Friday, January 23, 2009

Holiday Greetings/And I Called him Sir...

So I've been sleeping with the balcony doors open because...well, I live in Bangkok now and it is hotter than the devil's colon from time to time (and we aren't even in the hot season yet). This has some downsides, of course. I was hanging out on the internet (since some things never change) yesterday when literally the largest wasp I have ever seen flew in to the room and landed on the wall. At which point he officially owned the room, since anyone here who knows me can tell you that I am terrified of wasps and bees. I would use the phrase 'scream like a little girl', but I know too many women who would magically slap me through the internet, so we'll settle for 'generally acted unmanly'. As in I waited in the hallway until his Highness the Insect flew out.

Yeah, so not sleeping with the doors open any more. Fun times.

As for the Holiday greetings part: Yes, it is once again party time here in Bangkok. It really does seem to me that the Thai people will really just take any excuse to party and run with it, which is fairly awesome. A happy Chinese New Year to all of you and a hearty nanny nanny boo boo since I get a four day weekend for it.

Here we have the entirety of my school (I did tell you it was small) lined up for the flag ceremony today, wearing red. Red is a color of prosperity and is worn on Chinese New Year; it is also the color of the anti-anti-Thaksin protestors and why I don't wear my red shirt out much. (The Yellow shirts took the airport, the red shirts tried to beat them up. Yay). Every day we all line up in the morning to raise the Thai flag, sing the National Anthem (which I just stand quietly and respectfully for rather than trying to butcher the words), and then have a child read in either English or Chinese. And then the exercising.

This is Ryan leading the exercise. Due to the Thai linguistic difficulty with the letter R he gets the second best name is school: Mr. Lion. The first best goes to a man who's official nickname is Mr. Hercules, of whom I will get a picture later. So yes, we do some exercising and stretching and generally get our funk on before we go to learn. It's...different, but interesting.

The students in the foreground are 'my' students. I teach English to all of the kids grades 1-3, but I'm the homeroom teacher for grade 3 and those are my 3 kids.

Meet (from left to right) Ploy, Freddie and Ping-Ping. Freddie is his real name, Ploy and Ping-Ping are nicknames since everyone here who is native has a nick name to spare us foreigners from embarassing ourselves on their real names. They do not always look that pissed off, as this was kind of a 'surprise *click*' photo opportunity.

Fridays are assembly days, when various classes put on various performances about various things. Today's was, of course, about the Chinese New Year and featured all of the classes speaking in Chinese and doing other things. Here is grades 1-3 dancing to Chinese pop music:

So yeah, we have fun. Happy Chinese New Year! (And click on the pictures for a larger more high resolution version than the thumbnails!)



  1. Dear Matthew,

    Great post and nice pictures. Keep up the good work!



  2. It appears to be good times had by all. Mr. Lion is indeed a pretty awesome nickname.

    So, what is your nickname out there?

  3. no R's? I bet that could lead to interesting pronunciations of Parker. Can't you get a screen or netting to cover your windows, or a net for your bed? That would put a barrier between you and the insect wildlife. Or perhaps we should all send you cans of Raid.

  4. Between Sir the wasp and Carley the cockroach Matthew is finally getting the pets he's always wanted! I'd love to see a better picture of your third graders. Keep the info and pictures coming! Love you, Mom

  5. Matthew, what a great post! What I'd like to see are some pictures of the infamous apartment, your street, stuff like that. We love hearing from you and I know how fast you type so you should be posting like everyday! Are you eating? Are you sleeping? Take care and send those pictures.


    Ann, Kyle and Parker

  6. Did it look like this?!
    Isn't learning fun?

    I will mail you a can of aerosol antifreeze if you'd like.



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