Monday, 30 March 2009

Living in a metal box on the Trang coast. Job Interviews. Settling in.


Interview

I went to Suparachinee school at 8:15 Monday morning and met Ian the Manc. He's a great guy and he offered me a position teaching Maths which pleased me no end. Like many folk in Asia, Ian has an interesting life story. He left home at a tender age and went to Japan for 1 year against the wishes of his family! Anyhow, I am destined to be in Trang for the next year of my life. That's no problem because I like this place. Not too big, not too small. The school is massive though: 2700 pupils! Ashington High School had 1000 pupils (I think) and I thought that was big.

Maths

I'll be teaching Maths to 13-16 year olds – the equivalent of GCSE Maths. The salary is 28,500baht/month. I've just acquired a room with the help of a Thai lad called Sakda. The rent is 2000baht/month. I also rent a motorbike for 2500/month. Everything is going OK and I start on Monday 30th March. (Can you remember quadratic equations?)

Certificates

On Tuesday I phoned my brother at home and asked him to kindly send my original degree certificate and a police check I did when I worked at Newbiggin Middle School. I need these to get a work permit. I then went to the Post Office and got a postal order for 7588baht (£150) to get a new passport. Peng mac mac (expensive)! I posted my old passport to the British Embassy in Bangkok and have to wait about 2 weeks for a new one.

Tesco clothes

I then motorbiked to a huge TESCO on the edge of town. I bought 3 new shirts, a tie, some trousers and an iron. I can't believe I bought an iron! It appears I'm all set. Tuesday night I met Ian and Sakda and went on the piss. There's not much going on here but you can still etch out a great night. We ended up in a nightclub with live bands called “Say Yes”. I went there in a brand new Mercedes with a bloke called Chai. It was good but expensive for beer – although the lush Thai birds more than compensated for this.

Early Days

Trang seems quite a wealthy town by Thai standards. The money mainly comes from rubber - there are many plantations nearby. Thai's display their wealth in a different fashion to the West. They aren't too bothered about how their house looks. For instant they park their cars in the sitting room. Many living rooms wouldn't pass for a garage in the West. Houses are not signs of status like home. Cars, phones and jewellery appear to be signs of status. You would not believe the amount of gold shops here! However, unlike the Philippines, pawn shops are harder to spot.

Beaches

Yesterday I went to the local beaches. Pak Meng is about 40km west of Trang. There are amazing lime stone karst mountains jutting out from the sea. Although it was raining the stunning vistas were still enjoyed. I ate some Khao Pat Mook (Squid fried rice) and headed to Hat Yao further south. Here I met Ole, a Norwegian who lives in a metal box – a red shipping container. We drank coffee together then he showed me his house and boats. He's an interesting lad, he invited me to go on a fishing/sailing trip with him someday.

Local Bar

I drank in the local Falang Bar run by Russel an Aussie. He lived in Hong Kong for a long time so we talked about all things Chinese. I ended up drunk with a load of Thai kids riding my motorbike like a lunatic. You don't really wanna do that!
My apartment is identified by a huge red Chinese archway which reminds me of Taiwan. Oh yeah, one last thing. At Batu Ferrengi, Penang, we saw a woman on a jetski wearing a burka! That could be the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. On second thoughts I reckon Ole's highly visible outside toilet is more ridiculous.

Even the dogs eat rice in Asia

Old Russel the Aussie bar owner.

From the left, Peter the English teacher from Harrogate. Ian the gaffer from Manchester. Me the Maths teacher. Tak and Michael from Bangkok and Los Angeles. Mike's the IT teacher. Gorgeous Wii is from Trang and she is married to Peter (the lucky sod).


This is Norwegian Ole's 5 star toilet just outside his humble metal shipping container house. If you are lucky enough you could catch him having a dump 'al fresco' style!

His traditional Thai long-tail boat is great. The craftsmanship on this vessel is impressive.

Giving his 'house' a little spring clean.

Yet more outrageous rock formations on Thailand's Andaman coast. This is Hat Yao.

A serene rural setting.

The Trang coast is famous for Dugongs. Kinda like underwater cows. I always say 'Let dugongs be dugongs'.

A mangrove swamp.

You don't want to be here when a tsunami comes!

Coastal Trang.

A redundant rubber collecting vessel.

How many rubber trees?

Fancy a karaoke fix? Get your own cubicle. I can't believe people get this addicted to karaoke!

My new Harley!

You should always endeavour to park your car in the lounge. The closer to the TV the better.

Hong Pum mee pat lom (My fan room). Classy eh?


The view East to the mountains from my window.

Teacher Steve looking like a cheap twat in second hand clothes. I got some much sexier ones from Tesco

My new school. I actually started today. I taught one hour of basic maths to a bunch of 12 year olds. They were very shy.

2 comments:

  1. Wow..maths teacher!!!.You sure?Or you should be teach biology?Or sex education?You know it is always good to start young..hahaha..just joking..Hopefully,you and arman can come visit me in july..Hehe..anyway,i am going to bkk in april again,helping my friend for 3 days,while you buying stocks for her clothing shop....

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  2. Hi Stevie.. Nice Blog..Your now a teacher? At least you have a chance to teach a kiddo...just keep up the good work..

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