Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaching English in the Old City

When I told people I was moving to Ayutthaya, reactions came from all ends of the spectrum. Some insisted it was the “Must-See City” of Thailand, while Joe called it “the loneliest place” he’s ever been. David at least tried to hide his concern when he said “Don’t worry, if you hate it, I can find you a job in Chiang Mai in no time… But,uh, I’m sure you won’t hate it.”

But so far I haven’t had too much to complain about. My apartment is perfectly situated between “Soi Farang” on one side -overrun with backpackers, bars, and white people - and to my west lies an array of eerie, silent, ancient ruins. I have air-con, my own balcony, and even a big girl bed – something that I’ve desperately coveted after 4 years of dorm and community living.

Not to say I haven’t already noticed some differences between Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai. The sun is stronger here, it’s not overrun by temples– and there’s no omlette lady on my corner to serve me a 12-baht breakfast (perhaps the saddest thing of all). Also, the people don’t seem quite as intrigued by farangs. Meaning: theyre not interested at all. Menus are only in Thai, and when I ask for my som dtamm at a road stand vendor, it feels like I'm bothering her. Chiang Mai definitely holds a special place in my heart. I’ve spent the past 2 months experiencing Northern Thai culture and attempting Chiang Mai dialect (different from Thai), which proves useless in Central Thailand. Today at lunch over som dtaam and sticky rice, my school's administrator told me that I “eat like a [Thai] Northerner”, and although I don’t know if she meant it as a compliment, I took it as one.

Also, yesterday was my first day teaching English (officially). I got through the day without crying, freaking out, or scaring any children – so I’ll call it a good day. I have P1 through P5 (about 1st through 5th grade) and today my P2's were just a bundle of energy, and pretty fun to hang out with. My schedule is crazy easy compared to my other farang teacher friends, so, again... somehow, I lucked out.
Ayutthaya: so far so good.

I haven't taken any good photography of this city so far, so, just for kicks, here is a picture of me spooning a tiger. And Hannah, don't worry, the tiger was only slightly better at being "little spoon" than you. :)

1 comment:

  1. Cassie: Please tell me this tiger was dead or sedated! HE COULD HAVE EATEN YOU IN ONE GULP!!