The last week of school. What a sad thought! I can’t believe it has all gone by so quickly. But although I’m sad to leave, I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family, and especially my dogs. I never thought I’d say it, but I think I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my life; internship and job searching. It’s all rather uncertain and exciting!
I had the blues on Monday morning; I was exhausted and felt like I was coming down with the flu, a feeling that did not combine well with the general sadness associated with the final week at school.
I had my class with Joel in the morning; the students mainly finished off some exercises on the topic of special days such, answering questions about New Year and Halloween, and while they did that Joel and I just chatted away about different traditional holidays. Songkran is the holiday where the Thai people celebrate New Year; it’s known by tourists as the water festival where all the locals just start throwing water over each other. I’m desperate to return to Thailand once more and make sure I’m in the country in April for the Songkran festivities. It’s meant to be one of the most incredible cultural experiences. But I’ve also been told that April is the hottest month; like 44 degrees, burning off the skin in seconds, hot. No wonder they throw water over each other!
In the afternoon I had my lesson with James and I’d spent half an hour in the morning making a sentence game for the class. I wrote out ten sentences and left out a couple of verbs to test their use of ‘s’, ‘ies’ and ‘es’. But I had a few hiccups upon arrival in class; James, who usually provides the white board pens, only had one pen in his pencil case and it was virtually inkless. So he disappeared in search of pens and ink, so I had to do a bit of stalling. Eventually we got ourselves organised. The first few sentences were a bit forced; they had no recollection of the rule for singular/plural subjects. James, helpfully translating, explained it a couple of times and eventually the penny dropped. Nothing sucks the fun out of a game more than when no one can get the answers right.
Supalak took some photos with Beth and I, which I managed to steal after some serious Facebook stalking; seeing them makes me feel very sad for the end of the week. Definitely going to miss the IEP gals…
I don’t have class until 12.30 on Tuesdays so I spent most of the morning editing my CV in eager preparation of my return home. I also had a gruelling wait until 11.30 to have lunch as Beth had a lesson. It’s ridiculous; at the beginning of the project I found the idea of having lunch at 10.30 completely absurd. But now, if my lunch is even one minute past 10.30 it just feels wrong. I feel like a changed woman! I’ve also started to realise that I won’t be eating at Happy’s for much longer, so, despite my hunger, I tried to slowly savour my Kapow Moo Sap (minced pork with chilli and basil).
After lunch I had my IEP lesson with Joel and we completed the family topic by getting the students to draw their own family trees. The results proved quite interesting; some trees were quite small, whereas some others (like Supalak’s) were huge and consisted of 12 siblings. Who in hell would have a dozen children?!? It’s madness! Supalak even had to ring up her father to find out some of their names. Clearly there’s too many to keep count. I thought my Dad’s family was big with 7 siblings, but Supalak definitely beats me with this one.
After school Beth and I headed over to Khao Sahn to meet up with Dave. It was so weird; I hadn’t seen him for ruddy weeks, I think its the longest we’ve been apart haha! Once Beth and Dave booked their train to Koh Tao we hopped in a tuk tuk and headed to Bangkok’s China Town. Hannah and Angie couldn’t stop chatting about it when they went, so Beth and I have been eager to go ever since. It was a little overwhelming; there were sooo many restaurants, street and formal style, and it was rather hard to pin once place down. I ended up getting some yummy crispy duck noodles with spring onions, and I also got some pork and shrimp dumplings, called Dragon Eyes. Dave was tempted to get the shark fin soup, but at the price of 2,000 baht he decided to give it a miss.
In the morning I had my two hour lesson with Hannah. Over the last week or so we’d both been drawing out story boards for the students, putting out art skills to the test, and Hannah brought one of hers out for the class. She’d drawn a pretty epic cartoon about ‘Jerry the Gangster’; Jerry loved watching gangster movies and wanted to be a gangster so that he could get a pretty girlfriend and drive fast cars. But Jerry accidentally shot himself in the foot with his. Oh, Jerry! The lesson was orientated around the cartoon strip; they had to describe the pictures, fill in the blanks, etc. Hannah decided to keep the 5/6 cartoon story boards that I’d drawn for Thursday’s lesson, so that she could give the students a speaking test. To be honest, I wouldn’t have minded if she didn’t use them at all. They were absolutely terrible. Cartoons are not my forte!
After Hannah’s class I had my IEP lesson with Nick, my favourite class. We played popcorn again, but we were using the first chapter of Harry Potter: the Philosopher’s Stone. Of course Nick dumbed it down a little so it wasn’t as difficult. I lead the popcorn game and got all the students to join in with the reading; afterwards the students answered several question about the text, and answered the question in past tense. We also went through all the past tense verbs; this is always a test for Nick and myself. We both nervously go through the paragraphs and compare each others answers. We hardly ever get the same number. There are so many confuses adjectives that look like verbs. Urgghh. Why is English so confusing sometimes?!?!
