12 December 2010


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...


  1. Don't take any of those warm clothes you've been wearing!!!!
    What an enormous contrast your life there will be. I'm sure you will enjoy the whole adventure.
    Cheers and good luck

  2. Wow! Just shows, you never know what's round the corner. Fantastic!

  3. That's quite a swansong you've got planned! Congratulations - I'm sure you'll enjoy your new job.

  4. You lucky bugger! Sunshine and being paid to boot. I'm not at all jealous!

  5. Congratulations YP!
    What an adventure you'll have.So happy for you & you're wife.I'm sure we'll all be thinking of you. Good luck or as they say in Thailand ...Chok Di! :)

  6. YP, my philosophy...go anywhere, any time, with anybody. The key word is GO!!! Bob was in Bangkok for 2 weeks a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it and the people. He had the most fun just walking all over the city by himself, and this is a rural kid who would never do that in San Francisco. There is a seedy side to the place also, but he said he always felt safe.

    Are you sure Shirley didn't orchestrate this? I often hear wives of retired fellows talking about shipping them off somewhere for a month or two. Way to go, Shirley!

    And good times for us, your blog readers, too. I assume we get to go with you? Please, please, please?

  7. HELSIE As you are a former teacher shall I look out for a position for you in Bangkok?
    JENNY Too often what's round the corner is nasty but just sometimes life throws us cream cakes!
    LOIS Thank you
    MR PARROTS Hey! What are you saying man? You'll be in South Africa! Do thety have parrots in Thailand I wonder?
    JEAN Welcome back and thanks. I hope that "Chok Di!" isn't rude!
    JAN Shirley swears she had nothing to do with hatching the plan but she stared me in the eyes a bit too long as if the more she stared the more she could conceal! Women!

  8. Oh my! gosh!...life certainly can twist and turn..what an adventure..

  9. you old dog!
    what an experience!
    cant wait to see your blogs!

  10. What a wonderful opportunity for you, Mr. Puddin'! Just thinking about all the adventures that you will have, all the small, mundane, everyday things that will make an impression on your fertile mind......well, it is enough to make your head spin!

    Enjoy your holidays with Shirley. Can't wait to hear from you when you get to your new assignment.

  11. Wow! I turn my back for a moment, and exciting things happen. Congratulations, Mr. P. I hope you continue blogging from Thailand.

  12. Great photo- what a hunk!

    This is the third time I have appeared in this blog- perhaps I will score my hattrick posthumously when I throw you from your balcony of your luxury condominium or when you're involved in some sleazy David Carradine moment in the closet/wardrobe of your luxury condominium...

  13. Anonymous1:12 am

    Wow Yorkie, this is what happens when I only blog occasionally!

    What a wonderful wonderful opportunity for you! Enjoy every second of it! I can't wait to see your blog posts from Thailand!

    Congratulations. :-)


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