I started a new term and my schedule has changed. I now work 9am-11.30am and then 3.30pm -6pm. So still two classes but I am on a split shift for which we get paid for an hour for doing nothing. Not complaining! I could go home but I decided to stay at work and busy myself with learning new things to do with my camera.
I have two new groups so new students to get to know, and I think we have bonded already. It is important to connect with your students, that way you will get more out of them, they won’t be so nervous to get involved and it will be more of a pleasure to teach them. Sunday evening I met my friend, Chris, for a few drinks. We ended up staying out until after midnight. That was not the plan. The plan was to be home by 9pm but that never happens with us. There is always one more beer to be had. Thankfully we talked ourselves out of going somewhere else.
I left work at the usual time of 9.30pm and went to the bus stop. There are a number of different buses that pass by so you never have to wait long. However, one stopped which I hadn’t seen before, a white one, so I got on, thinking that it must go by my place because they all do. I told him I wanted to go to Supalai Park and he charged me 15 baht- a different fare to all the rest. Anyway the bus started to go in the direction of my home but then turned around and started to go in the opposite direction. I sat there for a few seconds and thought to myself; I need to get off, otherwise I am going to end up further away from home. I got up and moved towards the bus conductor and said:
“Bai Novotel?” (“go to Novotel?”- the hotel just opposite my place) to which he gestured that he didn’t understand.
“Bai, Novotel?” I said again slightly louder and more annoyed.
And when I realised he wasn’t going to understand me, I kind of stormed away from him and pressed the bell to be let off. When I got off I gave him a…”for f**** sake, I told you where I wanted to go, you took my money and now we are going in the completely opposite direction” sort of glare, and may have sworn at him under my breath.
Finding myself back where I started, I got on the correct bus and was home a few minutes later. Afterwards, I realised that it wasn’t the poor guys fault. There is another condo building called Supalai Park in the direction of where the bus was going. Plus it was me who had boarded the wrong bus. And I don’t speak enough Thai to say exactly what I needed to say. I was going to ask for my 15 baht back but again the language barriers are difficult to say the least. This is another reason why I need to learn more of the language.
Having got home at around 9.45pm I was having a cigarette on my balcony and I saw a huge bright, white light from one of the buildings opposite and heard a muffled bang. A few seconds later everything went black in the whole of my apartment building. Another huge bright light and muffled bang followed a few minutes later. I saw torch lights coming from the direction of the bang and light, and also torch lights coming from the apartment a few floors above me. It almost looked like they were communicating using Morse code. But my imagination aside the only thing to do was to go to bed and hope the electricity came on again soon enough to start the fan again. It did and I was saved from an uncomfortably hot sleep.
Coming home on the bus again, yet another incident of not speaking enough Thai. I get one of three or four buses to and from work, and I only know that the air-conditioned number 207 is 12 baht. This time I got the number 133 home, as I did the previous night, and gave her 10 baht because I couldn’t remember how much it cost. She gave me 2 baht change and a ticket that said the cost was 4 baht. Either she had thought I had given her 6 baht or I was mistaken and she had given me the correct change. I wasn’t. Do I question her over a mere 6 baht? I was torn between wanting to ask her and thinking well it’s only 6 baht. Again not speaking too much Thai I am sure it would get lost in translation. Lesson for the day- until I can speak more Thai learn the cost of all the different buses and give the correct money.
I went to the gym to work out on the treadmill. After I had finished I went over the other side of the gym to work out with weights. Whilst I was doing that a Thai guy was sat astride the shoulder weight machine and he kept looking over. But it wasn’t a blatant stare. It was one of those that when someone wants to look at something they do a kind of sweep of the whole area, but their eyes actually stop for a millisecond on the thing they want to stare at in the first place. We are all guilty of it. I just thought: No.1- I thought the stares would stop, now I was living in Bangkok; and No.2-get on with your bloody workout and stop looking at me! Maybe he was impressed with my weight lifts!
I normally go to Thai lessons on Friday but having had a late night and feeling a little hung-over I got up later than planned. I decided not to go to Thai lessons and just hang out at home. Later on in the afternoon I started to get cabin-fever, as I normally do if I don’t venture out of my apartment all day, so I decided to go to the park to take some photographs. I have been learning more about my camera and wanted to take some shots out of AUTO mode. I took a motorcycle taxi to Suan Luang Park only to find that the park was closed. It is being tidied up for the King’s birthday on December 5th. The motorcycle taxi turned around and I asked him to drop me at the top of the road. I decided to walk back to my apartment and on the way I managed to take a few photos. You know when you get something in your head that you want to do and then you can’t do it for whatever reason? I was disappointed to say the least, but at least it got rid of my cabin-fever.