Anyway... so there I was - trucking along with my relatively comfortable, relatively easy and relatively happy life, after the roller coaster ride of a long career in teaching. I was even enjoying dipping my toes back in the world of work through one-to-one tutoring in two Sheffield secondary schools and I was also looking forward to three weeks in Sri Lanka in February - a self-planned adventure.
Then this guy, Jonathan...
"skyped" me from Thailand to say there was a temporary vacancy in his school and if I was "up for it" it would very probably be mine. All I had to do was to say the word and I'd be jetting off for my teaching swansong - five months working in an international school in Bangkok.
I talked it over with Shirley and she gave me the green light. She could even join me for two weeks over Easter. Anyway... the upshot of it all is that I am now 99% certain I will be off to Thailand in early February. Earlier today I signed and posted off my teaching contract. Tomorrow, I plan to book my return flight and then I've got to visit the Thai consulate to acquire the appropriate visa, remembering to take all necessary papers with me - including the degree certificate I was awarded from the University of Stirling back in 1978. I found it in an old tea chest in our underhouse. Fortunately, those parking officers I collected from the streets had not messed it up though I think one of them stole a tape measure.
This position came to me on a veritable plate. There was no advertisement, no letter of application and my informal interview with the headteacher was simply conducted via "Skype". I wasn't looking for it. As I say I was happy enough with how things were going and looking forward to growing vegetables again in the spring. But then the challenge appeared courtesy of Jonathan and I must admit that I am excited about it - looking forward to getting to know Thailand in general and Bangkok in particular in ways that are denied the two week tourist.
When I typed "Thailand" into Google Image Search, this was the first image that appeared:-
And for "Bangkok", this was the first image:-
It's a wonderful opportunity and I know I'm very lucky to have been given it. However, the advice of my old mate Terry, the master joiner, is certainly apposite. Outside my comfort zone, things will sometimes seem unnerving, you've just got to be patient with yourself and with the strange situation you find yourself in. Don't expect every day to be a walk in a rose garden. Anyway...