Monday, October 28, 2013

10-19-13 Lonely

     I took the sky train back to my hostel with some of my friends who were going to a cultural orientation. I met Matthias again in the lobby of my hostel but as it neared check-out time, I ran back to my room and went crazy packing.
     I then took a taxi out to Muang Thong Thani where I’ll be living for the next 5.5 months or so. My new home is an apartment complex in a large cluster of other apartment complexes. We are very close to a department store, an exhibition hall where concerts and big events take place, a night market, ten 7/11s (Thailand loves 7/11), a Tesco Lotus Express (a convenience store), and 2 long indoor streets of cheap food (YES!!!).
     I’m also only about a 5-minute walk to my school; it’s about 3 blocks away and looks pretty large.

10-18-13 The Temple Tour of Bangkok

     I woke up today with 3 different plans with 3 different people, but let me backtrack a little first. 
     Yesterday, as I moved into my hostel and finally showered, a guy who was moving into one of the mixed dorms waved at me from the doorway. Confused, I walked up to him and we talked a little--he actually wanted to find out if I knew where he was supposed to stay in the hostel. Anyway, I learned a bit about him; he was traveling from Israel, a rural-ish area, and was in Bangkok for a night, planning to head to Chiang Mai the next day. I forgot how long he was planning to travel, but he was going to visit other countries in South East Asia.
     So my three plans were to explore the temples with a friend, take a bus across Bangkok to see my other friend Lindsay and go shopping, or go exploring with the Israeli traveler. While the guy from Israel and I were in the lobby eating breakfast, two other guys turned to us and we all agreed to visit the temples and Chinatown (Yaowarat). I let Lindsay know and she decided she would join us.

Monday, October 21, 2013

10-17-13 Bangkok Mini-Adventures

     After a crazy 12-hour double decker bus ride, which felt like it was very unsafe because we were, as Jess puts it, “swinging back and forth like a pendulum,” we arrived in Bangkok! Yay!!!!!! Also, after plenty of rest, even though the bus was driving dangerously, I felt a lot better. 
     Back to Bangkok. Of course, there were taxi drivers everywhere outside of the bus station who wouldn’t turn on their meters and wanted to charge us about 260 baht (a little under $9) to reach our hostels. Jess was very angry with the prices because she knew they were trying to overcharge us--she was still angry about the boat drivers at Railay and the grouchy bus driver the day before--so we kept walking away. Luckily, she had Google Maps on her phone and we found a bus for 7 baht ($0.23 ONLY). 

10-14-13 and 10-15-13 Krabi: Getting Sick!

     My friends and I went to Krabi on a 4-hour bus ride and stayed in a hostel called Pak-Up, which was really cute! It was like a dorm room and had a school theme, which really appealed to me as a teacher who LOVES themes. Because the day was quite old, we decided to just explore Krabi Town (just kidding about the "old" day, but we had arrived too late in the day to really do anything). 

Our hostel, Pak-Up

PE dorm!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10-9-13 to 10-13-13 School's Out and Explosive Thai Traditions!

     I taught at juvie for a second day (Wednesday) and felt like I didn’t do as well as I did on the first day. However, my observer said I did pretty well; I sense discrepancies in the way I view myself and the way others view me. 

     On Thursday, I taught late high-school or early college students at the Phuket poly-tech college. They terrified me, but my observer that day said I looked calm and confident, which I thought was hilarious! The whole time, I was sweating like crazy and panicking as sweat ran down the sides of my face and my legs. That night, we went to the beach because some of my friends were going to set up fireworks on the beach.

Phuket Poly-tech College

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10-8-13 The Rainbow After the Storm

      Today, I went to the juvenile detention center and was placed to teach six 12-14 year old boys. I was terrified, but they were obedient and a few students definitely tried their hardest. Imagine, they had to sit through six 30-minute lessons (3 hours!) of our lessons, but they actually seemed to enjoy them. It’s probably better than the punishment they get in the center. :( One of my students even left in the middle of the lesson to probably do physical punishment (like push-ups or sweeping). Poor kids. One of my friends pointed out that they are just paying for their crimes, but still, when I looked at them and interacted with them, they were really just children.
     I truly loved teaching there and wish I could teach there more--I guess my wish is coming true because I am going to teach there again tomorrow. This time, I will be teaching about the hospital, so my vocabulary words will be “doctor, nurse, emergency room, x-ray, and medicine.”

     My observer was different this time, but he was a lot more detailed. He pointed out these things in my lesson plan:
-Good move to mix up the students (my comment: two of them were talkative, so that was actually my way to separate them and to get the other students moving)
-Positive and patient, great teacher presence!, perfect pronunciation, SMILEY :D (my comment: yes, he actually drew a smiley)
-Showed great energy. Excitement is contagious
-Great rate of speech and pronunciation
-Good use of body language (comment: he proceeded to draw my hands making a heart shape to show them what love meant)
-Kept things fun... laughed/smiled a lot (comment: ugh! I’m supposed to be firm, not happy all the time! :( )
-Good job having students help you write on WB 
-Showed great patience with students
-Good work helping with pronunciation issues

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10-7-13 Disaster Day

If you read the title, you already know that many disastrous events occurred today. Jk, kind of.
       The Child Watch Program school (Holland School) we visited today for our first day of teaching was not a bad school at all. The children were adorable and charming, the teacher was loud and commanded respect, but the problems were that we were trying to teach using our materials to itty bitty toddlers. Even toddlers back in the United States could not grasp those concepts or sit around and stare for long enough to learn a word in a different language!

