Twenty-twenty thus far has been nineteen days of unstressed productivity and that looks to continue for the foreseeable future. I do not recall as being as organized as I have been since the New Year fireworks faded to silence and that certainly has helped with my overall positive attitude. I am happy and content and I owe a lot of credit to Microsoft To-Do along … Continue reading Nineteen in ’20
Sunday being my usual day off and the Friday afternoon announcement that local schools would be closed on Monday and Tuesday for Chinese New Year — not to mention extremely high temperatures and a huge dip in internet speed caused a great deal of relaxation (err, laziness) at the Jochim household over the past couple of days. The Thais really have the right idea on how to deal with the heat: they sleep through it. I haven’t yet mastered the art of not waking up in a pool of sweat, however.
Finally, we seem to be past the huge number of holidays and other activities that served as disruptions in the school schedule, starting in early December with Thai National Day and Constitution Day, continuing through Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, Mid-Term exams, and culminating with Thai Children’s Day and National Teacher’s Day nearly two weeks ago. I believe last week was the first in more than a month and a half where I worked a full week. My students were quite attentive and productive during most of the week so I rewarded both high school classes with a rare “Games Day” on Friday which was as much fun for their teacher as for them. It was a very long week, indeed.
This third week of the year was a little odd, albeit rather routine.
I didn’t teach very much this past week, which doesn’t really bother me. Living and working in Thailand, you come to expect more cancellations than not. I don’t ever have classes on Tuesdays at the large municipal school where I spend my mid-mornings to early afternoons but I still journeyed to my agency that day in order to teach a two-and-a-half hour lesson in the evening. I was informed five or ten minutes before class time that the student was ill. Wednesday was National Teacher’s Day in Thailand so all the government schools were closed and the students were extremely ill-behaved on Thursday. I was quite strict with them on Friday and they settled down somewhat. My evening student cancelled again on Thursday and a young girl I’ve been teaching for nearly a year now cancelled her Saturday morning lesson. On both of these particular days, the students had cancelled at least a day in advance but nobody thought to inform me to save me the bus trip to the agency. It’s really annoying, but I can always find something to do in the office.
Wow! Posts two weeks in a row….
The week of January 7-13, 2019, was fairly active in my little world extending between my home in the heart of Old Town Phuket, Thailand, and a bit west to my office in the bowels of the Central Festival mall smack dab in the center of the island with frequent stops approximately halfway between those two locations on those days that I teach high school in the huge Plukpanya Municipal School. I rarely venture outside of this rather narrow band.
At long last, the silence has been broken! Honestly, I start too many entries in a similar fashion on this blog. The last period of activity stretched from the end of July 2018 until i posted my New Year’s Eve shaky-cam video earlier this week. I haven’t checked but I believe it to have been the longest gap in the history of Asian Meanderings and perhaps going back as far as ‘Burque Blog. Does anybody remember that incarnation?
As the end of 2018 approached, I thought that the best way to rejuvenate what was once my one and only blog was by taking a look at the year that was. I began sorting through photos taken and journal entries written each day in attempts to find something interesting to highlight. There were quite a few blog-worthy happenings throughout the year but I quickly bored of trying to find them and put them into a form that people would actually enjoy reading! I got as far as mid-March before I abandoned the project.
I will long remember the year past as one of death. While nobody from my family or circle of friends died in 2016, a number of favorite musicians and actors did. I was also profoundly affected by the mid-October passing of the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej. Over the decade-plus that I’ve lived in Phuket, I’ve become a staunch Royalist and the death of His Majesty came in the midst of my annual courses with Thai bank staff members. Seeing their sadness, as well as the intense mourning that occurred throughout the nation, deeply effected me and I continue to feel a bond with Thai people that is difficult to describe to other foreigners.
As 2017 dawns, I pray that it will be a year of much happiness and light after the darkness that pervaded much of 2016. Don’t misunderstand me: there were quite a few good times and the year is certainly ending on a high note in that I’m in my first “real” relationship in around six or seven years.
My language school will be hosting an English Camp later this month for Sri Suthorn School here in Phuket. I get asked to do these quite often following my success with camps held at resorts in Phang Nga Province. This will be my first during which I won’t have to stay overnight. Spread over two (half-) days, four teachers will lead 240 students through fun … Continue reading It’s English Camp Time Again!
This is my second year teaching at Piboonsawasdee Municipal School in Phuket Town. We are nearing the end of Term One and I would say that I’m generally well-liked by the majority of the students (with the possible exception of some trouble-making boys in P6 and one or two individuals in P3).
Yes, all the students STILL want to shake my hand whenever they see me despite my valiant efforts to get them to wai me in the hallways. After all, they begin and end the lessons with this form of respect and would never think to wave and scream “Hello” to the Thai teachers. I don’t think I’m asking for much!
But one significant change I’ve noticed just in the past two months or so is that I’m almost always referred to as “Kru Mark” (kon kru is Thai for “teacher”). While the kids address me properly as “Kru” or “Kon Kru”, I do hear them saying “Kru Mark is here” when I walk by their classrooms or see them outside.
Well, I’m closing in on that 60-day limit again which means it’s time for yet another visa run. As per the Penang Thai Consulate’s interpretation of the rules, I can receive one last tourist visa there since I haven’t done any 30-day extensions from within Thailand. As I understand it, this is the last of the three-in-a-row I’ll be able to do in Penang (and perhaps all of Asia).
Continue reading “It’s Visa Run Time Again!”