Monday, 18 October 2010

Into the jungle...

Best weekend ever...basically too bring you all up to speed last weekend we all went on a jungle trek. We hired paid for this weekend package thing in the jungle and somehow got an amazing price as well. Anyway... on the saturday morning we got picked up by a couple of trucks and got takenm up the mountains onm some death trail for about an hour. It was a lot of fun if not a little scaryu at times. We pulled up by the side of the 'road' and had rice for lunch (suprise,suprise). After that we spent most of the day trekking through the jungle, we stopped half way by a waterfall, and of course we went swimming, it was soooo much fun!! That night we staid in to be honest what was more of a shed than anything else, but i could live with it and the view from were we stayed more than made up for it. It was a small village type thing that i think was made more for toursits than anything.

The next day was pne of the best so far. In the morning we went elephant riding through the jungle. Which I have to say was awesome!!! Which elephant was called Kamen and he was the dad of a baby elephant that followed us the whole way. In the afternoon we went river rafting, in inflatable canooes. It was the most fun ever! I was in a canooe with 3 other vols, Anna, Smithy and Rosie. The best moment was when we came round a corner and on one side of the river the was a huge over hanging tree, the other was rocks and rapids everywhere. Rosie was paddling and she tried to steer us through but when we got close the current was too strong. We were debating which would be the best route when Rosie said "we're screwed either way"... and Smithy said "brace yourself lads" and went AHHHHH!!!!! and hit a rock side on capsizing us, rosie nearly got sucked away by this wierd current but i managed to save her...

I LOVE this city!!!

Well...sos far Chiang Mai has been AWESOME! We arrived on the saturday two weeks ago. Our host family's son is a a student at Chaing Mai uni so they gave us a lift on their way to visiting him. It was sooooo nice to see all the other vols again after a whole month. We went out for a meal that night and had a really great catch-up. We didn't have to start the language course until monday so on the sunday we met back up with Chat and Tay (our host's) and they took us to Wat (temple) Doi Suthep. It is a temple on the top of a mountain just outside Chiangmai, the views were amazing and the temple is supposed to be over 700 years old. In the centre is a great big golden spire, at the top it is pure 24 carrot gold and it's supposed to hold some of the Buddha's hair and bone. My camera ran out of battery that morning so I didn't get any pics but Cammy is taking loads if you wanna check out his facebook page (Cameron Rathie).

The Thai learning course is really good but seriously hard as well. Our teacher (Joy) prefer's what she calls the 'forced natural approach', which meens she uses as little English as possible and we have to guess the meanings of all the words she tells us. Which I think is great but it does'nt half make you wanna cry sometimes!! Not too mention the fact that everything is written in phonetics instead of English. For example for the word 'jan' which means plate, in phonetics is caan. AHHH!!!! But the course is excellent, hust hard.

Chiang Mai itself is AMAZING! I didn't like Bangkok that much because its soo busy and loud. Not that Chiang Mai isn't those things either but Bangkok is very in your face while Chiang Mai has a charm about it that makes it sooooo much more welcoming, not to mention extremly fun! It has a huge Night Market full of literally everything ypu might ever want to buy at a market and more. Just finding it is the tricky part. I like to think I'm a pretty good haggler and must admit I quite enjoy it to. Chiang Mai is full of temples (Wat's) everywhere you go. All of which a stunningly beautifull. All of them are covered in sparkling blue, gold. red and silver stones, bells hang of the roofs and the statues of mythical creatures and buddha images line their walls. When I can i'll take some pictures of the Wat's in Tak so you can see.

It was Cammy's birthday last friday which was pretty immense. We went to a reggae rooftop bar first and ended the night a Monkey Club which plays mostly Thai pop music, but we had a pretty good time. That day as well me and Cammy wore our silk, custom made shirts to the language course. Both of us are extremely happy about those.

I no there's more that I want to write about but I honestly can't remember. I get brain waves when I think of somethiong really good to say but then forget it. I really should start writing stuff down... Anyway, so far I'm having a fantastic time!

Friday, 1 October 2010


Well...Its been a long time since i've updated my blog, and partly it is to do with me being insanley busy. But I have to admit I have enjoyed the lack of contact. But anyway, I'm going to Chiang Mai tomorrow and I need to let everyone know what I've been up to.

