Sore Thumb

Written: 21/10/2008
Right, so Friday I had my assessment.  This proved rather tricky as I had never taught this class before, they didn’t know me etc. and I had them for maths.  The class didn’t go amazingly well and I felt as though the children didn’t engage with me.  I assume this is because I am new, they don’t know me etc…I always freak out when I have assessments and Friday was no exception…I thought I was going to lose it completely…However when I had my review at the end of the day they were very complimentary about my lesson and said I had done a good job with the children and that I would definitely have a position at the school.  Yey!

Saturday, I went on a mission to find a local beach.  Having lived in Durban for so long, it has really spoilt me with beach visits nearly every afternoon and I really wanted that when I moved here.  The beach was beautiful in its own special way.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can see islands a short distance away floating in the sea amidst private yachts and things.  It didn’t take me long to discover that this beach was veeeerryy local.  I stood out like….well, like a Blonde in Thailand.  I felt like some of the kids there have never seen a white person before by the way they stared at me but I was on a mission and  I went on my walk and explored the local market and well, was stared at…  The beaches are very different in this area.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The sand is almost muddy like a dam and the beaches are covered (this is not an exaggeration) in rocks, black periwinkles and lava rock.  Judging from the local fisherman, the sea is about calf-deep up to 3 or 4 km’s out.   The water is warm – a little too warm for comfort and no one swims there and seeing as I was already standing out to such a degree, I decided not to swim and become a fully-fledged “crazy white girl that comes to Thailand and tries to swim among the fishing nets in calf-deep water”.  Yes, the locals are sort-of friendly but you also know when it’s not your area.  On my way home, I spotted some semi-touristy looking markets and shops with postcards.  Up until then, you have to realise I haven’t seen anything like this apart from Patong… Phuket town is very local and clearly doesn’t have many of us ‘farangs’ (foreigners) around.  So, I stored that in my memory bank of ‘things to do’…

So….on Sunday, I headed back in the direction I’d been in the day before…I went shopping…with no money!   I did have to buy a ‘King’s shirt’ though…This is a yellow polo shirt with the King of Thailand’s emblem embroidered over the breast.  Just about everyone in Thailand wears the King’s shirt on a Monday and if you don’t have one, a yellow one will do.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, although this sounds silly – you must know how you feel when you arrive up on a Monday morning and everyone in the country is wearing a yellow shirt and you’re not!  So, that was one thing I had to spend money on…it was also great to see all the curios and touristy things one can buy.
Yesterday I was told I finally have a class that I would be a homeroom teacher for Grade 2!  I think I’m the last teacher to be assigned but I climbed into my classroom at 2pm yesterday cringed at the mess and immediately began scrubbing, scratching, cleaning and doing everything I can for these few days before school starts to get things looking half decent…  I was happy with my progress by the time I left and was sure I had just enough time to get things sorted before Monday. This morning in my meeting with other Grade two teachers, I discovered that the guy, who didn’t rock up yesterday and whose class they allocated me to, decided to rock up today so I now don’t have a class anymore. T.I.T!  I am getting really annoyed but trying to keep my cool.  They cannot guarantee anything but they’re sure I’ll have my own class by next term (March!!!!)

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