Child Watch Phuket 
Child Care Center 
(You can clearly read it on the poster too!)

The students singing songs for us before we began teaching

10-6-13 An Unplanned (And Then Totally Not My Plan At All) Mini-Adventure

     I had no plan for today, except to relax and hopefully walk around to prevent stomachaches. In the morning, I left to use the wifi in the hotel lobby and Skype with Nick as I was working on creating my materials for teaching tomorrow. When I finished, I walked to a restaurant and ate larb moo by myself--I finally was able to check my phone to see if I had gotten any Voxes and Snaps. As I headed back to my room, I noticed that the rain had stopped but I was feeling pretty lazy, so I was really surprised when I actually forced myself to hop on my bike to go to Rawai Beach. 
      What initially motivated me to get off of my butt was that I needed to return my adorable green bicycle today. I walked over to my friend’s place because she needed to return it too. Apparently, while I had been working in the lobby for about 3 hours, she had wheeled BOTH of our bikes to the store and returned them all on her own. I felt horrible, but asked her if she wanted to hang out later instead. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

10-4-13 Mall Rats

     Friday, after class, we were supposed to head over to Krabi by taxi and then bus. We planned to stay in a place called Glur Hostel, so that Saturday, we could begin rock climbing (supposing the rain had stopped and the rocks could dry overnight.) However, it was raining so hard, we decided to head there on Saturday instead.
     My friends and I drove back into Phuket Town to watch a movie. Unfortunately, the movies were either all full (we weren’t sure and the person didn’t understand English), not dubbed or in English (although I wouldn’t have minded), or too late. 

One of the Thai movie posters
(The trailer made it look a tiny bit 
creepy, but seemed to be aimed toward funny.)

Friday, October 4, 2013

10-2-13 A Crazy Wild Adventure

After School
     Today, we had a beautiful late afternoon. As we left class, the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining down on us. I talked with some friends about our weekend plans and visited Wat Nai Harn on my own. (Wat means temple in Thai. And yes, I know you know that, Nick.) It is the temple I took a few pictures of during the evening when the lights make it glow. I have wanted to visit it for a while, especially as it is right across from our hotel, so I could walk for 3 minutes and be there. My friend Bon said hi to me on the way back from there.

Wat Nai Harn

Depictions were all over the wall.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

10-2-13 A Class Full of Crazy

     Ack! 4 new mosquito bites! Also, the internet is NOT working when I was scheduled to Skype with my parents!!! It is so frustrating, just like my ordering of pad thai that wasn’t even available. Or SPOILER ALERT FOR HIMYM FANS: when Robin never wanted to have kids. She found out she could not even have kids from her doctor and was devastated. Although she didn’t want kids, she always wanted to know that she had the option to have them. It was a real tearjerking episode. :(
But anyway, that connects to how I finally planned something important, and yet when I went to do it, I never even got the chance because something was going wrong. Hopefully, I can try again tomorrow. However, it is sooo frustrating because we spent so much money on the internet, and it’s slow, choppy, horrible, and always disconnects. And today, of course, it doesn’t even work at all! :(
Okay, that’s enough of my complaining about the internet... for today, anyway.

10-1-13 Random Thoughts

Right now, I’m outside and these are all the random thoughts and observations I happen to be making:

  • I think a cat is in heat. It won’t stop meowing.

  • There’s a bird outside that sounds like it’s crying, “Owwwww, owwwwww, owwwww.”

  • I need to visit a temple soon!

  • I practiced turning with the scooter this morning from 6:30 to 7:00. I might ride into town tonight to see what’s around.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

9-30-13 BEST DAY EVER!

     Okay, so do you remember in elementary school when we used to name things with very broad titles that had no ounce of creativity whatsoever? Well, this is how mine begins today: 

My lunch (before all the excitement)

      So yesterday, I began contemplating renting a motorbike, mostly because my bicycle really did stink. I could barely get anywhere, and it was basically rusted over--it was just not something I could realistically use to travel anywhere, unless I wanted to go one mile in about 40 minutes. As much as I love bicycles and as much as I want to burn some fat, that was really not logical for me to keep using.
     In any case, I rented one for $40 (12 days!!!!!) I then practiced riding around our little lake 3 times--twice with my friend and once on my own--and then we headed to Kata Beach where his fiancee lives. 
     I tend to be nervous around people, but generally, I can ride not too poorly. It was really fun; we even passed by an elephant on the way! The roads wound around a little, and there were a few hills that I had to use the breaks for, but I LOVED it! I loved every single minute of driving that little scooter.

9-29-13 First Weekend in Phuket

     Goodbye, first weekend in Thailand! It’s Sunday night already. So much drama, so much relaxing, but also so much I could have done instead of stay at the hotel. Oh well, I met up with a great group of people and had dinner with them after hanging out at the pool with them.

My friends and I at a beachside restaurant

In a tuk tuk with Bon driving