First of all it was the sports day's. Which lasted 3 days, we got 2 of those days off and basically slept the whole time. On the third day we came into school and there was a big parade that marched through the centre of town and back through school finishing in the sports field where the last running events took place. The parade was fantastic, I was not expecting so many of the student's to be dressed up in all these amazing outfit's, the student's were also demonstrating against human trafficking and supporting non-violence, which I thought was very cool. I would write more about the parade but I think picture's would do better, which fortunately I have loads uploaded on my facebook page (

On the same album you can seen pictures of our trip to Pattaya. One of the teacher's at Tak Pittayakom is retiring and so we had a weekend trip to a city called Pattaya in Chonburi province in Thailand. you may know I am not exactly famed for me geography skills, so you can imagine I was pretty surprised to see the sea out of the window of our mini bus when I was under the impression we were going east, NOT south. It was only when we got home and looked at my map of Thailand that I saw we had actually gone south of Bangkok! Anyway I had no idea where we were but I did have a great time. First we went to this place called Little Siam which is basically Loads of miniature landmarks around the world and in Thailand. We then went to a zoo which me and Cammy did not enjoy to much. All the animals were in small cages and chained up. We were very surprised to find a tiger with a chain around its neck outside its cage posing for photographs. After looking around the zoo a bit more we had had enough and went to get some drinks. Later we saw a Thai dance show which was pretty cool but It had elephants in and I still wasn't sure, later I decided and didn't like it.

But anyway we had a good time on this tour around the grounds of the zoo (more photo's on facebook) and that evening we had an AMAZING meal by the sea. I can't say just how good that meal was. Definitely one of the best I ever had!! No exaggeration there...After that we went to see the Tiffany show, a Ladyboy song and dance was awesome.

The next day was a pretty long mini bus round home but we made a lot of stops, one of which at some stalls by the ruins of Ayutthaya (ancient capital of Thailand) where we played with some swords and had some really good ice cream. We also went to a museum of Chinese/Thai history which was very interesting (despite some slight historical inaccuracies on the Chinese side). I got some awesome pictures of some Shoalin Monks and Thai Buddha statues.

Before we moved into our own house, we had a really nice time with our host family. They took us out for meals, markets, showed us the riverside, Chat taught us the Kim (thai muscial instrument). We also went on a bike ride through paddy fields, to a corn farm...were we all ate corn. It was great. All the pictures are on facebook (!/album.php?aid=239939&id=743879129).

We spent two weeks working at Tak Pittayakom as co-teacher's, observing, reading, and getting teaching idea's. After that we went to Suksasongkro Tak Welfare school, which is a school just 20 mins outside Tak City for Hill tribe kids and orphan's. I taught kid's of all ages from year 1 to year 11. We were there for 2 and a half weeks, it was really great and I feel I have got a lot more experience. There a pics of the school on facebook.

And now, im sitting at my desk in Tak Pittayakom, mooching of the school's wireless Internet, and I'm gonna go live it up in Chiang Mai for three weeks!! Wooo!!! It's Cammy's 18th next friday and it's gonna be awesome. I promise to update more often!!!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I'm a teacher!!

On Monday I had to get up at 5:30 (same for every morning) and get ready to leave for school for 7. When me and Cameron got too school EVERYONE just stared at us. Especially the younger students as they have never seen pale skin for real before. All the students are really friendly though, and they laugh at us all the time. We were taken to the English staff office were I was shown my desk! It was sooooo cool!! I was like 'I'm a Teacher!'. I can't stop thinking what the fuck am I doing! I met all the English staff. There names are...
Pee Neng
Pee Aed
Pee Ju
Pee Nong
Pee Add
Na Kop
Pee Mueng
Pee Ka
Pee Lyland
Philip and Jo.

Lots of Pee!! Thai's rarely call each other by the first names, instead they have nicknames. The 'Pee' means big sister, and 'Na' means Auntie. Thai's often call each other as family. For example near where my host family live there is an old woman who own's a little food shop, everyone calls her grandma. My Thai Nickname is Al-arn. It means forest :) oooo ye.

