Friday, September 23, 2011

Quick, short post

Can't believe this happened a year ago.
Last post took the longest out of any post I've done. I know you wouldn't be able to tell from the quality of it except for Kait's superior comments (thanks Kait!) I will make this short and a little sweeter than usual. Finished my Prawn Show today! I think it went really well, I've never seen anyone else's show or done one before but the kids were well behaved, sang their 4 year old hearts out and were generally pretty cute and fun. Now I don't work till Wednesday, then 3 not full days of work then off until October 25th I believe. The main message I want to get across in this blog is the other day I went back to this huge Thai festival they are having in Nakhon for the 3rd time but this time will all Thai people and is certainly a different experience being with people who understand everyone everyone is saying. I know very little Thai and main stumbling blocks are I have a lot to learn in a short period of time and once you learn Thai, outside of Thailand it isn't much use. If you learn Spanish or Chinese, that is useful. Not a ton of people speaking Thai in North Bay these days. When my friend Alex was up last weekend he basically told me I'm dumb for not learning Thai and that I'm missing out on meeting really different and fun people. And he's right. It is sort of like if I was Thai, went to Canada to teach kids how to speak Thai and only hung out with other Thai teachers and only learned a few words of English. I'm really limiting the things I can do and the friends I can meet by not learning Thai. So I've learned a few things this week and will hopefully continue throughout my break. Highlights of the festival were playing bingo (no idea what numbers the guy was calling but he let me choose 2 bingo shot a BB gun at a target (if the goal was to make sure the man on the target was left unharmed, then I succeed) and throwing balls at a teenager on a dunk tank. That was probably the best part, I didn't get them but I have a burning desire to return and willing to spend 500 baht to ensure my triumph over them. Have an unbelievable weekend. Might get pictures later and I know people love pictures so look at this:

Try a little harder to be a little better

Monday, September 19, 2011


This week we have a special guest. This is Kait. From Ottawa, special bond has been created because we both have lived there, makes me miss home less because her and Stu are here. Even though she steals my paint supplies then lies about it, she is still one of my favorite people here. Also, she says I don't give her compliments so this should cover me until December. She will be giving her thoughts/comments/concerns on a range of issues, mainly issues brought up in this wonderful blog you all read. Enjoy Kait's Corner. $$$

Thanks for the lovely introduction; it makes me feel a little worse about arguing against the majority of your blog content. Actually, judging by the fact that I didn’t roll my eyes once while reading, I think this may just be one of your most mature blogs yet! Woo Bert! I’m glad you are embracing most of what Thailand has to offer and you seem more relaxed. Evidence #1: your realization that Thailand may be a little warm for 3 piece suits ;). Evidence #2: we finally witnessed Mr. “I love to dance” actually bust a move.
Wow..........what a week. (Alex making fun of how lame and typical me having a blog is and how they all probably start off as) I'm probably going to forget somethings but here we go. At work, on my computer and I turn around and there is a little kid standing there with a bag with two pieces of sweet corn. That seems about right. Just ate one, so good. Kids/parents have started bringing me things and I really like it. Have a little notebook now, get pound cakes and cookies. Had a friend from Ottawa come visit on Saturday. First person from home that I've seen since leaving and was a lot of fun. Went to the pool, ate a pizza man which some people love....some love massages, went to a Thai festival with a ridiculous amount of people/vender's/turtles and kittens. Went to a little Jamaican bar after, played some connect 4, went to a Disney themed party. Sunday went to my first waterfall with Alex, ate at I think my favorite restaurant in Nakhon, Joy's Pizza but I don't eat their pizza. I really do wish I loved Thai food more...but I don't.
"TUBING" 3 weeks ago..ish

Sandwich party.  I had 4.5 sandwiches. (currently listening to easy listening 80s music)

This is my go to meal.
I just looked at pictures from the waterfall on Sunday and 3 people in the last bit have told me I've gotten smaller and looking at those pictures I agree. I need to eat more of my go to meal. Arggg.

I would like to add that the purpose behind “Kait’s Corner” is not to bash Bert or any of his ideas, but rather to engage in a healthy dialogue about some of his more controversial posts. For example, pizza man is way better than joy’s pizza. Just kidding (although it is true). On a side note- Bert, it often takes a while to get used to all the rice. Don’t freight, one day you will wake up craving it. The fact that you already eat it for breakfast is a good sign.

