Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Satree Phuket to Headstart change of school.

Khota Bharu

Greetings from an Islamic city in the North East of peninsular Malaysia. I'm here to get a new Thai Non Immigrant visa. I'll collect it tomorrow and head back to Phuket via 3 buses and about 12 hours.

I'm staying in the Bunga Raya hostel where I've been lucky enough to catch up with some old friends.


A quick pic of little Oi. I include this as I have no idea how longer we'll be together. As much as I'm fond of her, our relationship is nothing like pretty woman. I think she needs a millionaire to support her and her family's insatiable thirst for cash. Their greed combined with an extreme aversion to work is something to behold.


Here's a Patong sunset on one of my after school island drives. I think I've been in the sea 8 times in 6 months in Phuket.


These are some kids doing an end of term test in the corridor???? Can you see the teachers doing their utmost to prevent copying??? As I mentioned before, Thai kids DO NOT want to learn anything. I have found it very difficult to work in this environment recently. I can't handle being constantly ignored and talked over in class. The extreme laziness and copying is frustrating beyond belief. I have not witnessed one example of curiosity, initiative or critical thinking in 18 months in Thai schools. Asking any question is like pissing against the wind.

I think my favourite student remark in this latest school was when I asked a young lad why he wasn't tackling the questions I'd set. Answer? "I'm too lazy to think". WTF? I give up.

So, I was going to quit and decided to look for a new job. Perhaps even in a different country as I've been here a while. I applied for a few and had a few offers but ended up accepting a position at Headstart International School.

That's how I'm now in Malaysia ready to go back and start there next week. I will teach 19 periods of Maths and 6 periods of History. The classes are much smaller and the kids seem much more willing and able. It's even more money and holiday but I'll have to study an online PGCE at Nottingham University at a cost of 2900gbp. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm hoping it's a big improvement on my previous employment ventures.

Boats and monkeys

On a biking outing to the less visited parts of Phuket I came across this beautiful wooden boat being upgraded in the boat yard. I'd love to sail it somewhere.

Just over the bridge on the way to Koh Si Rae you can see locals feeding hundreds of mangrove swamp monkeys. I like to come here and sit for half an hour around sunset.


I finished at Satree Phuket School on 30/9/10. On Friday 1/10/10 I went to my new school to collect some papers to take to the Thai consulate in Malaysia. This presented an ideal opportunity to spend a weekend in Trang with all my great old mates. USA Alex came up to Phuket for a few days where we had massages and drinks. He then went to Krabi and I carried onto Trang. Mike was waiting for me at the bus station and we headed straight to Johnny's shack below:

This bar is set in a market on the edge of town. It's basically a 3rd World bamboo shit hole but we all seem to like it. Johnny the owner is a policeman who walks around pissed with a loaded gun. He's mental. He's the guy with the red bandanna above.

This is a new bar and possibly the most surreal one I have ever seen. They even have a fire show in the middle of the market road:

I had two nights here and had a whale of a time. It was great to see my old mates and I really felt like I'd made a mistake going to Phuket. However, my hangover on Sunday was probably my most extreme one ever. I am really thinking of quitting the evil ale - it controls me and I can't control it. That hangover was gruesome.


Here's the Sungai Golok / Rantau Panjang border crossing. You have to walk across the river.


After a fairly encouraging start things seem to have slipped back into mediocrity. However, at least Liverpool may have assumed the dubious honour of being the Premier League's calamity BIG club.

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