Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Really why I wanted to share the results of this crazy little game I played was not to make fun of the students' English skills but to praise them. (I come not to praise Caesar...except the opposite).
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The Streets 18-13
Common – 13-16
Fatboy – 16-13
My Brightest Diamond – 17-13
In Class 1, Common was the only negative vote-getter. All other songs were positive...and those were the four lowest approval ratings among the 8 songs I played. In class 2, however:
The Streets 13-19
Fatboy Slim 14-18
My Brightest Diamond 10-25
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 13-20
Only 2 songs got positive vote totals (but their vote totals in the first class were so high that they ended up positive overall). My Brightest Diamond especially got demolished here, as did The Streets and Fatboy Slim. I don't know why my second class hated all of the music so much; perhaps because they hate me, and want me to die.
Part 2 coming soon...
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Turns out Laos is not an hour ahead of Thailand. Turns out I didn't have to wake up at 5 this morning to wait in line to drop off my visa request form at the embassy, which opened at 8:30.
Turns out sleeping in the dirt and the concrete outside of the Thai embassy is harder than it sounds.
Turns out the visa application process only takes about five minutes. Turns out that being there four hours early does not mean I have any better chance of getting my visa processed within the day.
Turns out the Thai Embassy does not accept American dollars for visa fees. Turns out I didn't have 2000 Baht worth of Baht in, um, Baht.
Turns out this can be a frustrating realization at 9 in the morning, having slept in sweat and mosquitos, naked, itchy, on a straw mattress.
But I befriended a 40-something Moroccan and he Morocced my world and lent me 300 Baht. So grateful. His name is...well, I don't know his name. Let's call him Morocco.
Morocco and I then went to a bank to get some Baht for me to repay him. He had a driver and everything. I am thinking he is very rich, but maybe only because he had more than 1700 Baht in his wallet and lent me 300 without really blinking.
He then took me to his hotel and I got a room for 200 Baht more than the room last night. And yet this one has things like a shower, a drain on the sink which isn't just a hole that drops straight on your feet, soap, air conditioning, a television, clenaliness. The one last night was so seedy that it was literally just a seed.
I don't know how I got there. My Thai must have failed me. I must have been asked, "Hey, for 425 Baht per night you can sleep inside an elephant's rectum," and I must have replied "But you do you have anything dirtier?"
Now I am a little happier. Just slept forever at the hotel, woke up so confused. Thought I might have slept for days and days, because there is no clock in my room, and my phone is dead of course, so I have no way to tell the time at any given moment.
I have also been wearing the same clothes for three days now, as of course I did not bring a change of clothes, nor toothpaste. Luckily I brought deodorant and contacts and my glasses. My mouth feels like the inside of an elephant's rectum (or the Salom Yen Guesthouse, either/or), but I have gone longer without brushing (relax, it was while I was camping).
One more night here, I hope. At least the English in Laos is good and far more prevalent than in Thailand (Laos was colonized by the French, I believe).
Okay, I am off. Probably no update before Thursday afternoon or evening, my time. I refuse to update from anywhere besides my apartment henceforth. Unless something catastrophic happens.
Talk to you within three hours, I bet. I bet I bet I bet I bet.
Rectum. Let's get that Wordle probability for rectum up there.
Monday, July 20, 2009
When I left the blog sphere the bus that I had planned to catch to Udon Thani (30 minutes from Vientiane) had been in an accident, and the ride had been cancelled. So I bought a ticket on a much nicer bus at the same price, for a 7:30 P.M. trip. That would have put me in Vientiane around 9:00 A.M. Would have been PERFECT.
Yeah, well I screwed that one up pretty good. I got to the bus station around 7:15, only to realize that I had left my passport in the apartment. I had changed pants at the last moment, since my Khakis are more comfortable than my blue trousers. The thing about my blue trousers, though, is that THEY HAD MY PASSPORT IN THEM.
So I found a taxi driver who agreed to rush me from the bus station to my apartment and back to the apartment, for a fairly reasonable price, surprisingly. But when I got back to the bus station, two minutes before 8 (MAGICALLY! WE BARELY HIT A RED LIGHT! WE SPED THROUGH THE CHIANG MAI HIGHWAY NIGHT!) the last ticket for the 8 o'clock bus had been sold.
Visa limitations (i.e. my visa expired today) meant that I had to move toward the border or else I would be scrizzewed. What I should have done: gone home. Gone to sleep. Taken a nice 4 hour bus ride to Burma, extend my visa 15 days, head into Laos the following week.
What I did instead: got on an overnight bus to Bangkok. Planned out my trip: arrive in Bangkok abt. 5:30. Arrive in Udon Thani at ??? o'clock. Arrive in Laos at ??? o'clock.
It turns out those question marks represent much higher numbers than I had anticipated, Bob Barker.
I arrived in Thailand at 6, as planned. The movie on the bus was, no joke, She's the Man. I cannot escape my ironic American past.
I got a 7 A.M. bus for Udon Thani. The man at the bus station said that it was about a five hour bus ride. Perfect! That would give me plenty of time to submit my visa, sleep for a night in Laos, and head back tomorrow afternoon!
Well, I think the bus station prognosticator meant that the bus would arrive in Udon Thani at 5 P.M., because that is exactly what happened. After a solid bit of confusion, I found an agency who got my papers together and drove me across the border and found me the rankest guesthouse in Southeast Asia.
Okay, that's not true. There are ranker. But the bath tub does appear to be a bucket with a ladle in it.
There is a lot of confusion here right now. No, that's too general: I'm so confused. It is unclear whether or not the Thai Embassy will be able to process my visa change request in one day. I might have to stay another night. In which case I will miss the class that I already rescheduled to Wednesday. I am already missing class Tuesday, which I had not planned on doing.
But ah, what is it, Mr. Robert Burns? The best laid plans of mice and men/Oft go awry?
How about the worst laid plans? Can't I get some sort of inverse reaction: Worst laid plans often going great! Felicity! Serendipity! John Cusack films!
I think my time at the Internet cafe is almost up. I almost had a heart attack when the man at the counter said that one hour cost 15,000 Lao Kip. Turns out that translates to 25 Baht/hour. Or 80 cents, stateside friends.
This is a good figure. My money is going bye bye bye bye by the wayside.
I cannot wait for this adventure to be over. I am going to get a massage/drunk.
I've been saying that a lot lately.
Where the Burger King
Sunday, July 19, 2009
What am I doing what am i doing what am i doing.