Probably the safest ferris wheel in the world.
My main my Pum and personal serenader Jimmy.
So football has now started and the games start at 12am here so I dont' watch them last Monday I went to Sean's place and watched some of the games and by pure chance the Cowboy game was on. I don't think I can describe how happy it made me. I had to avoid the internet all day just in case I saw any scores. Then I went back the next day to watch Monday night football. Sean and I are becoming very close..and he has good food. And a pool table. I might like Nick from Nick and Nat a little less because of said pool  table.
Kait, would you like to describe this person for my record breaking 10 followers? Take THAT Lady Gaga.

Last week was exam week so I had to test all my kids individually in math and English. Last week was the fastest week I've had in Thailand. I liked seeing how much my kids have learned from my above average teaching style and one student I thought was pretty smart ended up doing the best out of the whole class. Surprised me and taught me to pay more attention to kids that might be a little less quiet. On the other hand, somewhat discouraging when I ask a student what his name is and can't answer me soooo I have things to work on. This week getting their report cards in order, practicing for our Prawn Show which there will be a video/pictures of and the infamous Prawn Song will go viral. 
I've been told that my blog hasn't been up to par lately and needs more Bert thoughts and funnier elements. Well we all know I'm not funny so I will give you a thought or two. I think the world needs DRASTIC and ACCOUNTABLE change. Let's start with the second one. Maybe the most important thing in someones job/life/relationship is accountability. For example, you are in high school, working at a job that you don't love working but are forced to make paper because girls don't date guys with no money or without any skills.

Bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills etc. What reason would they have to try and learn new skills, continue to develop and be super nice to every customer they encounter? Accountability. If you work at a job where nobody cares if you show up late, doesn't matter how hard you work or get along with other people...eventually most people will stop giving 100% at some point or just leave the company...unless your name is Jessica McLellan or Jessica Oliver for that matter. You two should meet. Anyway, that is why elections are important for voters to be able to punish or reward politicians after a certain term, to make them accountable. Which brings me to my next point. I believe the world and maybe some of us humans are in need of DRASTIC change. I only use capitals because I feel change isn't strong enough of a word. I understand that the world as a whole does somethings great and some humans have been know to be change the course of history. With issues such as population explosion, in the year 2025, the population of the world is estimated to grow to 7.8 billion and in the year 2050 around 8.9 billion. Most of this growth will come in developing countries where there is already a shortage of food. 

Globally around 30,000 nuclear weapons are held by various countries. On average, each of them has a destructive power thirty times that of the Hiroshima bomb.
The world's current population is already estimated to be unsustainable at today's rates of consumption and pollution, and another 2.5 billion people over the next half-century—all rightly striving to raise their standards of living—will only exacerbate the problem.

World population:
6.8 billion
World Hunger:
925 million people do not have enough to eat which is more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union combined. 
98% of the world's undernourished people live in developing countries.
35 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.
1.7 billion people lack access to clean water.
2.3 billion people suffer from water-borne diseases each year.
12 percent of the world's population uses 85 percent of its water, and non of the 12 percent lives in developing countries.
Shark specialists estimate that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins, annually. 
an estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year; approximately 50 per cent of all victims are children. there are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers involved in over 30 areas of conflict worldwide, some younger than 10 years old. Of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked, 70% are female and 50% are children; the majority of these victims are forced into commercial sex trade.

I will stop here because goooogling this is making me sad. I really don't think these problems will be solved because there are just too many issues, in too many countries, with too many different motivations and wait for it..........not enough accountability. In a perfect world how would we solve this? I haven't put crazy, crazy amounts of thought into this but I think problems we have like in minority governments or in the US, it is just too hard and you need too much cooperation to get anything done. Too many people looking out for different interests to we make short term comprises that only make our long term problems more severe. People want change/improvement but don't want to bothered. Example: Toronto elects Rob Ford to put the city back on track buy cutting spending, people start realizing THEY might lose their jobs, get angry and complain, then Liberals say (provincial election going on at home right now) this is what will happen if you vote Conservative. Well maybe that's what provinces and countries need. Stop spending so much money, get rid of jobs that arent' useful. People riot in Greece and England because of austerity measures..your country has no money, what do you expect. I just think the world would be better off will unbelievably bright, long term thinking people had some sort of small council, were anonymous and had control over all aspects of a country while protecting basic human rights. These people were somehow held accountable every 3-5 years by the people they rule and were rewarded in some manner or punished in some way if their policies didn't turn out. These are my thoughts and also somewhat open to the opinions of others. Have a fun Wednesday.

