Sunday, February 19, 2012

Who doesn't like a field trip?

Something I found interesting and different from home happened a few days ago so I thought I would write a quick post about it and some pictures then let you get on with your day. Like at home, they have school field trips here. So 2 K2 classes from the English program then other Thai program students walked to Thalad park where they had a "haunted house", a sort of rope obstacle course, boxes with a mystery item in it and a mystery juice station. Before going on this trip I was told this is scare the ******** out of the kids day and most of them just end up in tears. The first part the kids had to put there hands in a box, not knowing what is inside, keep your hand in there for 5 seconds then go on to the next box. I didn't put my hand in it because it terrified me but was told there was a frog for sure, maybe a rabbit and not sure about the third box. Didn't care enough to risk my beautiful hand in a Thai mystery box. Some kids liked it, some kids didn't and some hated it.

The only thing I didn't like about it was that if you were hesitant about putting your hand inside the box, the teacher grabbed your hand and kept your hand in the box until you felt what was inside. I get that it might be a Thai culture thing and the teachers went through the same thing when they were young, I just think kids should have the option of refusing to do it. Which one of my kids did because she started crying 2 minutes before she got to the front of the line so I guess there are ways around it. I thought this rope part was pretty fun and I may or may not have tried it with the kids:
Then they tried some mystery juices which is also pretty fun:
97% sure that isn't blood. 
Then they enter this haunted house thing.

It was explained to me that while the kids might be scared now, it is just a part of getting older and they will laugh and it later with their parents. 
Went to a waterfall on Saturday with Jake and Emma, very fun and relaxing. Enjoy just driving, listening to a podcast and going somewhere different. Going to miss Jake and Emma when they go to Hong Kong, they are good people. 

Enjoy Family Day everyone!! Well I guess not everyone, only people in Ontario who have the day off, and only if you have a family. I don't want anyone to enjoy Monday except Ontario families, nobody else. Got it?

"Strangers in a new culture see only what they know."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Have you been feeding the fish?

Have not been very active here lately, mostly because nothing too noteworthy has been taking place. Last weekend I took Monday and Tuesday off, went to Koh Samui for the weekend to watch the Super Bowl, relax and drink a Singha or two. The biggest things I got out of that trip is that Koh Samui is really, really close and we should be going there more on just normal weekends, takes maybe 5 hours from doorstep to doorstep and has a lot going on. Forgot they had Subway there so when I walking around I was very happy to notice one of my favorite restaurants from home 30 feet from me. Ate there twice, had McDonald's twice and found a place where I could buy an Esquire magazine, even though it was a European edition, still quenched my appetite for my favorite magazine. Brought my camera along just in case and only took 2 pictures. Here is one of them: 

Stayed in Chaweng beach, by far the most touristy spot on the island. (side note: people should not be allowed to exercise/run on the beach. You are just doing it to make other people feel bad about not being active. We are on vacation ok?? If you want to workout, do some push ups or some sit ups in your room, you coward..)
Was planning on only spending 2 nights there then going somewhere more laid back for 2 nights and watch the Super Bowl but the thought occurred to me that I might not be able to find the game somewhere else on the island because I started asking around about where to watch the game and no place was showing it because it was on too early. So I decided my best  bet was to stay there and wake up and try and find it. Walked around for 20 minutes and found a popular beach bar playing it by accident while the staff were setting up and nobody else was in the restaurant. So I watched the Super Bowl, on mute, by myself, eating breakfast looking out at the sea. Not where I would have guessed to be watching the Super Bowl last year but no complaints. 
Fast forward to Friday night. To make a sort of long story short, a few of us were asked to be backup dancers for a guy we know who is making a "music video" because his dancers had cancelled on him. We dressed up in 1960's gear and youtubed 60's dance moves (in retrospect could have just called my mom, she was alive and well into here 30s by that point). So we get there, get invited into this conference room, get sat down next to I'm guessing people that have more baht than all of us combined in their pockets, get to eat really good food as an award show is going on in the back round. There was I think a lady, possibly a man dressed up in super traditional Thai dress, a man dressed up as a lady with clown hair on and a student from another K2 class there just running around. The pictures do not do this justice, it was very surreal and was one of those moments that you just needed to embrace and will never forget. This is why you should just say yes to things. Want to be a backup dancer? Yes. Want to throw tennis balls at a dunk tank with Thai girls? Yes. Do you want a half priced lady boy operation? Maybe.
The video we were in is suppose to end up on YouTube. Not sure if I will post link or watch it myself. Sort of want to keep the memory the way it is. Will keep you updated. 

On Saturday, some University students interviewed me about being a foreigner living in Thailand and asked me questions like what do I like about Thai culture, what is your favorite food in Thailand and what practices from Thai culture could you bring back to Canada with you? So fun. I love asking people questions so it was nice answering a few for people and helping them out with school. Also, the rainy season is for sure over here and has been getting really hot and the days are getting longer. Like I might have to start using my AC hot but I guess it's better than turning a heater on.

2 final things, I was going to make a post about how much it might cost you to travel in Thailand just in case anyone is interested in visiting the country where your favorite Teacher Bert resides but then found an article that did just that for me so if you are interested in general costs, read this:
Looking into flights home right now return and it is around 1300-1400 Canadian dollars. Takes about 25ish hours of flying. Not overly excited for that plane trip.
Finally, in one of my other posts I talked about missing my mom because well she's great. Currently, right, right now I miss my brother. I missed watching foooootball on his couch throughout the NFL season, taking a nap on his couch and eating Jessica's chili. I miss playing basketball on Wednesday's with him and just hanging out and being around people you have a history with and love. This generally is the only thing I don't enjoy about being this far from home. It is worth it for now but at some point it won't be not seeing and being around your friends and family. Alain, you're a good brother and if you didn't set a good example for me, I wouldn't be nearly as fun or somewhat responsible than I am now.

I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers.
It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage.
Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.
-Maya Angelou