They have assembly at 8:00 every morning, it stars with a marching brass band. Me and Cameron followed behind, before they started playing Chat (who is head of music) said 'YMCA', I was can't be?? But it was, and on my first morning at Tak Pittayakom School we were marched through school accompanied by a marching band playing the YMCA!!! Best...thing...ever...Afterwards there was Buddhist prayers and a speech from the School Director (head). He is called Mr Somkiat.

My first class was with Pee Ju, she is really lovely. Cameron was with Pee Kop. Pee Kop is a ladyboy but in school she has too dress as a man and hates it if you refer to her as 'he'. For most of my lesson's I have been acting as the interesting foreigner for the students too practice there English on. They asked me lots of questions, the most popular being do I have a girlfriend, and when I say no it is always closley followed by a VERY loud ooooooOOOOOoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear Pee Ju is trying to set me up, they all think me and Cameron should get nice Thai girlfreinds, also we keep getting called handsome all the time! Which to be honest I don't mind too much...

The next day me and Cameron had to introduce ourselves to the whole school in assembly, that being about 50 teachers and 2500 students!! But it went well so no worry's there. As long as I don't have to do it again!

From wednesday to Friday its sports days, and I will most likely be dragged in to it! But having an awesome time!

First day in Tak!!!

Me and Cameron arrived in Tak on Sunday at 5am. We had travelled up to Tak from Bangkok on an overnight bus. We were picked up by one of the English teachers at Tak Pittayakom School called Pee Neng. She was very nice although it was quite surreal. She took us too her home and took us straight to a small bedroom, said night and shut the door as well as this metal gate thing that seem like we were being caged in, and so there I was. Standing in a bedroom, in some one's house in Thailand...its hard to explain the feeling but it was very wierd. Pee Neng has a husband and two young daughters who seemed very pleased to have someone to play badminton with.

After a few hours sleep we got up and we were met by Joe, one of the Project Vols from two years ago who was visiting Tak. It was really cool too meet him and ask lots of questions. It turned out that Pee Neng was not our host but another family 15 mins out of Tak, and so Pee Neng took us to the school were we were met buy our hosts daughter and her gang of friends. All were very excited to see us, they did a dance for us wich was really impressive. Also many of the boys in Thailand are quite feminine which is really funny! The concept of masculinity is kind of lost on Thai's! They were all really fun and welcoming. Our hosts Chat and Tay picked us up and took us too there house. They have a large home and are really nice.

That evening they took us out for sushi and too show us around, we ate by the river ping. Tak is very beautiful. It was the first time I had sushi and it was really good! However I didn't realise that that was only the starter and I was already full...they took us to Tak's night market were both me and Cameron were given a huge plate of rice with a big fried egg on top! We both managed to eat half of it but anymore and I would of been sick! Thai's LOVE food and can eat unholy amounts of it!! We were told next day would be our first day at school...

erm...I'm in Thailand???

It was a week today that I left home and was travelling in the car to Heathrow Airport. It feels like a month! So much has happened! The journey went well, there was no problems an it was really fun being with all the other volunteers. My partner is called Cameron and we are both getting on very well.

Once we got to Bangkok the first thing I thought was HEAT!!! It is sooooo fucking hot in Thailand, I love it but I am permanently melting! Thank god for deodorant. We spent two days in bangkok to rest and get over the jet lag, altough we spent most of our time exlporing. To some up Bangkok in 3 words I would say Fast, Loud and insanley huge! We visited a massive shopping centre called MBK, were I got a Thai mobile phone and had a general mooch about.

The feeling of being in Thailand is very strange, it hasn't yet sunk in that I', actually here for a year. I am moving into my house on Tuesday so maybe it will sink in more then. I miss everyone but I'm having an awesome time as well.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Counting Down the Days!

It seems like yesterday that I was telling myself that I didn't need to worry, departure is months away. However, I can't say that anymore as I'm leaving in 8 days! Time flies so fast!! The old school routine has been wiped clean away leaving me with very little idea as to what exactly is going on. Its impossible to feel comfortable in my current position, all things considered for the past 15 years i have live by the same routine and suddenly its all being turned upside down, and to make things more interesting, I'll be on the other side of the world, and it begs the question...'What have I gotten myself into???'

But no doubt, whilst part of me is shitting myself, the other part couldn't be more excited. I'm going to Thailand!?