If we were having coffee, I’d be soo excited to see you!
It’s been ages since I’ve joined the Coffee Share and it feels so good to be back.
After five weeks of living out of a suitcase, I finally have a home. A month of TESOL training left little time for adequate blogging (I don’t do this blogging business for the stats but let me tell you, my stats have been terrible).
Now, though? Now, my suitcase is unpacked, my shoes are lined up by the door, and I’m sitting on my new bed in my new apartment and it feels so good.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how crazy this week has been. It has been emotionally and physically exhausting. If you read this post, you’d know that I am no longer placed in Nong Khai, a province in Northeastern Thailand, where I was supposed to be teaching at a secondary school. I hadn’t even been there a week when I knew it just wasn’t right for me. This knowledge wasn’t necessarily something I could explain. It wasn’t culture shock. It was just this inborn knowledge that something wasn’t right about me being there.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how on Friday, while visiting friends in Bangkok, an opportunity came up for me to accept another job…this time in Nakhon Pathom Province in Central Thailand. When I was offered the position, I didn’t hesitate. Everything about this new job felt so right and I knew I had to take it.
That said, it was still a couple of very stressful days. On Saturday, I received notification that I couldn’t come to teach at the new school unless I paid three months salary to the agency I had signed to work with in Nong Khai. In Thailand, it is very common for foreign English teachers to go through agencies that act as a communication buffer between the the English speaking teacher and the Thai speaking school administration. That said, this threat I was told about made little sense with my understanding of the contract I had signed with this agency. Also, I knew people in my TESOL course who had already broken contract with this agency to go to different schools. Already stressed and exhausted from the past week, I still panicked and it was a rough couple days of trying to figure everything out. In the end, everything worked out; the three months salary issue ended up being an empty threat and here I am in Nahkon Pathom Province.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell about you how leaving Nong Khai was so hard. Even though I knew the decision was right for me, I felt like utter shit for leaving the school I was supposed to teach at so last minute. I left town on the day I was supposed to start teaching and that was rough. I felt terrible because my renter there was so nice to me and got me a taxi to the bus station, even though I felt like I didn’t deserve it. I felt even more terrible when I realized my renter was also a teacher at the school I was supposed to teach at. I felt terrible when I told my agent I was leaving, especially when I heard the sadness in her voice. I felt like an all around shitty person because even though I knew I was doing the right thing for me, I also knew it was an inherently selfish thing. I felt like I was letting this town down by leaving.
Had this new job opportunity not come up, I would have stayed.
But the new job did come up. And I just knew in my heart that I had to leave.
Now? Now I live in Nakhon Chaisi, a small town forty-five minutes North of Bangkok.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how much I love it here. I’d tell you how I teach kindergarten at a small private primary school and I’d tell you how I feel like I’ve found a home in Thailand.
I work with three other people from my TESOL group plus two other foreign teachers. All in all, there are six of us. It’s nice. I would have been fine on my own and I would have been the only westerner at the school in Nong Khai, but I won’t lie–it is comforting to have other people who speak my language so close to me.
I love my school. I love my town. And I love the general area where I’m living. I’m close to Bangkok if I need to go, but I have a feeling I won’t even want to go that often. There’s so much to do here in Nakhon Pathom Province. So much culture.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how exhausted I am.
I moved to Nakhon Chaisi on Monday and started teaching on Tuesday. I’ve been going, going, going for well over a week.
Thank god it’s the weekend. Finally. I can breathe.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how breathing has its pros and cons. I’ve certainly been catching up on sleep and I’ve enjoyed exploring my town a little bit more, but I’ve also had my first bouts of real culture shock yesterday and today. Anxiety that I haven’t experienced in months has cropped up. I’ve been having frequent, almost nightly dreams of arriving back home in the States and I desperately miss autumn in this country where autumn fails to exist.
So far, I love teaching. I love my school and I love my town. Hell, I love Thailand.
But transitions are never easy, especially in a foreign country with a completely different language and culture.
If we were having coffee, I’d be ready to switch it off to you–and I’d ask you, do you have anything to share over coffee?
This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster.