruit. Romy was complaining to a teacher about the cheese bread being disgusting. She said 'Why put sugar on in cheese bread?Cheese is salty' The teacher laughed and said 'That's why sugar!'

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Last Post from Ireland

I haven't time to write much. Just wanted to say a massive thankyou to all the people who contributed to the travelling to Thailand funds. You can all expect strange and unusual presents. But honestly, if it wasn't for these people (you know who you are, family and extended family) my dream would not have become a reality.

A special thanks to my big sis Zoe for all her practical assistance with research and fact-finding. Thanks to Granny for all the prayers, the girls and boys at work for their kind contribution. Thanks to Katy and Dad for organising a special weekend in Norfolk for us all. I have memories I can cherish forever. Thanks to everyone who has wished me well. I know it's cheesy but I can't assume that everyone knows how grateful I am without saying it.

Hopefully my first post from Thailand will not be too long away.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rat Tours and Treasure Hunts

For some reason blogger is not letting me use apostophes. So I will try to write this post without using any. It will be hard as everything has to be written properly. I can not be lazy and shorten words. I think it also makes me sound rather pompous.

Last week we had a treasure hunt for Bert. He was really clever and did not need much help with it. Mel and Mikey made excellent treasure and came bearing gifts of scotch and haggis and honey fudge. Pearlie was treated so some of the haggis and claimed it to be the best thing she had ate in years.

I went in to give Pearlie a cup of tea the other day and she was sitting down to a plate of chips and chicken from the chipper. I asked her if her chicken was good and she tells me that nothing tastes good to her anymore. Everything tastes like cardboard. I says to Bert we may get her a crate of haggis. Or we may boil up a few rabbits in a stew. Or we could fry up the dead rats that Mikey unearthed, she would think that was a quare treat.

Unfortunately I missed out on the dead rats tour conducted by Ben although I heard it was very good. But one of the highlights of the party for me was sneaking out with Mel to eat Zoes delicious coconut icing buns. They tasted like heaven. We also let dirt bird Megham (she is one of the many dirt birds but Dirt Bird is the queen of dirt birds) and lovely Magda in on the secret. I knew they would appreciate Zoes domestic goddessness.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Ongoing Feud With NatWest Part 2

It's now boring me. I could go into the details but it really is boring. What it boils down to is that Natwest can't train their staff properly. If the staff don't know by what means a bill can be paid off then how can the customer? The customer can only act on the advice they are given from the company's employees. If the employees don't give correct, accurate, helpful advice then Natwest have to expect that customers will be irate and send letters like this one:

To Whom It May Concern,

I am enclosing a cheque for 17.50. This will cover the paltry amount I owe you plus the extortionate (and most likely, illegal late payment charge) plus interest accrued. I trust this will satisfy you.

May I add the sight or the sound of the word 'NatWest' makes me feel physically ill and that never in my experience have i encountered such an unhelpful, shambolic organisation. b assured that I do not keep these opinions to myself.

Other than receiving an aknowledgement of this letter I hope never to hear from NatWest again,

Yours Sincerely


Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Job

On Sunday I handed in my 4 weeks notice. This was the moment I had been dreaming about, fantasising about and drooling over. I had various different speches about what I would say but when it came down to it all I said was that I am leaving because I have another Thailand. One of my bestest friends in the world, Miss R. V. The Human (I have never spoke of her on my blog, not because I don't love her but because she's not a big internet fan and the idea of her being on it would surely bring her out in some kind of nasty rash) is going over this weekend. She got herself a job teaching English in Lopburi (about 3 1/2 hours North of Bangkok). She put in a good word for me and before I could say I'm off to Thailand, she'd sorted me out with a job at the same school.

