Despite what you may have seen on the news (or not seen, as the case may be with US news), day to day life is continuing normally here in Rayong. Last week I saw a big group of people hanging out near the clock tower (next to the market where I eat dinner a lot). They were watching a big portable TV screen and someone I couldn't identify was giving a speech. I was mildly concerned, mostly because they were all crowded around where I usually get a motorbike taxi, and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find a driver.... but I just wandered passed, crossed the street and got a ride with no problem. There was the random burst of applause, but they weren't blocking traffic or holding signs or anything, so I could hardly call it a 'protest' - I've seen larger & more animated crowds watching football matches.
The airport in Bangkok is closed though, and the three teachers who were supposed to fly out to Vietnam for a vacation are out of luck. They're out 3,000 baht for the visa, and one night of their hotel reservation cost. The tickets will be refunded, but it'll probably take a month to do so. Sucks to be them. It does make me a bit nervous to think that if I wanted to fly somewhere I couldn't. But it's not like the borders are closed, it's only a couple hour drive to Cambodia and as I've mentioned, I'm registered with the US consulate should the situation deteriorate.
I'm not really concerned... but I am getting tired of it. I mean, for all that people hated Bush at least Americans respected his presidency enough not to stage a coup. Actually I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.... maybe we're just lazy. I don't know. I think I'm well and truly entering stage two of culture shock. I've been on and off cranky for a while now.
My schedule is all wonky. The off-campus classes I enjoyed are over and new classes are starting. I miss my driver. I hate my kid classes, and I hate the kid books.
My sink is leaking and I really don't feel like having another "horng naam whatever see-ah" adventure.
I want to go out and party more, but when people invite me, I never feel like it. Either I'm too tired or it's late and I don't know if I'll be able to get back home when I want to.
I'm disappointed in myself for *still* not having obtained access to a motorbike.
I finally know enough Thai to make mistakes (when you can only say 2 things... it's kinda hard to mess them up), so now I make mistakes all the time. The other day at the market, I just could not hear anything properly. People were telling me prices and I kept getting them wrong in my head - I *know* the numbers, my brain just refused to process the words properly. And after listening to my students and their horrible accents all day, I'm well aware that I must sound retarded every time I try to speak Thai. People correct me sometimes but honestly I can't hear the distinctions they're trying to make.
I'm still hanging onto remnants of my cold and I feel disgusting. It's considered rude & gross to blow your nose here. So I'm always running off to the bathroom or trying to hide my tissues. I got this menthol inhaler thing that works temporarily, but I feel lame shoving the thing up my nose several times each class session.
Oh... and Christmas is right around the corner, but it doesn't feel even remotely like it. I mean, it's starting to cool off at night here, and Tesco's has a whole Santa display up... but it's all a little surreal. A lot surreal actually.
And the worst thing is that I find myself complaining on a regular basis and I just don't want to be that kind of person. Some of the other teachers bitch and moan constantly and it's annoying. I really really really don't want to be like that... but WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH I'm cranky.
I think I know why though... it's been at least two weeks since I've been to the beach. I need some serious sun, sand, and surf. I'm heading to Ko Samet tomorrow, hopefully that will sort me out. We'll see.
For now the TAG stands at Code Bananas