Saturday I had to get up early and teach the first graders
. Oh sweet mother. I don’t really like teaching first graders when they can understand me, I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea. The kids were crazy! First off, half of them showed up in their pajamas, and I had one Snow White and a Superman. They refused to sit down and I had to yell the entire time to be heard. It was absolutely exhausting. They LOVE the 5 Little Monkeys (swinging from the tree version, not jumping on the bed), so they’d be relatively quiet for that, but since I was supposed to be teaching about body parts, it was a little ridiculous to keep singing that song. My coordinator told me to let her know if I want to do more next month. I’m debating. It’s only 4 hours (and only 3 hours teaching) once every few weeks. It’s nice to have the extra money. However, Susanna just started tutoring and makes more per hour than I did and works 4 hours during the week. So that’s more money each week and wouldn’t involve sacrificing any weekend travel time. She definitely has a sweeter deal, and said the company is looking for more tutors…I may be convinced.
After that, Susanna and Kim met me at school and we went for lunch. Then Kim and I headed into Bang Saen for some beach time. We weren’t sure exactly where to get off the song tau, so we jumped off when we were near the university and figured we could find the beach from there
. We walked in the direction we thought the water was, and ended up off the beaten path at a restaurant full of locals. One guy came up to us on his motorbike and asked where we were going. We told him the beach and he said, “Oh no, very far. Over one kilometer.” We asked him for directions so we could walk the right way, and he said, “Ok, I’ll take you.” So we hopped on his bike with him (I did so with great care and reluctance). After a little ways, he pulled into his apartment parking lot so we could go more comfortably in his car. It was a really short ride and we certainly could have walked it, but it was nice to have someone make sure we got there ok. Now I know when to get off the truck so I’ll be sure to not have problems the next time.
We walked along the beach looking at all the food stalls and little shopping places before heading down to the water. I had been told over and over that Bang Saen was the closest beach, but it wasn’t nice, and I needed to go to Pattaya for the closest nice beach. I figured any beach in Thailand would be nicer than what I was used to in America. I may have figured wrong. The beach was pretty gross. There is trash everywhere. It’s definitely not the beautifully clear water and white beaches you see in pictures. But for a 20 baht ride that takes about 30 minutes, it will do when I need a beach day. And a girl from my program said she found a small used bookstore there, which is always a plus. The town is a nice atmosphere and the strip for walking is really nice, so it’s not all bad.
We came back pretty early because it was sprinkling on us and looking like a storm. We ate at the food market again and then went to the bar near my apartment, aptly named “Bar”
We woke up early today and walked around town. We stopped for a newspaper, lime smoothies, and some snacks and then headed over to the park next to my school. It wasn’t very hot out (yet) so we had a nice relaxing morning outside. When Kim started making a nice meal for the bugs, we walked down to the water. My part of town is beachless, the big shrimp port. It’s still pretty to look out on the water though, and there’s a very nice breeze off the water.
We found a new restaurant where we can get vegetable fried rice, so there’s a new option for dinnertime. It’s funny, I never liked friend rice at home, and now I eat it all the time because they have it everywhere and it’s something I know how to order in Thai. It’s especially good with pineapple.
Overall, it was a relaxing weekend, and I learned some more about home, which is always a good thing. I don’t want to spend all my weekends here, but it’s good to know that there’s stuff to do for when I do.
Finishing up my first weekend in Chonburi in I can't remember how long. Kim came into town, so it was a little more eventful than just hanging out, and it turned out to be nice to spend some time in my hometown for once. Friday night I met up with Kim (thankfully she was brave enough to get on a motorcycle taxi and make her way to me so I didn’t have to trust the motorbikes again) and we walked over to the food market for a late dinner. We had the spiciest pad Thai I’ve had since coming here. Apparently saying, "not too spicy" in Thai didn’t do it for these people. We also got shrimp when we asked for it to be meatless, so it was a bit of a disappointment. We ended the night on a good note though; we bought fresh coconut ice cream that was served in a coconut. So delicious. I may have a new nightly treat.