So I now have 4 weeks to sort out flights, injections, visas, insurance, getting another copy of my degree certificate as I lost the original (hey, until now it was not worth the paper it was written on), visiting Dad and Katkins in Norfolk and meeting endless people for goodbye drinks.
Lopburi is famous for it's monkeys. So much so that every year a local hotelier holds a banquet for them complete with menus and waiters as a way of thanking them for bringing the tourist trade. I'm getting my rabies shot tomorrow because I am the kind of fool who thinks monkey's are cute and would be climbing the trees with them. It has also been advised that we stay away from dogs as they could be rabid too. I don't want to end up foaming at the mouth cujo style so I guess I'll have to take heed.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It Happens

It happens. Occasionally you expect it. But 9 times out of 10 you don't. So there I was unfolding the towel to dry myself after I'd had my shower. And there it was, all big and brown and hairy. When Spiders Attack. I squealed and flung the towel down onto the wet floor. No sooner had I done this than I felt a pang of guilt, what if I'd crushed the spider? What if it had drowned on the wet floor? Poor little, ugly, hairy, eight-legged freaky thing. I don't like them but it's not there fault they repulse me. I am too scared to investigate so I sit here wondering about it's well being. But I am also sitting here smiling. For reasons I can not disclose yet, for fear of jinxing myself and having everything blow up in my face.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Walk This Way

Mum is chuffed to bits with her new camera. I am chuffed to bits from inheriting Mums old camera. But while mum is excited about her new role as as short film producer, my role as a small time actor has done nothing but make me self concious about the way that I walk.

I have known for years that I have a silly walk. Someone once told me I walked like someone who had a hernia. What would I walk like then if I actually did have a hernia? It has been noted that i do not lift my feet properly and people at work can always tell when I am walking near by.

I just chose to ignore the fact that I had a silly walk. I could not see it so it did not bother me. But now there is video evidence and i can not ignore the gangly, akward, hen-toed walk. I am now making a conscious effort to walk with more style, more grace and less hen-toedness. It is tough though as walking is one of them things we do without even thinking about it. And the more you think about doing it the harder it actually is. I am giving mum instructions to avoid any video fooage of me walking, running, dancing or generally using my legs until I have perfcted my new walk. I am thinking of choosing one from Monty Pythons Ministry of Silly Walks. Its bound to be better than my own.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dirt Bird: Poor In Money, Rich In Brains

Since Dirt Bird got back from Ballymena she's been living in poverty and surviving Ray Mears style. We were chatting about sending each other letters as it's a cheaper way to stay in contact and Dirt Bird had her outgoing calls blocked. So I asked her to text me her address and I would write to her.

'I can't text you, my phone won't let me', says Dirt Bird

'Oh aye'

'You send me a letter and I'll write one back with my address on it', says Dirt Bird, sounding chuffed with herself.

'Nah but that won't work Dirt Bird because I need your address before I can send you a letter'

'Oh yeah'

So we laughed and laughed at the sillyness of Dirt Bird.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Big Issue

It's been so long since I signed into blogger that I forgot my username. It's been so long since I used a computer I've forgotten how to leave comments on people's blogs. I'm so confused by the new-fangledness of mum's laptop and my fingers are so big and alien that I keep typing the wrong letter.

I moved out of the house. Jamie went back to Stoke. The landlord is being a typical landlord and refusing to give us back our deposit. You live and you learn. Never do favours for your landlord. He'll shaft you anyway. Dirt Bird and Half-Term Kerm helped with the moving out. Half-Term kerm said he loved moving things but when it actually came to it he mostly sat on the sofa and watched. He is only a size 0 though and would fall over if you blew on him.

As always, it's nice being back at nellybert's. Spring is the best time of year for making changes and the countryside is the best place to be. I might go out and climb some trees with Holly.

I was telling Dirt Bird about a treasure hunt Pirate John organised. Me and jamie had planned to visit him in Manchester and Jamie told him he had to set me up a treasure hunt. Pirate John did really well considering he only had a few hours to prepare for it. We received or first clue by text message just as we go off the train. We had no idea what it meant so next thing is a Canadian treasure hunt fairy called Hank runs down the street pointing at a huge billboard. Behind the billboard was an envelope with a compass and our next clue. We followed the trail of clues around Manchester 'til we got one that said What's the big issue?

We looked about us and down the street a bit was a guy selling the Big Issue. So we asked him what the big issue was. He said he would tell us if we bought a copy off him and then he told us the name of a pub that was just round the corner. And in that pub was our treasure in the form of Pirate John and Hank and pints of beer.

I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life. But that's 'cos I'm a simpleton who is easily amused with treasure hunts.