Blog # 1
It was afternoon of April 30, 2016 when I received the call from my TEFL institute regarding a possible job placement outside the city. A certain school in the province of Rayong, apparently one of their contacts, is looking for foreigners to start working with them immediately. I thought, an opportunity just came knocking and I need to be there to answer the door. I listened attentively to the woman on the other side of the line as both excitement and anxiety started to build up inside of me. Her instructions were dead simple and straightforward.
?We will take you to the school in Rayong tomorrow morning. Pack all your things because you are moving to the new place.?
For more than two years that I?ve been in Thailand, I?ve always lived in the city of Bangkok which has invariably offered and provided me an urban lifestyle. City living, as far as I am concerned, can be an exigent experience, but it is also a cushy one for the most part. And I absolutely loved it.
Where I lived was not too far from the big malls and shopping centers. Scenic parks are also easily accessible. To top it off, I am very fortunate to have made friends with some of the most wonderful people that I know. They would often take me to many different places whenever we have the free time.
And now, I am leaving them all behind as I am venturing out into another place in Thailand of which exact location I had almost zero idea about. Oh, and about my new job? I am going to be a teacher. One may ask if I am nervous. Well, nit noi. Excited? Mak mak.
The next day, we made our trip from Bangkok to Rayong which had taken more than 3 hours. Five teachers sitting quietly inside the van, all unfamiliar with each other and completely unacquainted with the destination.
When we have finally reached the place, it was almost three in the afternoon. That day marked our very first day at the school, and our very first time to meet the people.
As soon as we got off the van, we were greeted and welcomed by some of the Thai teachers. ?Everyone in the office was wearing a sincere smile as we entered the room, then short introductions were made after the exchange of greetings.
?People here are nice, friendly and funny?, I thought to myself. Judging by the look on their faces, I can tell that the others (foreign teachers) are having fun as well. I remember asking one guy from South Africa about what he thinks of the whole place. That question popped up because the school is kind of remote and is far from the city. I?ve also not seen even a single 7 eleven shop nearby on our way to the school. But he said he?s not backing out anymore. I suspected that the people here, their hospitality and warm treatment, are what convinced him to stay. It wasn?t long before I decided to myself that I am also much likely to stay if they?d hire me. And I am glad that they did.
Before the evening came, one of the Thai teachers who owns a resort not too far from the school offered her place for us to stay. Accommodation isn?t free which is quite understandable. But for 300 baht per night in an air conditioned room, I thought it?s a pretty good deal (except that they got no English channel when we browsed their TV, but no big deal).
The room rental comes with other complimentary such as free drinking water, bathroom accessories and also free coffee in the morning. (But wait, there?s more) We also get free transportation service by car from the resort to the school for the entire duration of our stay (nice!).
This might sound a bit clich?, but out in the sticks, little things can go a long way.
I am one happy camper.