Friday, December 08, 2006

There's no reason for the lack of bloggage, other than a lack of time and a lack of interesting diatribes to write. I must admit I've been a little discouraged by the drop in hits since I switched blog sites. I've regretted such a drastic change many times.

My switch from government to private bilingual schools has been intriguing. The very items which other teachers grumble about and find shocking are a tenfold improvement over administration at my previous employer. After such a drawn out and vitriolic departure from my previous post, I'm just enjoying being one of the team again. When the time is right I'll do my best to move up the ladder but for now, I'm just being the smiling, company guy.

Perhaps a little too much.

Last week my boss approached me and told me "Mr Greg, you are a symbol of quality, we want you to attend a school parade next Monday". Now you must remember that it was just weeks ago I was in a job when people would literally curse at me under their breath when I walked through the door each morning, being given such a compliment by my new employer was a little intoxicating, I gladly agreed to attend the parade.

I later found out a few extra facts about the parade:

1) It took place on holiday i.e. a day off.

2) It required being on the premises at 6am.

3) It required wearing a hat. Not just any hat I might add, a hat that actually doubles as an umbrella. I kid you not. We will be marching on parade wearing umbrella hats in full view of hundreds of people.

That's how much I've changed. A few months ago I blogged about my stubborn refusal to wear a shirt with flowers and rabbits on it for my school. Now, I'll be humiliating myself in public without a word of protest. I might even post a picture of it on here.


Panic and rumour continues to spread through the teacher community. Most of it is based on rumours that develop into Chinese Whisper style untruths. The new regime - still giving most of its time to trying to reduce the tragic violence in the south and fighting a war of wits with the evil regime of Thaksin Shiniwat and his cohorts - have decided to register all foreign teachers. Personally, I think it's great. Teachers get a certificate confirming they have registered, which goes a long way to convincing a serious school that the applicant is a serious teacher, in my view. Naturally, it's provoked a bit of paranoia at being asked to supply all kinds of documents and information. It must be stated that some of this concern is understandable. Administration and immigration in Thailand is woefully unprofessional and corrupt.

The other rules - to my knowledge - remain in place. Repeated tourist visas are being scrutinised and the non immigrant B visa is required to work. On that note, I'm off to Laos next week to apply for my new visa for my new employer, and of course to enjoy a quick break. I might even drink a beer, something I haven't done for months. Laos Beer is the stuff of legend.

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