Thursday 26 February 2009

Bloodshot eyes in Penang. Linfen, China or Bangkok, Thailand?

Bloodshot eyes

I've been on antibiotics for a week. The 'pissing razor blades' pain has diminished but I'm not completely out of the woods. I have some stronger pills to try and force the last of the poison from my bodily temple.

The downside to all this is that the co-trimoxazole pills make my eyes extremely bloodshot. I look like your perpetual dope smoking mate.


The global credit crunch has claimed its fair-share of economic victims. The economic downturn has effectively obliterated my previous means of support because of low interest rates and a weak £. Therefore, I've been looking at getting involved with the 'W' word again.

I've had a degree of success. Considering the amount of speculative applications I've sent off I didn't get too many replies. However, yesterday I did an online video interview with a company in Bangkok. They offered me a teaching position here. I also received the forms from China so that I can get the appropriate visa to work at Shanxi Normal University.

I'm in quite an enviable position - deciding between two job offers! Cosmopolitan Bangkok with its alluring sexy exoticism or Linfen City in Northern China, the World's most polluted city. The choice would seem an obvious one at first glance. However, after sleeping on it I have decided to go to China. Here's why:

OK, less total money in China but not if you pro-rata it. Free accom in China (with no transport costs). Fewer classes. Smaller classes. Adult classes. Help with airfare. Holidays. I can also speak Chinese better than I speak Thai. So after much deliberation it looks like I'm of to China. Ni Hao Ma? Maybe I'll try Thailand in the future.


Last night I went to the cinema to chill after the online interview. I wanted to watch the oscar-hyped Slumdog Millionaire but ended up with Pink Panther 2. In Angeles I watched 'Valkyrie' with Gemma. She had no idea who 'the small bloke with the moustache' was! You can't really blame her for not knowing Hitler. That's third world education for you!

China problems

I have a flight to Macau tomorrow but I won't be going (£30 down the drain) because the Linfen documents haven't arrived. The plan is to wait in Penang until they do and then go to the Chinese embassy in KL to get the Zvisa. Then fly from KL to Taiyuan in Northern China, get my head down and save some cash. Also use the reimbursed flights to fly home to England at the end of the contract in Jan 2010.


Thankfully, I've finished the antibiotics and my eyes have returned to normal. I can piss like everybody else now. I spent yesterday at the beach. Last night I decided to test myself. I drank 4 JAZ beers and managed not to smoke! It was difficult but I prevailed and proved to myself it can be done. I think watching Boro trounce Liverpool helped.

Geordies and Gremlins

This is Mike the Kiwi and I sporting our fake Toon tops.

I gave mine to Trevor the tattooed Thailand hater. Aussie Steve on the sofa's a relaxed character. He recently lived in a tribal village in northern Thailand as a volunteer teacher. He can read and write Thai which is no easy thing.

Last night I met this young lad from Kingston Park, Newcastle. My 4th Geordie in 994 days! Not too many eh? It means tonight we have three NUFC supporters watching Bolton v NUFC. We easily outnumber all other teams. Trev had many questions about hooliganism. I wasn't aware NUFC had a casual element but there's a group known as the Gremlins who like to rumble. Trev wants to join them!


Can you spot the almost naked bloke being arrested? He was crazy. He threw a chair through a passing car's windscreen. He was ranting and raving in incomprehensible French. Finally the police were called and he was arrested and taken away. Probably drugs.


I'm still waiting for my documents from China. Hopefully they'll arrive tomorrow. In the meantime I've been shopping for teaching attire. On Friday I found a charity shop on Lebuh Chulia. I bought a shirt, tie and trousers for 15RM. I went to MYDIN and picked up a pair of shoes and socks for another 30RM. So, for 45RM (£9) I have a smart outfit to start my new life. I can buy more when I get there but I'd like to make a nice first impression. Better than turning up as a filthy backpacker.

I wore these clothes last night drawing wolf-whistles from the lads. It felt very strange to be wearing socks and shoes after so long. The trousers, shirt and tie felt odd too. How do people wear this all their lives? It felt more like a prison uniform.

Haway the lads


  1. Let me know if you need a reference ;)

  2. Hey, the figures speak for themselves. China, and then "yeme" Howay the lad. "Heppie's comin home, Heppie's comin home, He's comin home, Heppie's comin home!) (to the tune of "Football's Comin Home".

    Come and see fat Willie and we'll drink some cranberry juice, yum. No UTI.

  3. I might be being greedy here with 2 posts, but it's quiet so what the heck, eh? Did you know that Blender is a free program that can create quality 3d models with textures and water and the like, and is hard to use because of it's power? No, nor did I. Interesting computer science fact that. Another is that it was used to create the story board on Spiderman II.