A Different Tune.

The hallway leading to my room is open to any creature that wishes to come in; windows are left ajar to keep the air from getting stagnate, geckos and little finches come and go as they please.  I open my door in the early morning and a commotion ensues with about a dozen or so animals scrambling away from my presence in an instant.  I like this symbiotic living situation.

Good Morning

I am in my second week of teaching, and I am still not entirely sure what is going on.

“Everything is flexible!  No worry!”

“But would you like me to do anything else?” I ask.

A very confused look crosses Ajan Surasit’s face.  “Do more?”  (“Ajan” means teacher).

“Yes,” with a nod of my head.

“No worry, just talk!”

And with a huge grin that consumes his face, the conversation is over.

I was trying to offer my help with any other tasks that needed to be done because my days are very relaxed, with my actual teaching schedule being once a day for about 2-3 hours.  And with the curriculum already laid out for me, I spend Monday’s working on my lesson plan, which I will then use for the entire week.  The rest of the time I am at my desk trying to look busy.  But no one has bothered me, no one has come to ask why I am not doing anything, no one has called me out on reading a book.  The Director of the college even stopped by to make sure I wasn’t working too hard.  What a world of difference from the efficiency-pumping machine that is the American working culture!  At this point in time, it makes me feel very useless, but I have a feeling in another month, I will be singing a different tune.

My students have nicknamed me Ajan Mali (Teacher Jasmine); everyone in Thailand has a nickname!  Jack, Air, Arrow, Mint, and Tim are just a few of the girls names, and Yod, Moss, Oat, and Ohm round out some of the boys.  I had them make me a profile page of themselves so I can start learning who they are, and I received very colorful, artistic renditions of names, where they are from, and their ages!

Last Wednesday was a holiday–not sure for what, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the king.  Ajan Phao invited me to join him and his family on a trip to a floating market.  How could I pass?!

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, King Rama IV palace, and Don Hoi Lot–close to Nakhon Pathom with Ajan Phao

A different way of life, a different perspective on time, a different outlook on responsibility.  Soaking as much of it in as I can.



2 responses to “A Different Tune.

  1. Nope couldn’t get used to the squat toilet mostly because I’d piss on my leg or feet. Hell I already do that when I’m in the field. Of course I probably wouldn’t have 26 pounds of gear on. Wait, I still piss on my leg when I don’t have gear on. Crooked woo woo I guess. Loving the photos and jealous as hell of your life. Love ya

  2. What a nice change of pace!!! I am loving all of your posts and look forward to each one. I agree with SB on the squatting toilet! I don’t know how many times I have been called out this season by one of the guys for having a little splatter on the bottom of my nomex…. TMI!?

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