Daily Archives: May 20, 2005

How’s like to be in the best school?(2)

“Days and years have passed, but love for Triamudom still remains
Lotus pool, teacher and friends’ voices still repeat in mind over and over

Ruk T.U. (Love Triamudom), wish you’ll always stay forever
Ruk teachers and friends, truly and deeply inlove with you all
Ruk T.U. as if an ornamental pin for a topknot…”

Then the music started to be turned down and down and silence at last..
I suddenly remembered it was the last day of year 10..first year in this school.

No longer freshy? I was going to be a junior, year-11 girl..Time had passed too soon and that caused me tears…

I couldn’t hold back times.. smiles, laughs, singing, dancing and booming with friends and seniors – – all I could do was only wish I could go back and gain every single second’s experience..wish I never wasted it.

“Hi! What’s your name? ..Nice to meet you!” “You don’t have money today? Ah, I can lend you” “You don’t understand this, let me try explain it to ya!” “What’s wrong today? It’s ok..It’s going to be fine ~ I’m always here for you- – here is my shoulder!” and etc. were all generous words I never thought I could get this much friendship from school full of studious people like this- – now it would happen as a cycle to those who were becoming next year’s freshmen..instead ~

Nothing I could do by that time. No need to live in desperation, I should have gotten up, be a good role model for those freshmen and do something for the school I love ~ I decided to be a school’s presenter, one of students’ committees that year. More unforgettable memories started to fill in my life since then:

Starting with cleaning our SC’s room!

Welcoming freshmen

Visiting and joining STEP program in Singapore at Greenview Secondary School

Loy Kratong’s MC at school ~ with Fort, vice students’ committees’ president

Winners that day

Here came the last work for this year >>

Prom’s staff

30 lives of us had been through lots of work and troubles together. I so thank you all for being born, meeting me, helping me and being my cronies. There were some times I felt like crying at first but you all have kept me alive. Being SC was the most exhausting experience imaginable.. but it was worth it to earn the whole experiences as the wage. Although, we argued sometimes, some friends were even hard to bear ~ but at the same time, some were too good to be true but whether how good or suck:p we were, we’re still friends. Frienship’s like glass, hard to make (at first) but easy to break but I see we all are cherishing it the best we can and that’s the only way to keep the glass be the glass forever.. won’t forget any of you, remember I am always here whenever you need me 🙂

with students’ committees

ได้ชื่อว่า ต.อ. ย่อมพอใจ
The thing that hasn’t change is still around
Which is the love of our own pride
Being T.U., u must be proud
Our gorgeous emblem is the greatest forever**

Back to School

This week, most of the students in Thailand went back to school after the long summer break. For me, it came a lot quicker than expected. I had an enjoyable break. I spent some of the time building up my internet business and other times going away on one day trips. I really like working flex-time and I had a nice routine going on at home. This included morning weight lifting exercise and then early evening I used the running track or stationary bicycle. I also went out for walks. But I have my own private gym on the roof. I am not really a fitness freak. But, I spend a lot of time on computers as part of my work. So, it is important that I try and stay healthy. Now that I am back at school, I am not too sure if I will be able to keep this up. I don’t get home now until 5 p.m. (after a 5 minute commute – ten minutes if the traffic is bad as it can take five minutes to walk across the road) and then in the evening I have to spend at least three or four hours in the office doing company work. It is not easy juggling two jobs.

It is always strange coming back. This time even more so as I only came into school a few times in the last two months. So, there were a few changes – some more noticeable than others. I think probably the major one was that all the computer desks and work stations in the office and our staff room had been picked up and swung around so that we are now all facing north. At first I thought it might have been instructions handed down from the government. When you sing the king’s anthem properly you should stand up and face north towards his palace. However, apparently this is a “fen shui” thing. According to the experts hired by the school, we should all now be happy and productive workers. It makes me wonder if this will work properly if there is a skeptic in the workplace. Or if one person decided to face south instead. I wonder if I should mention to anyone that I have two computers on my desk. So, sometimes I am facing west. Am I throwing a spanner in the works? I am not sure whether to believe in this or not. But I suppose if my North-facing computer doesn’t crash and my West-facing Computer is full of viruses then I should seriously consider!

