Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Ko Chang bike trip, traffic fines and stolen laptops.

Update

Another job has been binned. I managed May and June at Photisam School in the Nakluea area of Pattaya before running. It is a government school and naturally suffers from the same systemic problems that afflict all Thai govt schools. I've accepted a position at Satit Prasarnmit International Program (SPIP) in the middle of Bangkok. I start there on Monday 16th July. I will be teaching UK curriculum maths and physics up to GCSE level. I will be paid 72,500bt/month - a significant jump in salary from 30,000bt. I am pleased that only PGCE qualified teachers can work here - it makes the effort/expense to gain mine feel worthwhile.


I went to Bangkok for another interview at the Anglo-Singapore Intl school. I was offered a position but refused it as I found the Singaporean lady-boss to be rather clueless regarding my qualifications and experience. She wanted me to teach primary - f**k that! I also met Mark J (my Phuket buddy) and looked for potential accommodation. Finding reasonably priced rooms in BKK is difficult. It is more expensive than the rest of the country. 

Mark and I walked about 8km down the famous Sukhumvit Road. Dressed in shirt, tie, trousers and shoes I suffered in Bangkok's intense heat. We also learnt that all accommodation around Asoke (my school area) is a millionaire-only zone. We walked to the 'On Noot' area where things started to get reasonable but we were exhausted by this point. I had blisters when we reached 'Udom Sook' where Mark has an amazing condo. We found a good place there but it would be a hefty commute. I have just called a place near the Rama 9 MRT line for 5000bt/month which is about 2km from my school. I'll drive up on Saturday to check it out.

We also met the biggest Farang tosser that I've come across in a while. He was a condo-selling Londoner who stated: "There is no infrastructure east of On Noot." What a dick. He also mis-pronounced 'On Noot'. Dick.

Laptop

The 8000bt laptop I bought two years ago in Phuket's Big C shop is alas no more. Some Pattaya skank stole it. I feel lucky that I got 2 years out of it but I feel a huge swathe of resentment towards Pattaya and the low-life Thais that exist here. The biggest loss is of course the school work and resources stored thereon.

My apartment management is also refusing to give me my 3,500bt deposit back for no apparent reason. I love the little soi I live in but three months here in Pattaya is enough. Roll on the bright lights of Bangkok - some of my mates are giving me until xmas!

I have to buy a new laptop but I have quite enjoyed the break from cyber-space and the re-connection with those old-fashioned books! I've read some crackers lately. It's also weird writing this in an internet cafe.

Boozing

My last 'night' on the lash was Saturday - 10 days ago. I went with Armin and Matt to Walking Street where we must have drank in at least 12 gogo bars. I carried on drinking until sunrise and then onto 10pm Sunday night. Perhaps I was celebrating another life-chapter looming in the near future or perhaps I simply have a drink problem. In any case I've decided to knock alcohol on the head for the time being. I simply can't stop once I start and I end up doing crazy 24-48hr drinking binges with no food/sleep. I suffer incredible hangovers when it's all over. I also spend fortunes and get stuff nicked.

So I've been dry for 9 days. I quit smoking (again) 8 days ago and I feel much better for it.



Two UK/Indian lads who work for British Airways. They updated me on some Londonese: Welljel = very jealous. As you can see it is about 8am - 12hrs after I started drinking the day before.

 Outside their posh (and free) hotel. It must be a great job working for an airline.

Culture

So, off the booze I started doing big treks with Armin. I finally went to Nakleua beach and saw this massive temple called 'The Sanctuary of Truth'. Quite an ironic name given the continuous lies Thais are prone to spinning.

Koh Chang

Once Armin had left for the Philippines I needed a break from Pattaya. I decided to visit Pla who has a bar on Koh Chang (Elephant Island). Koh Chang is Thailand's second largest Island after Phuket. However, what Koh Chang lacks in size it makes up for in natural beauty. Koh Chang simply spanks Phuket in every way. On the ferry I felt like I was heading to Jurassic Park given the ominous cloud-shrouded, jungle-clad mountains.

On the way there I got fined another 400bt by the police for breathing Oxygen. They had a table set up and a queue of people paying fines. This was 9am Sunday. They really are b*stards.

This says: "Ferry Koh Chang".

Koh Chang looming in the distance.

My bike perched precariously on the edge of the boat.

My 300bt jungle cabin. The noise of the rain pounding on the corrugated iron roof  was something to behold. When the rain eased for a while, monkeys were ready to add their instrumental melodies by clambering all over the roofs.

White Sand Beach at dusk.

Pla in her new bar. This one is called 'Cosmic Girls'. She has now ran girly bars in Ao Nang Krabi, Phuket and Koh Chang.

On the way home my front brake stopped working as I was gazing out towards Koh Samet. I took it to a garage and found there was only a drip of dirty brake fluid in the system. The mechanic replaced the fluid and also replaced my broken brake lever as you can see.

Bangkok

My next post will be from Bangkok (or Kroongtep as the Thais call it). See you then.

Lingo

Steal = kamoi

4 comments:

  1. So, we've officially switched jobs, then. Good luck at SPIP. You'll need it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know that everyone has quit there, don't you?
    You'd be working under Thai management. Once your honeymoon will be over, you shall see the true colour of the place. May God have mercy on your soul and all the other newbies. English Click will have some fun with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is this?? Please email me at stephenhepple@hotmail.com

      I am curious to talk to you. I've never heard of English Click??

      Delete
  3. hey stevie lad, just read through ya blog, makes for some great reading mate. I work away myself a month away then a month at home (pegswood) i see ya dad all the time in the club when im back so i'll let him know ive read it and tell him where it is if he can use a PC ;))
    watch what ya doin mate and I'll keep checking to see ya updates. all the best mate, Millsy

    PS. its a long way from when I used to babysit you lot haha

    ReplyDelete

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