In the afternoon Hannah, Beth and I took our usual trip to Central. We got noodle soup at the street food court before heading into the mall to do a little bit of shopping. Beth had to get the rest of her present for Jurin and I needed to subtly buy some thank you cards without Hannah noticing. I think I succeeded. We also made a cheeky visit to the Krispy Kreme’s counter and purchased to dozen donuts to bring into the office on Thursday. A very unavoidably unsubtle purchase that I couldn’t disguise from Hannah. Afterwards we bought tickets to see Third Person, a new drama featuring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis and James Franko. I hadn’t actually heard of it, Hannah simply said it was about three interlocking love stories set in three different cities. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it by giving away the central twist. I did enjoyed it (I love Kunis and Franko), and yet I wasn’t completely blown away. But I’m no film critic.
I don’t usually have any lessons on Thursday morning but I snuck into Nick’s IEP class; I didn’t want to miss the next section of Harry Potter. Loads of the students came to school really late because of the traffic and Nick was planning on giving them a little quiz, so we waited ten minutes for the kids to arrive and just sat chatting to Supalak, Duangjai and Pornpan. The students took a little test on past tense verbs, which, from my over-the-shoulder observations, they seemed to understand pretty well. Afterwards, we gave the class the option of a game or more of Harry Potter reading, and rather unexpectedly they begged for more Harry P. I never thought they’d turn down the option of a game. I’d been proved wrong! So we played some more Popcorn. And they loved it!
After lunch I had my class with Hannah. It was speaking quiz day and my cartoons were being put to the test. While Hannah snuck the students into the office for the quiz, I held down the fort with a crossword on ‘Jerry the Gangster’ vocabulary and several rounds of Hangman. I tried to mix Hangman up this time; instead of me being in control, thinking of the words, I wrote down some categories and gave the students the power to think up their own words. At first they were a bit shy. But by the end they were fighting over the marker for a go. It was such good fun!
The rest of the afternoon kind of slipped away from of us from then on. Next minute it was 3.30 pm; time to quickly go home and finish packing away my life. I left the school feeling rather conflicted; it almost seemed that a weight lifted off my shoulders, but at the same time I hated the thought of leaving CTC, all our friends and memories.
At 5 pm we met back at Angie’s flat for the staff farewell party. We even got Wei, the shy Chinese teacher, to join in on the fun. We had planned to go to Fatty’s, the bar which Nick works in part-time, which Beth and I were all for when he heard about how delicious there food is. It took us a hell of a while to get there though; we took a taxi to a nearby canal, then took the boat for 20 minutes before hopping on the MRT. Then when we thought we were nearly there, we had to walk another 15 minutes, in the heat. But don’t worry, it was all worth it in the end.
Oh my god. The food was incredible. Nick went ahead and ordered us a selection of appertisers; jalapeno poppers and deep fried four cheese ravioli. We were kind of going all out as Joel had some money from Korawik, and Noi had some money from the department to cover the evening. After the delicious starters I had the cream cheese burger; a big melting juicy beef patty, covered in a slab of cream cheese and then coated in jalepeno peppers. It literally fell apart in my mouth. Oh, so heavenly! After dinner the drinking continued; by 7.30 Joel was absolutely battered, we’re all quite sure that he was sick in the bar’s bathroom sink. There’s always somebody! Everyone got a little bit mushy the later it became, especially after Beth and I gave out our little thank you cards. It was all hugs and kisses and what not.Very sweet. Jill was even inviting Beth, Hannah and I to her house for her birthday in April; appaz the word on the street she can get the flights for free and put us up for free too. Sounds like I’ve got my Easter holiday sorted!! Oh, wait… Do you still get those when your a proper working adult person?
By 1 am Wei was almost asleep on the sofa, not from alcohol but from boredom. Joel on the other hand was passed out from his liquid dinner consumption. So we decided to make a move. James proved to be very entertaining in the taxi back to CTC; he wouldn’t stop demanding dance songs from the taxi driver and spent the entire journey thrusting, first pumping, pouting, the lot! He hopped out the taxi when I got to my road, even though he leaves further down the Soi. It was his ploy to try and persuade me to go to Khao Sahn with him. Hilarious! Sadly I had to decline. But we embraced in the street a lot and desperately tried to get a photo, which proved quite difficult in the dark. I did a little bit of panicked drunken packing before going to bed. What a night, and an incredible farewell to the staff at CTC.
So its officially leaving day today. Beth and I made a sneaky trip back into school earlier this morning to say bye to some of the teachers and to grab our last lunch on the soi. I got myself some noodles from the infamous Noodle Man. Hannah and Angie have been chatting about Noodle Man’s delicious noodles since day one, and he hardly ever came to the soi since then! Typical. But on my last day he makes a miraculous arrival outside the school. They were literally the best noodles ever; lots of pork balls, sliced pork and crackling (such a cheeky delight to find floating around), with bean sprouts and a little coriander. Divine. The best last meal I could’ve asked for.
Before heading back to the house to finish packing I popped into James’ class to say bye to the students. This is the class with the ‘Teacher Barbie’ student. Well when I arrived in the classroom the room was empty, except for this sweet girl who had been waiting for me to come and say bye. She’d only gone and got me a load of presents, bless her. Loads of Thai snacks (most of which I’m terrified to eat) and lots of floral soaps. So lovely of her!! I perfect end to my time at CTC!
So now, as I type, I’m sat on my bed in a very empty, very clean room with all my belongings packed away. I’m feeling very teary; I’m so looking forward to seeing my family, but I’m so sad to say goodbye to my little life here. Oh. What a overwhelming mix of feelings! Onwards to Sukhumvit I guess!
(To be continued…)