Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Quitting Headstart and ditching thieving girlfriends.

Since my last post I have passed the 2000 days away from home benchmark! June 2006 is starting to feel like a long time ago now. I have been working as a teacher in Thailand for almost 3 years. Another stint in Taiwan takes me to almost 4 years teaching experience in Asia. Working for almost 4 years out of the last 6 is not good.

With this in mind I have been investigating early retirement options. It is possible to retire before 40 if you have no family and you can severely limit your monthly outgoings. If you can spend <4% of your portfolio annually, you've cracked it. I'm not far off which means all my scrimping and saving should pay off in the near future. Check out www.earlyretirementextreme.com for more details. Obviously living in cheaper developing countries makes this more viable. I have no idea how I would survive in the UK anymore?? Some tourist recently informed me that ciggies are £6.50 a pack?? I pay £0.60 here - 1/10th!

Xmas and new year 2006 was in Singapore. 2007 I was in the Phillipines. 2008 I was in Sungai Golok on the Thai/Malay border. 2009 I was in Trang. 2010 and 2011 Phuket. I actually stayed in for the bells this year as I went to watch LFC v NUFC at 0300 on 31st Dec. The match finished at 0500 and I went to a disco until 0600. I then drank down Soi sipet until about midday on new year's eve. I then went home and passed out until 2300. I woke feeling dreadful with only 1hr to go until the bells. I turned over and went back to sleep since I had to be at Michael's bar for free cheese and salami on new year's day.

Ice (my girlfriend) and I finished after only 4 months together. She stole 3000bt (£60) from my wallet while I was asleep. I can't handle having no waijai (trust) in a relationship so I called it to an end just before xmas. It must be remembered that Thai's have very differing values to us chalkies!

My last day at HeadStart school was on Friday 16th December 2011. I had a 2 week holiday where I tried (and failed) to not consume too much booze. I had the rear brakes on the bike replaced while I got my teeth cleaned.

I started my new job teaching GCSE physics at Kajonkiet School on 4th Jan. This job is ace compared to my last place. I have taken a 10k salary reduction (60k to 50k/month) but I now teach 7.5hrs/week instead of 20hrs. I have no homeroom to administer and I am going home feeling fresh. I am effectively working part-time presently for full-time salary. I wish I'd jumped ship earlier! I have signed a 3 month contract until the end of March, then it's decision time again!! I am seriously contemplating moving upcountry even if I have to work for the basic 30k/month salary again. I am even thinking of selling my bike and going to Cambodia or even travelling again for a year.....decisions decisions.

Here's some random recent pics:

Get your feet massaged by hundreds of little sucking fish. You literally sit on the bench with your feet dangling in the tank and the fish suck the dead skin off!

One thing I miss about the UK is the awesome libraries. I still love to browse in book shops but English books are in limited supply and tend to be expensive. I can't imagine they've sold many copies of this particular book?? I generally participate in a free book swap in my mate's bar.

I spotted this sign in Rawai as I am thinking of renting a CBR250cc for a day before I decide to buy one or not. To rent my bike would set you back 400bt/day! I've had my bike 2yrs and 3mnths, if I'd have rented it daily it would have cost me 831 x 400 = 330,000bt. Luckily I bought it outright for 57,000bt and still have the option of selling it for at least 40,000bt.

I spotted this blatantly fake kid's Toon top in a market. Good value at £3.60?

Then on one of my trips I spotted this sign. I had no idea Sunderland was near here!

Banana beach - I had to check this out.

My last day with the year9 kids. I will miss the little sods dearly but I won't miss the workload. I honed their mathematical skills for 1yr and 3 months. I taught yr11 the whole GCSE curriculum and it's looking like 75% of them passed which gives me a great sense of achievement and pride in those kids!! Teaching is hard work (although I think it needn't be) but it can be highly rewarding at times.

Here's a shot of Banana beach.

Another Banana beach pic.

Welocome to Hi-Season in Phuket. We receive millions of tourists every year but December/January is the pinnacle. This is Surin beach. I have stood on this beach alone at sunset before. Now you can't even see any sand because of all the umbrellas - mental. The influx of Russian tourists has been staggering over the last 2 years. Many signs in the full-on tourist areas are in Russian now!

This is my mate Polish-American Nick who runs a bar down in Chalong. He used to fly Blackhawk helicopters for the US military! To his right is Aussie Dave who teaches Hotel staff how to speak slurred incomprehensible Aussie.........G'day copper????? Fair Dincome????

A view down to Banana beach from the road.

Pom bur a leaw yoo tee Phuket - I am bored of Phuket
Yoo teenee song pee laew - I have lived here for 2 years now
Pom yak yoo tee muang thai neau - I wanna live in the north of this country
dewaa, ngern tam ngan noi gwaa - but the salaries are smaller outside Phuket
mewaa kong tuuk gwaa - although things are cheaper elsewhere

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