|Writing this in the computer room of Anubaan Phayao, the primary school where Jen is teaching. It is pretty big - there are about 50 kids in each class, from reception to year 6. I'm helping Jen teach, today and for the next couple of days - we have already done a couple of year 3 classes, we did 'Seasons and Weather'. It is so different as here they have only 3 seasons: hot season, cool season and rainy season. The idea of winter doesn't really work for them!!
I got into Chiang Mai on Sunday no trouble, Jen met me at the airport and we got a songthaew (like a little truck thing with an open back) into town. Dumped my bag at the guesthouse and wandered about a bit before Zoe, the other girl teachig here, arrived and we went for felafels. Then we went shopping in the night market! Was really cool, have been learning my Thai numbers off Jen so soon I may try bartering for myself. In the big cities they do mostly speak a little English but you get a better deal if you speak Thai! Numbers are: nuun (1), song (2), sam (3), see (4), ha (5), hoc (6), jet (7), baaht (8), gauw (9), sip (10), roi (100). That's not a vg transcription but it's how they sound!! We went on a couple of tuk tuks as well, they are hilarious fun, go v fast and you feel slightly dangerous (altho Jen says they are nothing to the ones in Bangkok).
Anyway the next morning we went for breakfast in this nice cafe and then went and bought a secondhand book (The Poisonwood Bible) and sold them my copy of 'the Beach' (ooh tis so good) for 100 baht. Aaaaand then we got a bus to Phayao, took 3 hours but was fun cos I enjoyed looking at the countryside. I can't believe I'm really in Thailand!! Tis so hot, we went swimming yesterday in the openair pool to cool down and oooh was a happiness (also the hotel where it is has hot showers - big luxury!)
Yesterday evening we went out for a meal with nearly all the other Westerners in Phayao, there were 17 of us inc a couple of Thai brides. (Ohhh this one dude Richard, this Canadian, annoyed me, Jen and Zoe SO MUCH, he was such an idiot!! was old and deaf, ie he only heard what he wanted to hear, and he kept telling us that the queen was a figurehead of our country and we were ungrateful if we didn't like her. And then he started telling John, the guy from NZ who organised it, that water could actually flow uphill. And he told Zoe that if she didn't get her tonsils out (she has tonsillitis) the disease would spread to her lungs and she would die. He was so annoying!!!!!! AND he liked Margaret Thatcher. Jenny and I had no words.)
And that was it - apart from many games of Top Trumps - thank you Amy for that, we love them!!! I still haven't taken many photos so I will put them online in a couple of days when I have more. I'm so loving being here with Jen, it is brilliant!!!