Another difference for us teachers is that on the first day back at work we all had our fingerprints taken. No, it wasn’t because we had done something wrong. The school administrators had decided that they would upgrade the old analogue clock for clocking in. Now when we arrive at school in the morning our fingerprints are scanned and the date and time noted. We then have to do this in the late afternoon when we go home at 4.45 p.m. Apparently, some teachers were getting their friends to log in for them. Or they went home early and someone else logged out for them. Of course, I never did such a thing. I would never cheat the system in that way. Now, which James Bond movie did he fool the fingerprint scanner? Was it “Man with a Golden Gun”?

At school these days I have three jobs which I try to juggle during the day. Actually four as I am the official tour guide for any visiting foreign dignitaries and tourists. Firstly I am the head of the computer department. This involves monitoring the work of my staff and also making sure we are always moving forward with new and innovative ideas. My other job is the head of the foreign teachers department. My duties involve producing their schedule, monitoring their work, holding weekly meetings, and basically being a buffer zone between them and the Thai administration. My final job is as humble English teacher. I do this one because I like the challenge of trying to make students enjoy English. I only have one class of Primary 6 students. They are twelve years old. It is a good class and I have been impressed with their ability so far. I teach them five days a week. I will be writing all about life at school over the coming weeks. So, if you are planning on becoming a teacher in Thailand then you should come back soon for lots of first hand experiences.

I think we are now officially in the monsoon season here in Thailand. Most nights this week we have had heavy storms. I did take my umbrella to school every day though fortunately I didn’t have to use it. There were a few rain storms during the day though mainly these came overnight. One of the good things about the storms for us is that the temperature drops quite a bit. At the moment it is averaging 34 Celsius. This can drop 3-9 degrees Celsius during and after a storm. What has made this week hotter is the high humidity. Much higher than usual. This morning I left my air-conditioned office to go downstairs to take some pictures. I took the lens cover off the camera and it immediately misted over! I think it was about five minutes before I could use it. That doesn’t happen often.

Due to the heat we have all been sweating more than usual. Even the Thai people. That is unusual as Thai people don’t sweat as much as Westerners. I am not sure what it is. Maybe thinner blood. Maybe just the way they do everything slower. Or maybe it is just because they use the prickly heat powder after showering. I don’t use the talcum powder as I had rather a bad experience with a certain brand. I didn’t realize it had menthol in it and I sprinkled it over a certain part of my body that didn’t really appreciate it. I was in agony for a while. Anyway, Thai people like to be very clean at all times and so it doesn’t look good when foreigners are walking around soaking wet from sweat. As this was my first week of walking to school during the summer months I had to rethink my strategy. So, for the first time in Thailand, I now wear an undershirt. Naturally this sounds like a crazy idea in this heat to wear something that is meant to keep you warm. And yes it did make me feel warmer. However, it did a really good job of keeping my shirt dry.

Well, I’d better cut this short now. The cleaner didn’t come last week because I was away on Koh Chang. She will be coming tomorrow and I need to give the house a quick clean.

Chiang Mai

A girl dressed in hilltribe clothes posing on the steps of Doi Suthep

Well, things change (as they must), and after two years, some of the things we were most looking forward to have changed or gone completely. The guest-house we were looking forward to staying at is gone: razed to the ground! As for my all-time favorite vegetarian restaraunt with the kitschy, coca-cola decor… it’s still there and the food is still great, but the prices have doubled, and I think it has changed hands… *sigh*. Oh well.

