Wednesday, 28 November 2012
|All of the students at School for Life|
Recently I taught my first English lesson to a class of Thai kids, at the school I am working at in Chiang Mai. It was really hard seeing as they speak basically no English so I just had to work with them slowly and go through one small thing at a time. Being a teacher is difficult, and being a horrible student in school it is no big surprise that I do not hold a natural aptitude to inspire others to learn boring things. Not that all lessons have to be boring or that I am bad teacher but I am just referring to learning in general really, especially when it is something as tedious as another language. Living at school for life is nice, but it is a little boring. The school is about a good 45 minute drive from Chiang Mai city, and located up near the base of the mountains there is not that much in the way of entertainment as you can guess. Still, I appreciate getting free food and accommodation and at least there is some nice scenery here.
|Nora, Me and Elena|
Having been travelling on my own for a little under 2 months now, I have surprised myself at how easy it is to meet other people if you are just a little bit open minded. I have already had some really awesome nights here in Chiang Mai and met some great people. There are two girls from Germany that I am living and working with at School for Life (Nora and Elena), a whole bunch of foreigners who live and grew up here in Chiang Mai, a slew of young Thai students who are friendly for the most part (apart from the ones who punch you in the face for unintentionally hitting on their girlfriend who approaches you in the first place) and even a collection of other travelling English teachers just like myself. There is plenty of opportunity to party here with lots of bars, clubs, pubs and music. I even went on a roadtrip to an awesome festival in Bangkok called Culture One, with 5 seperate stages of music the weekend before last.
|At the festival Culture One in Bangkok|
I have actually been doing some thinking about human relationships in general, and I think it all comes down to living in the moment. Human companionship is naturally wired into our being, but I think as we get older and go through certain experiences we start to develop all these things that hold us back from this natural state of connection. As I was thinking the other day, I remember when I was a kid I would just instantly become friends with any of the other kids I happened to be playing a game of hide and seek with, or the neighbors kids coming over to visit. Some may argue that loosing that it is a part of growing up, but here in Thailand, especially with some of the Buddhist Monks, I see that spark of warmth has not waned and still very much a defining factor in many peoples lives. Personality, habits, routines, living situation and many other things will change in a person’s life but I still think this state of pure love is an aspect fundamental to our existence, which some people simply loose contact with. And I think perhaps the reason I went travelling in the first place was to find that again, or maybe to see that it still exists at all.
|A lake near the school|
I have also realised just how easy it can be to travel on a tight budget. Sure here in Thailand things are really cheap, but I think provided you can save enough for a flight, and simply get yourself into the country then you can really start to establish a life for yourself. There are jobs available for travelers be it working as an English teacher, a bartender, moving furniture there are so many opportunities for you to be able to get by. Then as long as you look hard enough you can find all of the things you are looking for, I really believe in that.
|My new CBR 150|
In other news, I have bought myself a motorbike (sorry Mum). It’s only a Honda CBR 150 so it’s not like i’m gonna do a wheelie in third, but it still manages a decent 140kph if you need it to (and mostly I don’t). Riding a motorbike is just so much fun, you can only really understand it when you have ridden one yourself. It just doesn’t compare to the scooter I was riding previously. Don’t worry though, i’m still a pretty defensive driver here in Thailand though- because you have to be, so nobody be worrying that i’m going to axe myself in some terrible crash.
|Bangkok- A city of opportunities|
I am also working at an English Camp the weekend after next. Basically this is an organisation that holds a camp for Thai students in a location somewhere in Thailand over a certain time (usually 2-3 days) and they pay me to go from wherever I am staying down to work at that camp. It is more about fun activities and team-building exercises with the children rather than teaching which I would prefer a lot more! And I would be getting paid (1000 Baht a day), with the prospect of full-time employment! This is just the kind of opportunity I have been looking for, a chance to travel, get involved with fun activities with the students and even get some money so i’m not constantly living off my savings! So if I was to find a full time job, I would be relocating to Bangkok. Chiang Mai is a great place and I like living here but I would like to see other parts of Thailand and this could be just the opportunity I have been looking for.