Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Dengue Fever - a brush with death. Beginning a PGCE.


I started work at HeadStart International School on Thursday 7/10/10 after a trip to Trang and Malaysia. At the end of the first week I was beginning to feel dreadful. I went home early on Friday 15/10/10 and had a weekend of mental and physical torment. After hallucinating for a while I collapsed in the street as I went for some water (I had nobody to help me with these sort of things). The local taxi driver took me to the hospital (for free - wow) where it was established that I had contracted dengue fever - a mosquito borne disease. I was off work the next week.

This potentially fatal disease (also known as breakbone fever, since it can be extremely painful) was easily the worst illness I have ever experienced.

I ended up having to spend two nights on a drip in Mission Hospital. I hadn't eaten since I got the disease and I'd lost 6kg. However, a stay in a Thai hospital is not cheap. Two nights cost me 15,000bt or £300. That's my savings gone! However, I'm simply pleased to have beaten the worst ailment I've ever had.

Vegetarian festival

While I was sick and delirious, the noise from the fireworks and drums of the vegetarian festival were deafening. I had to break out my crusty old earplugs to combat the noise. Additionally, on my way to work last week, I had to wait for mass processions of Chinese people parading past with swords stuck through their cheeks!

War of the Worlds

One of my students noticed this massive insect just outside our classroom.

Swedish Eric

I got out of hospital on Thurs 21/10/10. On Friday I went to see Eric who used to live in Trang. He was in Phuket with his lass from Surat Thani. Here we are in Kata where Eric (not me) is enjoying a beer. I look OK considering this is my first outing since the dengue.

On the way to meet Eric the bike passed 20,000km. It's done 17,000km since I bought it 13 months ago.

New School

My new school. Unbelievably we had blue skies this day. There's a lot of rain in Phuket in October. I'm inclined to conclude that the rain had some bearing on me getting dengue fever.

Here's a shot of my own maths classroom. I've tidied, changed things around and even begun a display of the kids' maths art! I even have my own computer - huge changes from Thai government schools!

Class rules.

Year 7.


As a condition of accepting a position at this school I agreed to do an online PGCE with Nottingham University. A PGCE is a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. The school require their English, Maths and Science teachers to be qualified to this level.

I have just started the course (although I missed some stuff in Bangkok because of the dengue) and should finish next summer. I met the tutor who came to Phuket for a holiday and she filled me in on the things I missed. I'm all raring to go on another academic adventure. I'm going to end up with more qualifications than Stephen Hawkings.

One downside is that the course costs £2900. This is offset slightly by the fact that I earn more in this international school (50,000bt/month as opposed to 30,000bt/month in a govt school).

Changing rooms

This has been my room for the last 7 months (except a brief ill-fated stint in Rawai with Oi):

Nanachart Mansion on Muntri Road in the middle of Phuket Town.

However, I'm moving to Patra Mansion at the foot of Khao Rang hill. It has nice rooms, gardens and a pool! I will move there this weekend. A few of the lads I know live there too. It's a little pricier but well worth it in my opinion. I can chill out in peaceful surroundings while I work on my PGCE.

The show where I met Nit.


The pool table in my local: O'Malley's, Phuket Town.

I changed jobs at the beginning of October. My new job is teaching IGCSE maths from year 6 to year 10. I teach 25 periods/week but we have a lot of extra tasks which means you can be in work from 0730 until 1800. On top of this I have to study for my PGCE in the evenings. I'm knackered every night. Therefore, not too much to report other than crazy weekend antics.


I have been on a few dates recently now that I'm over Oi. I met Da who works massage but keeps going to Bangkok too often. I met Phyu, a nanny from Burma. I have been seeing Lek who works in a gogo bar in Patong. I have also been dating Nid (pic above) who works at the ladyboy show place (pic above).
However, all these dates seem to be going nowhere. I went to watch Skyline at the cinema on Sunday alone.


I haven't even been in the pool much at my new place. The rain is beginning to stop and the weather is gloriously hot again. I really feel for the folk back in England. I have been very drunk at weekends and managed to lose my ATM card twice in a week. Going to the bank the second time was embarrassing.
It's 2140 and I'm exhausted so I'll be off to bed soon. I'm really looking forward to three weeks off at Xmas.


Newcastle HAA v NEUNG Sunderland (I don't think I need to spell that out)

Fever = Kai wat yai.
Hospital = Rong payaban
Medicine = yaa
Meut = dark
Suang = light
sapson = confused

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