Being back in Thailand has been great. The culture is so different, so new and interesting. It's crazy being somewhere where you can't communicate with others at all. You think well if I say it louder and slower maybe they will understand; but that is not the case. It makes me really want to learn Thai but then is just seems so daunting and impossible that I don't even want to begin... but I will. Maybe tomorrow. This town has some foreigners (white people) but they mainly consist of older men who come to teach English- I have seen 5 thus far. I get the feeling that a young white woman is not very common.
Today we taught English at the High School. The five of us stayed together to teach the class. I realize now just how difficult it would be to teach with out knowing Thai-- near impossible. How do you give them directions of what to do? I don't know how people do it- maybe they teach college age who already have a foundation of words. Our first class was 10th and 12th graders, probably about 30 kids. This class was large and the 12th grade boys are hard to control- keep quiet. My mom and I introduced ourselves and then they were free to ask us questions. Thais are always curious and ALWAYS ask about one's boyfriend/girlfriend situation. So for about the next 5 minutes the boys were trying to ask me that. How to say it in English and who would be brave enough to stand up and ask that. My sister-in-law, Pook, finally called on one to ask. When I said no, the class squealed and screamed, boys hit each other, and the girls covered their faces and laughed. It was quite an uproar...quite comical.
I had never taught a class before- no Sunday school, nothing. It was quite fun, I can see why people do it. To have that control and command of the pupils. You decide what to teach them and what they are going to learn. Seeing my brother stand up in front of the class with such confidence, teaching the class, speaking in Thai was very cool. We have the class for about an hour, but the time flies by. Then we taught 11th grade, this one went well it was smaller- about 18 which included 17 girls. Girls are such better students! Afterwards the two other English teachers (who are Thai) cooked us some lunch... it was very good! We usually go straight to the primary school and teach 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, but today they had a special speaker instead.It has been raining a lot here- 3 days straight so far. Many things are flooded. I have never heard thunder like this before, and I've seen my fair share of storms. But nothing like this lightning and thunder. Luckily I love the rain and lightning storms- things the central coast does not see much of, so I'm enjoying it. With the rain comes humidity, everything feels slightly damp- all my clothes and bedding. Like it was pulled out of the dryer a little too early- you get used to it I suppose.
There are over 70 different varieties of bananas, can you believe it? Motorbikes are very common transportation here, not many people have trucks. They start driving very young- age 8 or 9- illegally of course. There is not much police regulation here and there is a lot of corruption within the government. So you can pretty much drive however you'd like. I still have yet to drive- I'm a little nervous though because they drive crazy, on the opposite side of the road, and my brother's truck is a stick- so you shift with your left hand = equaling quite a stressful task. Maybe I'll practice tomorrow.