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Picture if you will a poor little fat kid getting his first intercity bus. Its a 5 1/2 hour journey so he brought snacks. He is fat, thats what fat people do. Now picture him walking up to the driver

Yes, I can vouch that Ippy is a real person and a very messy room-mate!  

Ippy doesn't have sex though. He finds it troublesome, or something.

haha, i know right. I did think itd be a stupid idea and i could bail on it, but like falling off a cliff, you need to commit, so suck it up princess.


Part 2:




Scored a job almost immediately the week after Songkran. Well, thats that ticked off! Thirty two thousand per month, in Trat! by the beach! Awesome! Apparently would start early May so er, brilliant! Had time to just chill out in Bangkok in the hotel id paid for right up until the start date! All was sweet. The company would start on the work permit, so just kick back and relax. Wandered about bangkok, spent time in the pool, didnt once do anything naughty. Loved the street dogs, went to some temples, but mainly played games and avoided the sweltering heat.


A week before the job began in Trat got an email: "hey ipps, wanna work in chonburi instead? It starts two weeks earlier on the 15th May". Um, what? Turned it down because you know... koh chang/koh kut and holidays on a motorbike through cambodia and vietnam! But what do they mean? They want me in Trat on the 9th May?!?! Surely shome mishtake! No mind. Time dwindled down and i packed my bags ready for my new life on the beach.


Arrived in trat (after an INSANE and shameful bus ride.... which some of you may know of) ...kinda nice place. Bit rural, but liveable. Loved the mooing frogs and night market. Was reminded by a few randoms that this was their favorite part of Thailand, and figured id lucked out. Learned to ride my a moped on my first visa run to cambodia. All was kinda nice. Turned up at school two days later on the 9th, suited up and ready to start only to find out the job wasnt starting at all. Itd start on June 1st. The pieces fell into place.


No worries! More time on the beach! plus, subsidised housing (3500 baht per month!). No more hotel fees! Time to finally stop lugging that stupid snowboard bag around. And time to meet my cool new flatmate!


And immediately walked into a shit storm. The previous teacher refused to leave. Point blank refused to leave. The school couldnt do anything, the agency couldnt do anything despite screaming at him while im standing there shame faced. The house was kinda creepy anyway, the flatmate was... interesting?...


So after a visit around trat at some horrendous emergency accommodation options (im not snobby, i can live in a shit hole, but these were dark, stinking, hovels), finally settled for 7000/month at a place with an outside bog and a gap in the main door big enough for a frog and a few lizards to ninja through. Hopefully the house would be done before the end of the month. Either way, its an adventure, innit.




Then it dawned on me. My next pay cheque wouldnt be until July. The savings were dwindling and i was fast approaching zero. The beach plans were scuppered. Fortunately, managed one weekend at Koh chang (a fantastically enjoyable weekend by the way) before the rain really started anyway.


And this rain is other worldly. Despite my efforts to get on a bike and see the sights, as soon as you hit about 10kms out of town, the heavens would open up scuttling you back to the hole from whence you came. It didnt matter the direction - whether cambodia bound, or koh chang, or chantaburi, the rain was sending you home even if itd been nothing but blue skies all morning. It was like the Truman show. Well this was sucking. No money, no exploration, no job, nowhere to live. I wasnt exactly loving it and just keen to start the job. If nothing else I was still excited to figure out Thai students and push their buttons. Once the teaching started, i reasoned, i could go back to what i do best. Its all about those kids after all!


It wasnt however enough. The rain was incessant.




The classes were hard work, And although i finally got to move into the house around the second week of June, it was a miserable experience (summed up that first day when i walked into the kitchen to get some water to cook, only to be met by a sink full of ants trying to figure out how to get a dead cockroach out of the plughole and back to their nest).




My awesome new flat mate was possibly the weirdest person ive ever met. He was in his 50s, proper biker mustache, no social skills at all. Rarely talked. Kept himself to himself and had some rather curious ticks (like aggroing himself while he walked around the street). It took me almost two weeks to get him into a conversation. We never hung out. He'd come back and read, or go get his dinner and turn up at 11 or 12am. Throw in the barren room with broken air con and god knows what crawling around it, and i just needed to get the hell away. Id given it a month, the kids were sweet, but it was just too much. I had to get out. As luck would have it the criminal records check which id applied for (just for the hell of it) in march, wasnt due to expire until september 22nd! I could get it apostilled along with my degree certificate in time for the new Korean school year.




After a few shots at it, the beach after all turned out to be no real draw, so why the hell not do it now instead of reapplying for another criminal records check and wasting my time. The plan was set in motion! id leave in late august and get a job in a korean public school!

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He's jolly well taking his time, isn't he.


I put off having lunch waiting for the update and feeling well hungry now. Don't know whether to hold on and wait, perhaps do a bit of faffing about, or take the chance and go get something.




Come on ippy, less of the fannying about and get it posted!

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Part 3: Or how i learned to love the bomb.


The company and school were both hugely accommodating and organised a replacement. All I needed now were my apostilled docs from the foreign office and a 60 day tourist visa to avoid the border hops and i was set. Popped to Cambodia around the 18th July and handed my passport and cash to the Cambodian Mafia to get it done. Crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. After a few days of being ripped off here and there, (but mainly twiddling my thumbs) arrived at the border expecting the worst, only to find the dude with my passport all ready to go. ****ing amazing to be honest. Could have gone well south. In another moment of good fortune, the criminal records check and degree certificate arrived a day before i was due to leave for BKK. The sun was shining (metaphorically, i was wading in lower thigh deep water to work every day), mayhaps things were looking up?


