Big girls don’t cry

After a night out in the city, I woke up at six this morning to hit the gym, but alas, it seems to be another Thai holiday.  I can’t confirm this because I don’t actually understand what anyone is really telling me, but some special circumstance caused the gym to be closed, leaving me to fill this weird daily time gap between waking up way too early and class starting at nine.  Again, I can’t confirm this, but  internet research leads me to believe it is Farmer’s Day.  Or maybe Cinco de Mayo is globally recognized.  The Thai version of Labor Day was   also a few days ago.  Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like this country has a lot  of holidays.

Because of our training course, it’s been another low-key week in Bangkok.  We’ve been preparing practice lesson plans following different teaching models to present to our class.  Our course instructor evaluated us on our ability to follow the steps, our delivery and so on.  It was definitely nerve racking–I forgot how much standing up in front of a group of people freaks me out, but I’ll have to get over it once I’m teaching about 50 kids.  Next week we’re going to different public schools to start teaching classes as a sort of test and trial before we’re sent to our actual schools.

As for my job placement, right now I’m scheduled to start teaching 12th graders at a private school in about two weeks.  It appears to be a Catholic school just outside of Bangkok, which I wasn’t really expecting in a predominantly buddhist society.  I was a little bummed out because the more I’m in Bangkok, the more I want to get out into rural Thailand. I have a classmate who wasn’t exactly thrilled about his placement either in eastern Thailand, close to the Laos border, so we are going to try to switch so he can be closer to the city and I can be…well, in the middle of nowhere.  When I lived in the southwest, I fell in love with vast land and open spaces, and would like to get closer to that environment.  If the switch doesn’t work out, I’ll just write it off as ‘not meant to be.’

In other news, I’m struggling with being too big for Thailand.  I never felt particulary large in the States (which is good I guess, considering our record breaking obesity rates), but in Asia I feel like a big white lumbering Sasquatch.  When I walk around on the crowded sidewalks, it is rare for someone to be at my eye level.  I can neither find clothes nor shoes that fit, as there is no demand for shoes over the size of women’s 8 or clothes to fit a 5’8 “healthy” American female.  I’ve been on this endless quest for shoes since I’ve been here, only to be rejected by several shoe stores who tell me they don’t sell my shoe size at all.  As for the clothes, there has to be a Thai version of a plus-size store, because even in their paper thin population, there are still some fellow gluttons walking around, and they had to get their clothes somewhere.

Of course, there is the language barrier.  We had a brief session on useful Thai phrases, such as how to ask someone’s name, how to order food, and overall general conversational phrases.  For some reason, I seemed to only retain and feel confident saying “Khop Khun Ka (Thank you).”  I think most my Thai conversations go something like this: (translated into English) Thai person: Hello, how can I help you?  Me: Thank you.  Thai person: What do you want to eat? Me, pointing to a picture of chicken: Thank you. Thai person: Okay, Thank you.  Me: Thank you.

Luckily, most the Thais I’ve encountered are extremely helpful and friendly, handling my ignorance with a smile.  The Thai frame of mind is generally “Mai Pen Rai,” meaning “no worries” or “never mind,” an attitude bumbling foreigners such as myself should appreciate and assimilate.

Well, that’s all for today’s blog post which in retrospect resembles a rant.  Look forward to a recap of an upcoming weekend trip to Khaosan Road, the “backpacker’s haven.” And since I’m on the fat end of the spectrum in Thailand, I’ll end this with some food shots.

A plethora of every dried fruit imaginable

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10 responses to “Big girls don’t cry

  1. Marion Dilegge

    So funny…
    I am sure you will be a great teacher as almost everything you do, you do well. I’m enjoying reading your blog and your rants 🙂 Whenever you have a bad day, just remember, “at least I’m out of
    Stafford!”. I was trying to figure out what dried fruits they were in the picture. Do they have fruits we don’t have? Thanks for keeping us all entertained with your blog. Love you! Mom

  2. happy birthday!
    it’s pretty crazy that you’re in thailand, also that praying ronald mcdonald is super weird
    do they have chipotle in thailand? gotta ask the important questions
    i know this is pretty disjointed but i’m pretty bad at this kind of thing
    anyway, miss ya, peace and chicken grease etc.
    your friend
    matt

  3. ashley clinton

    How about those popsicle looking things?

  4. ashley clinton

    Ps. Happy birthday!

  5. I at first thought you would say “large white whale”…but sasquatch fits. What do you like best about it so far? And happy birthday….oldhead.

  6. Tina,
    Wishing you the best of everything on your birthday! All the pictures of food are killing me, my favorite thing while living and traveling in Asia was all the great choices and the street vendors.
    Love,
    Dad

  7. TINA,
    “KHOP KHU KA” . LOVE READING YOUR BLOG. I HAVE TO SMILE AT YOUR HUMOROUS APPROACH TO ALL THE CHALLENGES YOU ARE FACING. HOPE YOUR ASSIGNMENT TURNS OUT WELL. HAD NO IDEA OF ALL THE WORK INVOLVED IN PREPARING FOR THIS TEACHING ASSIGNMENT. YOUR BLOG IS AN EYE OPENER IN SO MANY WAYS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

  8. Happy birthday Tina. I know you will make the most of it. Funny news the wal mart in Stafford was robbed of over 90 gallons of milk by an 18 year old in a cow costume. Can’t make that kinda stuff up. Keep the pics, stories, and rants coming because Jennifer and I as well as many others look forward to them.

  9. Monica Wilder

    I didn’t allow anyone access to my junx from italy. SO GOOD FOR YOU! (: I know i will be eating this shit up! speaking of that, how are you feeling! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  10. Pingback: American TESOL Institute (ATI) Review – Pre-Course Experience | Slightly Removed

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