Jiparta's a Thai word. I'm not exactly sure what it means but, whenever I hear it, I like the sound of it. It has a nice ring to it. As far as I know, its supposed to mean miscelleaneous odds and sods, the sort of stuff that you can't easily categorise.
Bloggangs's server was down for a couple of hours yesterday (at the very moment that I was planning to start spewing out a huge tirade against one of the Thai teachers at my school...) so now have lots odd stories to bundle into this post. So here goes...
Did I go to the right place ?
Last week some of the students from the adult class that I teach took me to the Erawan shrine. Click here to read the story.It was fun going with them, and interesting seeing how strongly some people believe in being able to change their fate. I told the story to a couple of people I know in Bangkok, and e-mailed the weblink to Khun Beer, the office manager of the place where I teach. Yesterday evening, after class she told me that she'd read the story, and that, if I really wanted a new boyfriend, I'd gone to the totally wrong place.
Apparently you should go to the Erawan shrine when you want to ask for something to improve your life, a new job for instance. If you're really looking to meet that someone special, you need to go to another place. Just in case anyone out there is really desperate to get a new bf/gf here's the details. Go to the shrine by the Isetan department store, in Central World. There's more chance of your wish coming true if you go there on a Thursday, and take a red flower with you.
Giving opinions.. Or Maybe not
I try and study Thai on a Tuesday night. Normally every lesson takes the same format. Meet my teacher in a shopping mall near her house. Drink coffee, eat cake and muffins. Then onto the lesson. Read the story. Listen to the teacher explain any odd phrases, or patterns of speech. Answer lots of questions about the text. Normally the first couple of questions are fairly easy and relate to sentences in the story. The latter ones are much, much harder. They normally ask you to explain differences between Thai and English culture, or to give your opinions about some aspect of the story.
This week's lesson was about the family. Thai style families, and the story I had to read involved 2 people talking about intermarriage, between 2 people with different religions or between a foreigner and a Thai. The story, and the first set of questions were easy enough. Then onto the part where I had to give my opinion. The first questions were 'what do you think about marriage between Thai women and foreign men?''what do you think about the age gap between some Thai women and some foreign men ? eg. where the woman is very young and the man is very old' 'why do you think Thai women like foreign men?'
I started to give my opinion on the second question. It went something along the lines of 'I think some Thai women and some western men really deserve each other. The old men want easy, cheap sex with a beautiful but deferential woman, something which they would never get at home. The women often want money, or someone to take care of them financially. Sometimes the people really genuinely care about and love each other, but a lot of the time its not real love...'
People started looking. My Thai teacher gave me a funny look, that I didn't quite understand. She didn't correct me, so I'm guessing that the vocab. and sentence structure was OK. More people started looking. The funny look continued. Then she said something along the lines of "erm.. I need to go home early tonight. maybe it's better if you do it for homework.. I think it would be good for you to try and write it down' I guess that was her way of saying that she didn't agree with my thoughts, or that she didn't want to get embarrassed listening to them.
Choose your future...
There's no English class next Wednesday night. My students have to attend a special class. Someone from a big finance company will be giving them a special talk about how to manage their money, save, not get into debt and how to plan for a better career and a new future.
I jokingly said to Beer that I could do with attending a class like that. I probably earn more per month than most of my students but I rarely save money. I've never been able to budget, and I'm saved from credit cards debts only by the fact that I can't understand most of the blurb they use to advertise them here. It's all in Thai.
And... as for a career, and planning for a future. There's none of that here... Unless I want to lose my voice telling 10 year olds that whiteboards are for looking at and writing on, not headbutting, and dealing with the jokes that pass for management in Thai school's, there's no prospects here really... None at all...
Beer laughed and invited me to go along to the class too. She thinks that I should be able to understand it OK. I'm not sure I agree with her, but it will be fun to see if I can listen to the Thai. And interesting to see what advice the teacher gives, and whether I'll be able to follow it.
The school zoo... Life goes on
Wanted to complain about one of my thai bosses yesterday... She likes to gossip in Thai right in front of your face, is rude and is very 2 faced. 2 faces aren't enough. She probably has at least 6 or 7, maybe more.
Anway, earlier this morning one of the other teachers made the following comment "When you're living in a pack of gorilla's you don't challenge the head silverback do you ?" Sometimes, silence is golden...
PS:- ... Before anyone goes all PC on me and points out that the above comment is really racist... the guy wasn't attacking her because of her skin colour. He was merely pointing out how useless it is for an underling to even think about challenging authority here - no matter how stupid and idiotic the things the person in authority does are...
|Create Date : 06 กันยายน 2550
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