Friday, October 16, 2009


I don't get to actually sit down with the Internet very often, but hopefully within the next couple of weeks when I get my teaching placement it will be in a place where the Internet is a little more convenient. This week I taught my first two classes. It was a learning experience, and I teach more classes next week. In the afternoons and evenings I've spent a lot of quality time with the ocean.


My hotel sits across the street from the beach. On the side of the street with the hotel, there are other (mostly empty this time of year) hotels and some small restaurants. On the beach side, there are lots of beach chairs and umbrellas and tables. Sometimes people order food and then walk across the street to eat on the beach. Sometimes at night people drag sound equipment down there and throw karaoke beach parties.

On Wednesday after school I joined some of my fellow TEFLers at the beach. There was a huge jellyfish in the water, and some of them were trying to play with it while others were keeping their distance. These shots are from my underwater camera.



The top feels like nubbly plastic. It's not at all what I expected. That is not my hand; one of the brave gentlemen was making sure it was safe.

The jellyfish had a live crab inside of it, which later escaped when it was herded to shore for further investigation. Afterward, jellyfish was promptly returned to the water alive. Crab wandered away.

On Thursday I headed down to the beach with a book after class. The sky was clear with some haziness at the horizon and wispy white clouds overhead. Behind me, inland, the sky was overcast but light gray. I was hoping for a spectacular sunset. I sat down with my book (The Masked Rider, by Neil Peart) and started to read. I noticed a flash on the page, which I thought could absolutely not be lightning behind me, until a good few seconds later thunder rumbled above me. This was the longest, loudest thunderclap I have ever heard. I looked around behind me and the sky was still light gray. This happened again until the sky started to downpour on me, and I hurried across the street to take shelter at a restaurant and eat dinner (garlicky squid on rice.) Sudden weather changes are typical this time of year.

Most of my TEFL class was going to go out Friday night for karaoke to celebrate the birthday of one of my fellow students. Our instructor mentioned that a bunch of the TEFL employees and students from the other TEFL class were going to Rayong (the big city with the giant TESCO Lotus) for karaoke that night and that we were welcome to join them. This sounded like a great idea!

So we rented a songthaew (that's a pickup truck with two benches in the bed and a roof on top) and 14 of us rode into Rayong. We joined the TEFL group at a huge restaurant/bar where a cover band was playing songs in Thai and English. After an hour or so of this, the whole horde (about 25 people) walked to the karaoke place where we had a private room. This was amazingly fun. There were a fair number of English selections. I sang "A Whole New World" from Aladdin and "Desperado." I also sang "Yesterday." While I had a great time, I'm glad that I don't work at the karaoke bar. Having to listen to other people's karaoke parties all night long might be one of the worst jobs.


I'll leave you with Chaoying. She seems to live in the Condochain lobby. Her coloring reminds me of my kitty Clarice. She's chewing on my camera strap here.


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