The few tentative enquiries Id made over the last month suggested that things were good for a public school gig in Korea. Id even been offered a couple of positions but turned them down because I had my heart set on Gangwon Do public school. This was honestly the best outcome all round. My replacement arrived in Trat on the Thursday, I popped in to see him at work on the Friday. He was massively fresh off the boat, seemed a little stressed by it all, gave him some game ideas and websites to keep him sane. On Saturday, he'd move in and i'd grab the 10am bus.


Only it's now Saturday, 10.30am and I'm still waiting for them to turn up. Around 11am (just in time to miss the next bus), he pulled up with the head of English and the company representative. "sorry ipps, slept in!"... Right, whatever, lets GOOOO!!! i can still make it. He popped into the house to check it over, I'm a little agitated at the moment but holding it in when suddenly he comes down the stairs and insists that he be taken back to Bangkok. Right now! He's done! Trat is not going to work for him and he wants to go home. This, i might add is a GROWN UP ADULT in his early 50s. He couldnt hack two days of rural? Ffs! After twenty minutes of the company dude, me and the head of English calming him down, he eventually relented and agreed to stick it out. We got into the van, I made the bus by a whisker and had a thoroughly (and fortunately) uneventful journey to Koh Samui... (with my seatbelt firmly locked in. Thai bus drivers are ****ing lunatics).


Arrived in Koh Samui, kinda broke I guess. June ate up the very last of my Japanese salary and also the very last of what was left in my bank account. The two months wages from Trat (for june and july) were eaten up by the course fees (32,000) and of course living and furnishing expenses for July. So realistically I was looking at around 5-6000 Baht in my pocket, nothing in my bank and a 1500 quid credit card to get me through it. I reasoned I'd likely have to dip into it at some point, but so long as I didn't lose my head I'd still have enough for the air fare to Korea as well as enough for that first month of living expenses.


Had fun on the course. Learned some stuff, met some lovely people, one of whom might... actually... ill not jinx it... No point really bothering with jobs at the minute, i figured, since the really good ones will crop up in a week or two. This, it turned out was massively idiotic. The second week flew past, lots of lesson planning and socialising and I completely forgot to check the job situation. At the end of the second week i popped to Daves ready to start applying when this strange question flew into my face:


Where's the public school jobs?


It must be a blip. Only, it obviously wasnt. As week 3 resumed, i'd frantically check every day. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. The qualifiers came off. Gangwon do was dropped. Any public middle school is fine. This in turn became ANY public school at all by the fourth week. And now i was in trouble. The criminal records check expired on the 22nd September. A Tuesday. And Cheusok ran from the Wednesday before to the Sunday. Mailing docs was going to be an issue. I'd just had a week stripped from me. It still left me around three weeks though, so not to panic! No need to start looking at Hagwon jobs quite yet. Despite several recruiters telling me that public school jobs were DONE, i persevered. My patience always seemed to be rewarded. I was offered several jobs. I accepted them all. Only i didnt realise at the time that these 'offers' meant they were 'offering' to send my application to the school. This is a mistake I'd made severa times in fact. Time and again id be told that i just had to wait a few days only for the school to get back to the recruiter with this chestnut: "sorry, we really need someone in country that can start right away". Is this Japan??!?


I finished the course, time had screwed me. I had two weeks left on the CRC and three on the visa. Come on ipps! get off the public school trail! And i tried. Several times in fact! I almost took another hagwon job which i was ACTUALLY offered, but it came at exactly the same time as a public school job that i was certain id done everything to get. I tried delaying, but the PS decision process, which I hoped would have taken a day at most, took almost a week on it. I took the risk, lost the hagwon (shitty job anyway but actually in gangwon do), and started having to pay rent on a new hotel.


The money was obviously taking a hit. Another 250 was withdrawn (Cash = 1000UK now). The CRC had a week left, the tourist visa had 2 weeks left. No matter what, the koh samui clock had ticked down. The PS job finally came back to me: "They loved you, and they really couldn't decide between you and a canadian girl, but they decided that in the interests of a more international department they wanted her."


I was now ****ed. I used and abused every contact I had, and although usually positive, they all stopped pushing as soon as they found out the CRC expiry date. I even tried to get the shitty hagwon job above since it was still available. They seemed peachy keen, then the next day they got back and said "sorry, we decided to just not hire anyone". It was over. Korea was done. I was recruiter poison. Theoretically I could have still beat the buzzer, but it would have been just too tight.


And then for some reason I looked on the China page at Daves. I didn't think Id bother, but almost instantly got an email for an interview with a recruiter. Sailed through it. Got put in contact with the school. Breezed the interview, offered an on the spot job with a formal contract for 12,000 RMB/month. Not great, but with cost of living, its almost equivalent to whatt you might save in Korea. I asked how long we could do this all (having not researched a thing). "a couple of weeks" came the reply.


Shit! its back on!


(ETA: Pics to be added when my PC recognises the existence of my ipod).

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Kinda wanted to do it now, the internet is LUDICROUS at the minute (took me almost 5 minutes to just sign in). But too drunk alas. Manyana!

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chill chill, im busy leveling a druid in warcraft. I dont have any time at the moment for stories or dreaded FLASHBANGS!!!




/Smoke bomb!

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