This was informative but also very depressing. As a major player in the mass media industry, it is responsible of you to pass along this information to your readers. Good job.

Following along with Bert’s eclectic collection of information this week, and on a topic far more pressing than world hunger or human trafficking, I would like to comment on old post that has nothing to do with this entry. The post is called Got quite involved on the weekend (as British people would say)…

“…my little cousin Alex loves [house] music...and I always thought she was wrong for liking it and how she wasn't cool…. this is what the "kids" are listening to these days and how I'm out of the loop. It hit me like a orange juice truck. There is a generation of people younger than me that like different things and think things I like are lame.” -Bert

I think as you get older and wiser you come to the realization that what is cool is completely arbitrary and often comes in full circle. So, eventually “cool” things don’t interest you like they used to. You learn to enjoy the fashion or music that you truly enjoy. That is not to say that taste doesn’t change or adapt—but I think as we get older we realize that we don’t necessarily need to indulge in the latest trend. Techno & house music is nothing new—the rave culture started in the late 1980’s and thrived through until the mid 90’s. And, as things usually do, has come back in style recently. So there are those who like it because it is “cool for now” and there are those who have been listening to it for years and couldn’t care less about popular consensus. So Bert, it doesn’t mean you are “out of touch”, it just means that you like what you like and don’t focus as much time and energy finding out what the masses are into at the moment. As long as you are open to trying new things- cool or otherwise- it may not actually matter what the popular opinion is. This also goes for fads such as, oh let’s say, planking. Who cares if it is old news, if you get your kicks lying flat in random places then good for you (this goes out to the silly looking bearded guy in on of the pictures). 
Ps. Thanks for including this picture and portraying me as a high roller. 

P.S. This is one of the many Thai things I ate this
week. Love Thai food.

Didn't taste that blog material though.
Oh and the other night I had a group Skype date with some of my friends from Ottawa and they took a group picture while holding a laptop. I thought it was very adorable but I'm pretty sure my eyes were shut..

Laugh when you can, apologize when you should & let go of what you can't change. Kiss slowly, play hard, forgive quickly, take chances, give everything, and have no regrets. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

… & don’t forget to think less and feel more.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Definitely did not watch Titanic this week.

This week was review week for teaching, kids have exams next week, then a show on the 23rd then a week to get ready for next semester then off until the 25th of October. Didn't have to teach on Friday because some kids have Hand, Foot and Mouth disease so the Health Department came in, sprayed everything so we didn't have to work or teach. No complaints. On Thursday night, played frisbee then there was a sandwich party near my house. Which was great, I brought peanut butter and jam, other people brought way more advanced things. Had 4 and a half sandwiches. If I was good at blogging there would be pictures right here, but as you know from reading this, I run a low end operation. There are pictures out there and should post them at some random time. Friday, went to a cowboy themed, free beer/free food party. That was great. As Stu said, I bet nobody from home right now is thinking "I bet he is at a cowboy themed Thai style party". Again, didn't bring my camera HOWEVER some people do bring theirs so I have stolen some. Might get some more this week so will post those when I get them. Here:
There were balloons everywhere.
Got my bike washed for the first time on Friday, then it wouldn't start. Eventually got it to the Honda dealership where the guy told me my bike needs oil. Not just in Canada do bikes need oil, apparently a universal thing. Lesson learned. Went too late to pick it up on Saturday, ate chili at Sean's restaurant. Don't worry mom, you beat his chili hands down.

That's sort of what last week has been like. I found these interesting time lapse videos. This one is fun and the one on New York and Barcelona are well done.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nobody tells DJ Request what to play

Good evening. We now have internet at my place so that should make these posts a little more frequent/lesser quality. Let's start with Thursday. Oh Thursday's. Use to be so great. Along with Tuesday's but for a different reason. If for some reason you did not know this, we use to call Thursday's Sexy Thursday. Me, Kendra, Rachel and Marie would hangout on Thursday's and we (I) would plan amazing things for us to do. It was a great start to the weekend and something to look forward to. Thursday a big group of us went to a famous Nahkon attraction called Shadow puppets. Apparently you can go to the guys house and look around.

Friday was Thai Day at school. No teaching. Kids dressed up, ate food and went home early. Teachers stayed and were productive. Here are some pictures of that:
3 of my kids.

