Friday, October 31, 2008

War stories

Well, fuck. I was all prepared to give today a Code Mango again... but I started feeling queasy again when I got home. No major crisis - just enough to make me wonder if the antibiotics really are working or not. But for most of the day I felt better... so we'll split the difference and call it a Code Pineapple kind of a day.

Bunny and Bobby went to Ko Samet last night and I'd mentioned that if I was feeling better I might try to meet up with them for the day, since I didn't have class until 7pm tonight. But when I got up it was raining... and I realized I hadn't done any lesson planning at all for that class or the two horrible young-learner classes (well, one horrible, one just so/so) I teach on Sundays. So I decided to stick around here. I spent an obscene amount of time in bed playing around on facebook... but actually had a really good chat with someone (hi MJ) so it was worth it.

I went to lunch at around 1 or so. Some of the teachers had been talking about a new German restaurant that serves good English/American/German breakfasts with eggs and bacon and other exotic foods like that. ;) One of the teachers... I can't remember if I gave him a nickname or not - let's call him Baldy... drew a map for me. But then he said it was right next to a popular massage place so I could just ask for that and the motorcycle taxis would get me close enough. Which is exactly what I did.

OMG... it was such a treat. For one, the restaurant had walls... and doors! Seriously, it was exciting. The floor was something other than bare concrete and the tables were not covered in old Pepsi banners. There was NO toilet paper on the tables!! (Thais use TP like we use napkins or paper towels - it's just an all purpose product. Of course, you never know if there will be TP in the bathroom... but there will *always* be some on the table! ) I accidentally went into the wrong part but the owner came out and explained to me in fluent English that the restaurant part wasn't open yet but she ushered me into the cafe part that was open, and got me a menu - in English. I said "Danke" because I was just so excited not to have to try to order in Thai. LOL. After all my whining about breakfast I wasn't actually in the mood for it so I had a ham and cheese sandwich instead. Mmmmmm. Just your average ham sandwich on lightly toasted white bread, a little lettuce - a LOT of mayonaise. I was very happy. It was 75 baht.... twice what a big ol' plate of fried rice or pad see yoo costs at the market. It didn't even come with fries or chips or anything. Still - it was worth it. I was particularly excited that it didn't send me running to the bathroom.

I spent a few hours at school sorting out my lesson for tonight and trying to figure out what to do for my young-learner classes. One book is way too hard for the students, and one book is way too easy... so I've got to do it all from scratch. For the class that's way ahead of the book, I'm just going to play games tomorrow... there's a Halloween party, so it's okay. I'm going to try to get them to make up scary stories. We'll see how that goes. But for the other class... the class that won't talk and just stares at me blankly when I give them the most basic instructions... I'm taking them back to square one. I'm going to start with vocabulary words - getting out whatever nouns, verbs, and adjectives they know... then I'm going to have them start making sentences using the words they know. Seriously, they're in book 6 and are supposed to understand a couple of past tense forms and two present this should not be a challenge... but we'll see.

I got some dinner at the restaurant next to the school (which does *not* have doors or windows), taught my one class for the day, then filled out my time card. I taught over 100 hours this month! I know it doesn't sound like much... but it certainly kept me busy, especially since that number doesn't include travel or planning time! Key drove me home again, and stopped to pick up some dinner to-go first. The place she went was right next to a place selling toast! I was so excited. White bread twice in one day - such a treat! It's such a crack up, so Thai. There's a woman with a little street cart making drinks and grilling toast on a little BBQ. First she slathers it with margarine then toasts it face down on the grill. Random. Then, because this is Thailand - she spoons a generous pile of sugar on top of it and shakes it off and puts it into a plastic bag, which of course goes into a second plastic bag. I'd ordered two pieces so it was like a little toasted sugar sandwich.

When I got back to my apartment I decided to see if Bunny and Bobby were back from Ko Samet. They were and we actually had a great time talking. They got really excited about the fact that I had found toast, so I shared. We just sat around eating toast and telling our stories. They both did study-abroad in college, Bunny in France and Bobby in England so we chatted a bit about that. They've only been in Thailand about a week or so I think... so they were asking me questions about everything. I reassured them that I'd gone through all the same culture shock that they're going through and gave them some hard learned tips (where to find the western toilets, why you shouldn't take a tuk-tuk in Bangkok "You mean there's not a special discount day?", and how many pages to prepare for a 3 hour lesson). They were hanging on my every word in a way that I found most enjoyable. Mostly it was fun to be speaking at full speed.

The A/C in their room wasn't working so I taught them to say "broken" and found the word for A/C in their phrase book - they have the same book I do... although theirs is in much better condition. =P But then I remembered that when they were sorting out my "hong naam fai see-a" problem the landlady kept turning off the main power using one of the three black light switches on my wall (the switches that control the lights are beige and... different). So I found their black light switch and sure enough it was 'off' so I flipped it on then pressed the button for the A/C. When the cool air started drifting into their room it was as though I had magical powers. Yeah... I'm pretty much their hero now.


Batty said...

Please, please, please see a doctor. Not all antibiotics treat all kinds of bacteria. You need to take care of yourself. Don't make me book a flight to Thailand! I don't take no for an answer when it comes to people and hospitals.

Michael5000 said...

You're our hero too! And we hang on your every word too!

Contrary opinion: wherever you be, there's not much a doctor can tell you about a few days of diarhea. I'd give it a week before giving up on antibiotic #1 and your own ability to fight the bug off.

Exuberant Color said...

Try to get some acidophilus at a pharmacy. It is the good bacteria that you need in your intestines. All travelers are advised to use it to keep their digestive tract calm.

Exuberant Color said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention that you definitely need to take it if you are taking an antibiotic that is killing all of your bacteria, both the bad and the good.

Rebel said...

Batty - I feel better, but will take it under advisement.

M5K - I waited five days before taking the antibiotics, but if I get another bout, I'll head to the doctor.

Exuberant - that's actually a good idea, I just have to figure out how to say it in Thai.