The day I moved into Bang Luang I turfed out my alarm clock. The chants from the temple opposite my home would wake me up precisely on time.
I stumble out of bed at about 6:00am, flick the switch on my budget style `Tesco Lotus` kettle, and take a cold shower. By the time my shower is over, I find the kettle has boiled and our cat, Terry the Terrorist, has turned my room into more of a mess than it already was.
I enjoy a slow start to my days here in Thailand. I generally only start teaching at about 8:45 am and use my spare time in the morning to plan lessons.
Now that I am a teacher and no longer a care-free student; I take great pride in cleaning my shoes, ironing my clothes and making sure my hair is neatly combed back.
Being one of only two foreigners in my town, I quickly realised that eyes are on you. Whether it be the students, the teachers, the old man in a grump that sits on his porch all day, or the sweet lady behind the counter at the 7 Eleven.
The `fallangs`, as we are called here in Thailand, seem to be a close second behind budget style TV soapies for entertainment. In a small town I think its important to keep a pretty low profile otherwise things could start catching up with you.
The locals of Bang Luang are lovely people. The atmosphere is similar to that of an island; very laid back and slow moving. I wish the teaching was the same!
I have enjoyed the challenge of teaching, `challenge` being the operative word. It`s something you have to work at, assess, work at, re-assess and repeat. Lesson plans and techniques that work well for some classes and age groups completely fail for others.
One thing that remains constant in the classroom is how your mood and attitude greatly affects the students. It`s really important to hold yourself in a positive way and never give the learners an inch of suspicion that you are dying for a coffee break in an air-conditioned room.
Teaching is not for the faint hearted, especially in a small Thai Town; but if you are the kind of person who likes a challenge it`s a blast.
I have one month to go before heading off on my next adventure...