Thursday, November 14, 2013

11-11-13 to 11-14-13: Things of the Utmost Importance In My Life

     After I taught my first class, I typed up sub plans for my next two classes in about a 12-minute period of time because I had to leave to get my visa. Let’s just say that when we got there, everything was very time-consuming. It looked like a Chicago DMV except with more office rooms. The lady from our school forgot some documents so headed back to the school. My friend and I, to stall for time, threw away our numbers when the lady hadn’t returned yet, even when the place called our numbers.
     Unfortunately, and I guess it serves me right, the lady came back about ten minutes later and our HiValue Company representative asked us where our numbers were... so I had to go dig through the trash bin in the bathroom to retrieve it. I sanitized my hands immediately after, but still! Can you imagine what I was sticking my hands into? Ewwww!
     We paid 2000 baht (about $67) for our visas and waited about 20 minutes to actually get it. 
On to what this post is actually about though, we went to a Japanese restaurant located downstairs of the visa place. At first, I was not so pleased with our food selection, but I ordered some noodles in soup, which was a pretty tasty dish. BUT my favorite part of that meal was definitely our dessert. Inside the Japanese place was a gelato place, which ranged from fruity gelato such as strawberry flavor, to nutty like pistachio, to rich chocolate like hazelnut and Ferrero Rocher. I tried the Ferrero, pistachio, and mango. 

My dish. No, it was not Udon.

My mango gelato in a waffle cone.

     While I have been craving chocolate like no tomorrow, I decided to go with the mango in a waffle cone. And I have to say that that was such a heavenly decision... I would go back just to buy 5 scoops of that in a waffle cone. It was sweet but not too sweet, it was creamy but not too creamy, soft but not too soft, and oh my goodness, it is probably the best food decision I’ve made in the past few months since I’ve come to Thailand. (I even gasp at the thought, but I would say I love it even more than my favorite Thai iced tea! :O) Yes, it was THAT good. I’m surprised I haven’t dreamed about it yet!

As we left, we saw a taxi that covered their rear mirror area with
a lot of stuffed animals. That seems like a very safe idea...

     After school, I also had gate duty, which means I need to stand or sit by the front gate from 4 until 5:30 PM. Fun. I talked with one of the Filipino teachers though and it was really nice meeting her. :) But when I left at 5:35, I was just so exhausted. I do really feel for the Thai and Filipino teachers that are forced to leave at 5:30 and watch us, the American teachers, leave at 4:30. They probably barely have time for their own families and cooking. :(

     After school, my friend and I walked to Tesco from our Popular Condominiums; it was a workout just to reach it. It took us about 35 minutes and when we finally entered, we saw a DVD store. I think I’m improving on understanding numbers because the person who talked to us about renting gave me numbers and I was able to translate them much more quickly than normal for my friend. Yes!!! Need to study more though... or I just need to learn words like “later,” “days,” and “tomorrow.”
     About an hour later, I ended out walking out of Tesco, my arms laden with groceries and very happy from a very interesting donut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Let me sidetrack a little as I describe it. It was chocolate, covered with chocolate frosting, and some fried corn crisps. It was really delicious and a lot fancier than the donuts from back at home. In fact, a lot of them were. They look very decorated with toppings--they certainly still are not gourmet donuts, but a lot higher class than American ones (no offense to French Crullers, which are still my favorite!).
     But yes, I feel like the small accomplishments of my days are usually the things that make me feel so rewarded. I walked out of Tesco with banana nut bread, juice, and cookies, and I just felt so satisfied. I know it sounds crazy, but I have been craving sugar for weeks, especially cake... still have to buy some of that. However, I kind of hate how all my money seems to go toward perishable food items that I will just end up craving again after I consume all of it. :( 
     Gill and I ended up walking to Villa, which is pretty much next door. Now the thing about Villa is that my other friends have told me time and time again that the food there is much more expensive than in Tesco, Big C, and Tops, our giant we-have-everything stores. However, some of the items are very comparably-priced... the juice was the same as the Tesco “juice sale” prices, the cockroach bait was actually cheaper, the Pepperidge Farm cookies were 99 baht, which was actually the on-sale price at Tesco. Hmmmm... Maybe I’ll have to go to Villa more often! 
     Villa, by the way, is a smaller-scale grocery store (convenience store sized) that caters to people that want American brands. You can’t find Goldfish, tortilla chips, or "American" alcohol in the other stores. (The only reason I was looking at alcohol was because my friends, during my very first trip there, were looking through the wines they missed from back at home... I just daydreamed the whole time and then went to look at the chips and crackers lol)
     So now my house has 6 cockroach bait houses scattered around and I think they’re working! My dad also gave me another idea, which is mixing milk with baking soda, which would attract cockroaches. Then, being thirsty, they’d drink water from a dish beside the first one, bloat, drown, and die. Muahahahahahaha! 
     Wow, what happened to my no-killing lifestyle? :(... It's gone, gone, gone... out the door, like the cockroach I threw outside this morning! (Typing this on 11/14/13. It seems to have died since then, so maybe it ate some of my bait... HEHEHE)

