I was sitting in Starbucks yesterday, hanging out online, when this farang came up to me and said hello, then asked where I was from. I said I was American and he said, "Yeah I know" (which I doubt, "Hi" is hardly enough to distinguish an accent from) so I told him I was from Oregon. We chatted a bit, figuring out which other Americans in Rayong we both knew, then he very quickly began telling me his life story. I know all about his latest medical crisis, where he met his wife, all about his kids, his last job, where he works now etc. At first I nodded politely, knowing what it's like to be starved for English conversation. But then it just got weird.
He offered to give me his and his wife's phone numbers so I could call them any time I needed advice. I explained that I had been in Thailand for a good 10 months now and was reasonably well sorted, thankyouverymuch. He told me about the school where he'd gotten his teaching degree and I jotted down the information for future reference (still in the thinking/researching phase of deciding to go to grad school) and he told me that when I applied I should tell the guy I know him. I was like "Um, okay Mr. Starbucks man." Then he proceeded to tell me that I should also get my TEFL through them... "Well, I already have my TEFL" ... and that no matter what anyone tells me I cannot get a Thai teaching license without a masters degree. "Ok, but I already have a job and don't really need a teaching license." It was one piece of unsolicited career advice after another. I was flabbergasted. I kept turning back to my computer in the universal "I'm done talking to you." manner, but he was undeterred. I was torn. He was nice enough, and I didn't want to be rude, but man.... time to learn the social cues!
At one point I had told him that my contract was nearly finished and I'd be heading back to the states. At which point he told me he hoped I would stay..... "Um, I'm actually ready to head home now. I've had my adventure, it's been great, but I have a few other things I'd like to do with my life." Finally his wife arrived to collect him, and as he was leaving he said most cheerfully. "And I hope something *really* spectacular happens to make you stay in Thailand."
"Um... thank you?"
TAG: Code Watermelon