Just a Typical Day in November

Just a Typical Day in November

A friend and former colleague of mine hadn’t heard from me in a while and asked for anecdotes of a typical day of mine. Here you go:

Waking up it wasn’t quite as cold as yesterday, meaning it was around 68 rather than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not kidding that it does actually make a difference. I heard the song of several birds and the chirping of geckos. Leaving my lakeside guesthouse, put on my flip flops, bike helmet, and cycling shorts under my skirt, I wai and “sawadee khaa” the gardener.

My lakeside view

I ride down the dirt road past the harvested rice field to the other dirt road next to the busy paved road. On the second dirt road there is a canal between me and the busy street, but on the grass on the side are the Asian type cows, and one calf. They are so peaceful lying there. I have no fear of them because of how docile they are even though they are at least 5 times the size of the dogs who I sometimes fear here.

Thai cows on the way to work

Cow and leaf roofed hut

After the bridge, and crossing the busy road is an undertaking – motorbikes whizzing by, songthaews (these are basically pick up trucks with a red roof top that serve as taxis – song = 2 thaew = row because they have 2 benches in the back) actual pick ups, and cars, people walking, trucks full of people pulling in front of me and stopping, it’s scary. I should buy mirrors for my bicycle. I get across the street and then head down a third dirt road that leads to my school.

Canal and cows

My school is an amazing work of art. That’s really all I can say. Pictures show how nice it is, but don’t really do it justice.

Panyaden School in late November

I eat breakfast of papaya and Thai rice soup, then we salute the flag, sing and prostrate to the Buddha, and then the students have class.

flag raising

Debating the pros and cons of dams with a pen as microphone.

DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time in the wall cubby hole

Lunch is buffet style, homemade, and delicious

buffet style lunch

Teachers and students and teachers eat together. Staff and students all wash their own dishes.

vegetarian Khao Soi

There are 4 sinks in a row to make it simple to wash and rinse while conserving water. From what I’ve observed, the students like doing it.

little ones washing dishes

I enjoyed teaching the Pacific NW Native American tale “How the Raven Stole the Sun” story in our mythology unit. The students love it and have never heard anything like it. I had to deal with a silly behavior issue, but it’s manageable. My school director agrees with how I handled the situation. It’s nice to feel supported in decision making. It’s Wednesday so it’s free yoga after school. Another reason to I love my job.

rice harvest time

Cycling away the guards open the gate and say “Khap” each day as I leave the school. I never cease to delight in the simple beauty of the rice field.

rice harvest time

The air smells of burning field smoke. I ride through occasional clouds of tiny flying insects.

getting back to my guesthouse, the room has been cleaned – fresh towels with no gecko poop on them…yet.

The internet isn’t working very well. I go down to the restaurant closer to the source, it still isn’t working. Talk to some British teachers in training with their CELTA course in progress.I order the chicken Indian curry – they make it vegetarian for me without me even asking because they know I don’t eat meat. Very kind indeed. I drink a Bia Chang. While eating something falls from the ceiling, and almost lands in my dinner. I think it’s probably a gecko, but actually it’s a good sized frog. This makes me laugh.

I get frustrated and give up on the internet. I talk to people from Iran, Ireland, Slovakia, England, and of course Thailand. A British guy plays ukelele and sings in the garden by the lake and makes us all laugh with his never ending looping medleys.

CELTA students and me at Nugent Waterside

I talk in Spanish to an English guy who taught in Ecuador when I was in Colombia. I go to bed too late to the sounds of chirping insects and the occasional barking dog in the distance.

I have an endless amount of mosquito bites on my legs, I don’t have a kitchen to cook in, I have to give away and find a new home for my dog who I love, I am working tomorrow, which is Thanksgiving, but I am happy because I still love Thailand.