So apparently in Thailand the school has a draw and the winner gets a chicken. A CHICKEN! A little girl went home on Friday with a chicken. FYI, if I came home with a chicken, my mom would not be amused. My dad would see the cooking/eating value in the situation. (Side note: I've started telling ppl here this but when I was a kid my dad use to cook salmon in the DISHWASHER. Unbelievable.

Friday after school got a massage with partner of a game that has yet to be named, picked up food for Mexican Night. Went over to Jake and Emma's for Mexican food, did not dance, then had people over here for a little Fiesta. A Thai lady may or may not have thrown a cup/glass at our gate, police may or may not have been there and there may or may not have been someone on our roof. 

Saturday went on a bit of a bike ride (by far the slowest driver of our group) (by far) (hear that mom??) (and I wear a helmet..and no Brigitte, mom didn't make me wear a helmet inside the house as a kid due to my mildly frequent hospital encounters. Went "tubing" down this "river". Only reason I did it was well 2 reasons: it looked sort of fun and Kait and Stu from Kait and Stu said they did it before and really liked it and they're Canadian. So we rent these super small tubes and tube down this river. Well. The water level was lower then before and these tubes are super small and the amount of rocks in the river makes you think of the movie "The Rock". Only mildly dangerous and proud of us for doing it. Mikey also did it, he might have had a bit of a harder time then the rest. These Thai girls were drinking on a rock on the water and watched us go down. I waited for the others to catch up and asked them if they spoke English. They shake their heads and laugh nervously. One girl says "I do not speak English" in a tone that suggest that MAYBE she does speak English. Very sneaky Thailand. Survived the trip home, took me 30 min to figure out what our password for the internet is and as soon as I did that, Abim, my roommate, says oh ya last years password? Ah, perfect, should have just waited for your help sir. Just Skyped my brother, ate a hamburger and should be in a coma in about an hour.

And that's the kind of day its been.


Thursday, September 1, 2011


In case you are unsure, I'm Canadian.

I don't think will be a long post but I want to put more things up so this is my attempt at that. Still a blog behind and a missing great weekend that just passed post but my house doesn't have internet yet and I find it hard to write my (insert opinion about quality of Bert's blog here) if there is any noise. So I'm at home, writing this and will hopefully post in the morning. Just got home from a shave, was starting to take a turn in a negative mood, had something to do with tiredness or hunger, more tiredness I think so getting a Thai shave usually turns things around just like I use to think if anything bad ever happens to me in my life, go to Vegas and it will turn it around. My new place is Bali. Never been, have little information and don't want any. If things don't go the way I plan for something or if something happens that is very negative I will go to Bali. Hopefully, I never have to go to Bali. Have a feeling I just might. I'm verring off track. So, Thai shaves are very cheap. Believe it costs me 40 baht, takes at least 20 min, the guy today was the best barber I've had. I have a place I go everyweek and this is the first time I see this guy. I love having a barber shop, and I have a laundrerer? When I'm older, or I guess now, I want to have my own butcher, accountant, lawyer, and dry cleaner.

Anyway, the guy did a great job, basically shaved my forehead, my years, under my eyes and my (thick) beard. In a better world, I feel that people would get paid for what you thought the service they provided you with was worth. As this guy is doing this, I'm thinking this is worth way more than 40 baht, so I have him 100. Not saying this because I'm bragging about making it rain at a barber shop, I just think that if someone does something much greater than they charge, if you can spare the 50, 60 or whatever baht, dollar, pound, yen, then you should. Converselly, I feel that if you received service that was beyond what the price is, you should be able to pay less. I think most people wouldn't take advantage of that, some people would (D. Dupuis) I think people would try harder.

 I read this article about a island being built free from laws and other codes of conduct. Wonder if they have considered this. So next time someone surpasses your high/low expectations (btw...I like to keep mine low and set other people's low too, under promise, over deliver, works every time) at the very least tell them that you think they are great or did something really well. I've thought about this and told a few people this before that if you think of a compliment when you first see someone or are thinking about them, say it. Is it not for the greater good to tell someone you like their shoes, they you really like their pasta or you think they are vey insightful? Do it and let me know what you think. What I think is that you're great for reading my blog, keeping up to date with my life, making sure I'm still alive and telling me how much you enjoy following it.

Thank you.

Teacher Bert