The Mosquito Open

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, June 16, 2006

Spent most of the morning getting a Thai language and culture lesson from Pen along with Dawn, one other volunteer also here who I'd met last night, with me at least remembering the basics but being asked anything beyond my name and age and the best you could get out of me was a look of confuddlement.

With the English Camp (think a 2 day camp of English learning activities and games) I had raced from Saigon to make in time being cancelled at the last minute we had a free day and with no decent clothes yet to teach in we hit the mall to try to find something more respectable than shorts, t-shirts and cheap flip flops.

Getting to try out our newly learned and already almost forgotten Thai we soon resorted however to the tried and tested method of pointing and smiling, the unofficial universal language.

Heading back to HQ (sound like I should be crawling everywhere and answering everything with a "YES, DRILL SERGEANT!") we took a songtaew, basically a converted pickup truck with two rows of benches in the back, where we made our first culture faux pas. On climbing aboard we sat down to then see a woman opposite frantically motioning to her husband to swap places with Dawn and only when she got up and moved did I see the problem with a monk sitting next to her. It is forbidden in Thai culture for a monk to touch, be handed anything from, or sit next to a woman.

Pen and I went out to get something for dinner from the local market where they had the Thai equivalent of ready meals consisting of made up Thai dishes (minus the dish) sitting in little bags like you would carry a goldfish in.

After another Thai lesson and a little Thai writing I should add (go me! ok only my name but it's a start), I had some fun with Pen's favorite toy, an electric mosquito swatter shaped just like a tennis racquet which really is as fun as it sounds.

Satisfied the score was at least now even, Pen told us about the families we would be staying with while teaching with mine being a married couple of school co-directors with a nice house and good English was sounding great until she mentioned Dawn would be staying with a 26 year old female aerobics instructor. Sometimes life can just be too unfair.
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