Teaching Tales from Thailand: Kalasin Life

Three things I know….

  1. California heat has NOTHING on Thailand heat!
  2. Toilet paper is a luxury.
  3. Bali Belly/Thai Tummy is some serious s#@*! (literally)

Americans say it’s hot outside when it’s 100 degrees. Well, I’m here to tell you…that is not hot! I have about a 5 minute walk to school, and by the time I get there, I am dripping. Standing at the assembly every morning, I feel the wonderful sensation of sweat dripping down, down, down!! Ugh… Luckily my office and classrooms are all air conditioned, but it still takes me about 30 minutes to cool down. Speaking of rooms at school, there is one bathroom that has toilets, but they don’t flush. You have flush it manually by pouring water from a bucket into the toilet…lol! They have sprayers (like the kind you find on your kitchen sink) because you can’t use tp. 😀 Thanks to another farang teacher, I have learned how to get around that. However, it is kinda nice to have a little squirt on a hot day! Unfortunately, the dreaded stomach issues hit with a vengeance on Tuesday, and I had to stay home on Friday. I started feeling better today and was finally able to eat some solid food…yay!

FW Kalasin

Pictures from dino museum, Lum Pao Dam, pool at hotel, apartment, city street, night market, lake and school

My first week in Kalasin has been great. I’m getting to know my little town by doing some walk abouts and riding in tuk-tuks. I have been to about 6 different places to eat and everything is delish! Tuesday was the night market and that was awesome. Lots of food, drinks, wares and even some entertainment. Oh…..I found someone to do my laundry (wash and fold) and paid 80 baht for two bags full. That’s about $2.64…I could totally get used to that. I’ve taken two trips (by myself) to the local “Wal-mart” for food, water and misc things. They have some of the same brands that we have in America, but it’s all in Thai. It’s a good thing the packaging is recognizable! Went to dinner at Kebab Garden (Mediterranean food) tonight with another teacher (Molly) who lives in my building. It’s pretty far from our apartment and the tuk-tuk wouldn’t come back for us, so the owner gave us a ride back. He speaks English and knows most of the farangs in town.

Teaching is going well. My students are darling and I hear “Teacha Julie” all day long. I am still figuring out how to communicate effectively with them. I have a Thai teacher in my classes, but they don’t speak much English, so it has been interesting trying to work together. In the older classes, there are students who speak English very well, and they are always willing to help. I’m going to try to learn as many names as I can, but it will be a trick. When Thai children are born, they get a nickname because their given names are usually long and hard to say. The nicknames are much easier, but there are SO many of them. Some of my favorites are PP, Golf, Prim, Ploy, Friend, Beauty and Jing Jing. On Mon-Wed I teach four classes and Thu/Fri I teach three. I am done teaching by 2:30 everyday, and then I have 2 hours for planning/correcting. Everyday the school provides lunch consisting of steamed and sticky rice and a variety of proteins and veggies. Many dishes are really spicy, so I am being careful. Thankfully, we always have fruit and often some type of dessert. 🙂

Haven’t seen too many unusual bugs/animals yet. LOTS of cockroaches when we walk at night. It’s like two-stepping trying to avoid them. Tonight, I saw a HUGE rat. :/ On Thursday night, we saw an elephant in town, but since we were in a car, we didn’t get to stop. 🙁 There are two dogs on the way to school that are kinda scary, but they only come out at night, so we avoid walking that way if we can. If not, we are just super quiet. lol

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About the author

Julie Asaro

Julie Asaro has always been someone who loves adventures and is willing to try most things (at least one time), but her move to Thailand definitely tops the list!! At almost 50 years old, she's getting to do what many people only dream about. Now we can all live vicariously through her tales as she spends a year teaching in Thailand.

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1 Comment

  • It sounds like you’re embracing all the changes in your new life in a very positive way. (You also write in excellent English, which helps!) Good for you. I hope you find it in your heart to stick around. You are a valuable asset to your school – even thought it might not feel like it at times!

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