Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Town,My Town

This is Wang Pho our town , my town. Finally I feel a part of this small village. For two years the people really treated me like a falang, and a short timer ,even tho I volunteered to teach english 2 days a week in our local high school. Wanting to do everything I could do to fit in,I decided after two years that it was a waste of time in our small village, as the students could not see the importance of learning english, no one else spoke english and therefore nobody to practise speaking with, and they forgot this week what you taught them last week , after one year they still cannot remember the words to the song You Are My Sunshine, or anything else you have tryed to teach them, ha ha . But the biggest problem as in most thai schools is that the english Thai teachers cannot speak english themselves, after a hello how are you and a I am fine thank you , and you.From that moment on they look at you and at each other hoping someone will understand something that you have said (but no one does ) and they look at you like you just dropped out of the sky, and what is that strange sound coming from your lips, even tho they are suppose to be english majors and the elite of the local school ," english school teachers ". I cannot to save me figure out how they can call themselves english majors, some even call themselves doctor, where does that come from.Lots of Thai families have ask me to teach their kids english (of course for free) which I don't mind at all , but after a few lessons, when the magic english speaking fairy does not touch them and they don't start babbling in english or you ask them to study something, and because there is no ones paper to copy , they don't show up any more , no phone call, no visit , no thank you for your time , just no show . Now my pat answer is I don't teach english , for pay or for free , I felt I was being a good person,in trying to help them , but I found out I was wasteing my time , after all I came to Thailand to retire not work, am I being selfish?
Now after four years they have decided I am a long stay and now treat me as a member of the village and a part of the Thai family.I really felt good a couple weeks ago when we went out to a local restaurant(any place with a red plastic table and four blue plastic chairs ) and the lady who cooks, serves, and cleans,everything ,says to me "you almost thai man". I felt like I had fullfilled my right of passage. Maybe she said it because I ate some of the hottest dang food I have ever put in my mouth(only because I was hungry) and did not want to eat the famous falang stand-by fried rice, an I had a big smile on my face ,and a big alloe ma. Ciejay is happy that I feel at home here now and I tell my friends from America who ask "how do you like it there " I say just like Mc Donalds We're Loving It, and as my Dad would say " it don't get any better than this ".
This the first of many post to come concerning my town, I really
hope you enjoy and look foward to reading them . let me know . Malcolm