Friday, 18 May 2012

Back at work. Submarine gogo bars and US Navy warships.

Update

After an amazing three months off work I find myself standing at the front of classrooms again. Only this time I'm back in the disorganised chaos of Thai governement schools. My first day at my new Pattaya school was on Tuesday 1st May 2012. On my second day I was herded into a classroom and told to instruct a class of kids with no warning. I asked "How old? What subject? How long?" etc. I didn't even have any chalk.This is par for the course in these places. A bargain at £600/month. It's sobering to think that I'm teaching A level maths and physics for significantly less than the UK minimum wage despite being qualified to post-grad level. I'm happy that I managed to wangle a part-time position teaching only 3 days/week.


I managed to renew my motorbike tax yesterday so that's good until June 2013. I got ripped off by the local barber on Monday and I haven't had a tab for 8 days!

Pattaya

Matt and I took Oom and Pat (wor lasses) on a tour of Walking Street where we saw this 'spider' car parked on a wall.

On another night I went to see some naked women gyrating around poles in this bar. I tried to explain how I used to work on submarines but this nugget of information seemed to get lost in translation. However, the inside of this bar did give the impression of being inside a submarine's cylindrical pressure hull. I wish some of my old ship mates from HMS Victorious could've been here to witness the inside of this 'Sexy Submarine'.

My second traffic fine in Thailand. This time my wheel was slightly over the line at a traffic light. The fact there was a car behind blocking any retreat didn't seem to be a worthy mitigating factor. The police weren't bothered about the other Thai lads waiting far further forward than me. Rather tellingly, both my fines have been in Pattaya. Now the fines are 400bt (200bt everywhere else) and the infractions seem to be more ludicrous. I rarely venture out on the bike these days as these industrious 'police' are everywhere - possibly the most profitable business in Thailand. Funny though how Pattaya's road safety record is still woeful.

Boats
I ended up hanging around with 73yo Jurgen from Denmark who was visiting from Si Saket. We like boats so I took him to a marina about 20km south of Pattaya. Here we are next to a yacht which is very similar to the one I sailed up the west coast of Scotland on in 1996. I am so tempted to buy one of these and sail it home in the future.

At the marina was an 'ATM in a van'. I've never seen one of those before.

Wor hoose
Pat and I standing outside my latest abode - Room 101. This place has Air con, TV, fridge, free WIFI and a hot water shower. It also has cheap washing machines outside and a drinking water machine that gives you 1.5L for 1bt. There're two ladies running a cheap restaurant right next door which is hugely convenient. It is also walking distance to my school. All this for 4200bt/month (£84), minutes away from all the action in Pattaya.

Bowling

As a foursome (on a double date?) we went bowling before watching The Avengers at a shopping mall. Here's Pat throwing her first ever bowl. Bless, she could barely lift the thing.

Look at my score: 125 with 4 strikes. Matt was second with 59. It took a while to get used to things (my first throw missed followed by 3) but once you get your eye in it's much easier. Reminded me of playing at the bowling alley opposite HMS Collingwood in the early '90s - I dont think I've played since then.

Immigration
After extending my tourist visa in Aranyapratet for 30 more days on the 25th April, I had to ensure I changed it to a work visa while it had 10 or more days of validity remaining. This meant I had to change from tourist to non-b on or before the 15th May and it can only be done in the Bangkok office. I went first on the 10th May - missing a paper, bollicks. I went again on the 14th May with the aforementioned missing paper. This time a paper that was OK on the 10th was not OK today, bollicks. I only had one more day and one more chance to get this visa changed otherwise it was a jaunt down to Malaysia which is an expense I could do without having had no salary since January. I went again on the 15th and finally received my non-b visa which is good until the 12th August. The visa cost 2000bt plus an additional 2000bt for three trips to Bangkok.

Here's a shot of the vast lobby in the huge government complex that houses immigration.

In the Navy
Pat and I took a ride to Sattahip - the home of the Thai Royal Navy. We saw a Thai aircraft carrier and two Thai destroyers but I couldn't get clsoe enough to get decent pics. There was, however, this US ship alongside. I could see its Phalanx weaponry clearly. I was warned by the guards not to take pics hence this rather distant shot. I tried to establish a conversation with these guards but they were like American robots. I am going to try and get a school visit organised whereby I can meet some Thai sailors and spin some dits.

Romantic dinners for two

Pat and I enjoying some Isaan Jim Joom nearby our house. She is holding a little bamboo container of sticky rice.

Lingo

khao niao - sticky rice
kee niao - sticky shit (stingy)
kee ma - dog shit
kee motosai - ride a bike
kee mao - always drunk
na ja - probably
choy choy - stay still
aa ja - maybe
yang kong mai tung - still not arrived

1 comment:

  1. Man, I must have spent half my paycheck just visiting Pattaya from Bangkok over the course of 4 years. I always end up in one and only place: Ko-Larn. Can't be bothered going anywhere else. Thanks for the traveling tips, Geordie!

    ReplyDelete

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