     I screamed at my class today. Just had to let you know because it’s an important milestone toward becoming a bad teacher. :( 
     There was literally no other option though. I was just so angry because as I turned to write on the board for about 10 seconds, they got up, played leap frog, punched each other, screamed, crawled under desks, and yeah, the list really does go on and on. I am neither exaggerating about the time I was turned around nor their wild tendencies. It was the most outrageous behavior I’ve ever seen in a classroom, so I let them have at it while I finished writing on the board. Then, I turned around, stared at them, opened my mouth, and screamed at them. It almost didn’t work. They quieted down when I threatened that they’d all go 10 minutes late to lunch, and they really only stopped talking when Shoua, my teacher friend, walked in after my screaming spell. 
     Thank goodness or I would’ve been sitting there staring at them being quiet with their heads down for half an hour into their lunch period. I love these kids, but they are driving me NUTS.   Almost every other day, I go home with a headache! Ugh. Maybe next time I decide to teach internationally, it’ll be in China... haha just kidding. :)

     Today, I practiced rules with the students and gave them 5 points every single time they did a good job. It was kind of funny how adding or taking away one point at a time didn't affect them, but every time they heard me shout instructions, I’d draw a copious amount of lines on the board and they’d follow all my instructions. Anyway, I’ll be practicing this for the next few weeks until it’s like clockwork.
     Tomorrow, SPORTS DAY! No teaching for me!...It'll just be me listening to them screaming next to me! (Which actually isn't that different from any other day.) Seriously, today, at the end of the day, the janitors decided to clean the school area where the kids would be practicing their cheering when it was time for the kids to actually be practicing there, so the Thai teachers sat the students in the hallway to wait... for 45 minutes. Through the closed door of the faculty lounge, all of us American teachers cringed as we heard screaming reverberating through the hallway. Just what you want to hear after you’ve been teaching past that hollering ALL day. 
     But I don't want to end this on a bad note, so here are some grainy pictures for your enjoyment!:

A purple chewy snack, very similar to that green
Vietnamese snack that's gelatin(like) with mung
bean paste in the middle (the striped green chewy desserts.
I had this maybe on 11/10/13 with Gina after walking around
shopping for cheap clothing with her. I ended up not really
buying anything at all on that trip except food lol.

I tried a new dish that night too! I seem to keep eating the same meals, in general,
so I thought I should try different foods. I'm still addicted to som tam,
khao niew, and those delicious omelets lol :)

11/14/13 My snack tonight: nang led :), which is also
one of Ness's favorite Thai snacks :) (probably
because it's fried and fattening... lol jk :D)
I'm also stealing the wifi of Easy Peasy :)

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