We (my wife, our friend from BKK and I) arrived early this morning via bus from Bangkok. After discovering the ruins of our intended lodgings, we got lucky with number two. Ironically though, this also is under new (but friendly) management. We have a beautiful room in a good location, and have spent the afternoon window shopping around town (talaat Wororot and Chinatown area…). Right now Ize (my wife) and Nes are getting their hair done next door while I right this. I can’t wait to see what color Ize’s hair is now!

Chiang Mai is hot right now, but not as uncomfortable as Bangkok. In fact one day last week, we took an overnight trip to Ko Samet, just to get away from the heat! It was our first trip there, and we liked it–even though we got there late, left early, and it rained most of the time ^__^! Actually, that just made it nice and cool, and the contrast of the dark sky and green water was beautiful! I jumped in and swam around for a half hour or so, and the water was simply mah-vellous!

We chose Samet because of it’s proximity to Bangkok, but we were happy to find that it was so nice. The sand was white and smooth, and there were more Thai tourists there than foreigner (as opposed to other places we’ve been, like Samui or Pa Ngan). In fact, that was really nice for us, because as a mixed couple/group- we didn’t seem to draw so much suspicious attention.

Well we took plenty of pictures but I don’t have a way to load them onto this computer right now, so maybe next time I’ll share some.
Right now, my wife and I are so happy because we just checked our final grades online… and we both got straight A’s! Thank you… thank you very much. She was worried but I never had any doubts about it. As for our friend… she just finished up her exams in Bangkok, and she’ll be in suspense for another month. So I guess we can’t celebrate to riotously until then…

Ok, since I’m obviously unable to focus my thoughts into a logical, and relevant sequence… I’ll say goodbye for now, and I’ll try to write again soon.


Thai Rice with Generosity

In the basement of the Central Plaza, Lad Phrao, there is an excellent food court. The massive hall is full of food stalls made of glistening steel and chromium. There is pearl white boiled rice as the main dish, along with hundreds of other dishes to go with it. Food is served in attractive bowls and plates made of bone china. At lunchtime the whole place is full of customers.

I had been there in the recent past with a friend of mine from Nepal. I ordered plain rice with a dish of small prawns and mushrooms with asparagus. The dish was cooked well with soy sauce and the flavour of thyme. My friend also chose the same accompanying dish, but by the time he ordered, the quantity of the prawn mushroom dish had been reduced from a standard serving.

The lady who was vending the dish on her own reduced the price of the food for my friend from the standard 30 Bath to 20 Bath. It was a delicious lunch to remember after a long forenoon of shopping in the Central Plaza, Lad Phroa. The food was not only good; it was perhaps made better by the generosity of the vendor.

Peanuts Revolution

I only have a few minutes here. Just so folks don’t forget me already, I’m going to drop a quick rant.

“Oh I LOVE Thai peanut sauce. I had this Thai chicken salad the other day and it was just divine.”

If I only get a dime everytime I hear someone tells me that. Actually, if I could get a $100 for every person who is completely surprised when I told them that peanut and/or peanut sauce is not the key ingredient of Thai food.

Thai chicken pizza. Pizza with chicken, bean sprouts, and peanut sauce. Thai chicken salad. Crisp lettuce, crunchy noodles, and peanut dressing.

Thais don’t put PEANUT SAUCE on everything, people. And not every food item that is Thai has peanuts in it.

Peanut sauce and the only thing you’d use it with is to dip your pork Satay in. A few plates that typically have peanuts tossed in would be Pad Thai and Tom Yum noodles of some kind.

I REFUSE to order any food item that said “Thai” in it.

I guess we’re fighting the stereotypification (is that a word, President Bush?) of food the same way as other cultures. Like ham and pineapple comes to be “Hawaiian”, sesame oil and crunchy noodles comes to be “Chinese”. And “California” rolls? Puh-lease! Avocado is not all that Californian. But I digress.

Back to our fight against faux Thai food.

Next time you dine out, help defy such silly myth about Thai food and NOT order Thai chicken salad. If you want Thai food, visit your local Thai restaurant.