Saturday, October 16, 2010

I would have posted this sooner but wouldn't seem to upload an .avi video, so I had to search around for a free video converter and changed the thing to .wma, which worked.

Excuse my weird actions and screaming paranoia, but it's not every day I find myself within feet of a potentially lethal snake.  It's not the first time I've seen cobra's around here, as I've seen at least five or six of them, mostly babies.  Seems this one's a teenager.

Before I could grab the camera, I threw my black boxer shorts down at the thing to try and rouse it from underneath the first step, as I didn't want it disappearing again, and sure enough it reared up and expanded it's hood...but, it also hissed and sent a steady stream of venom splashing against the steps and concrete wall.  If you look carefully at the wall to the right in the video, you can see the stain.

I'd gone downstairs earlier and heard a noise while washing the dishes and thought it was Chok, my little female dog, rummaging through the trash again.  I turned around and saw she wasn't there, then I saw the tail end of the snake going behind my little makeshift bookcase on the floor where I store my English lesson plans and school materials.  Black scales with some vague yellow markings.  I wasn't sure if it was a cobra or not, so tried scaring it out using an old mop handle but it wouldn't come out.  I wasn't about to go moving things on the condition it might be a cobra, so I just left it be and figured it would work it's way back outside again...eventually....hopefully.

The dogs scare the piss out of me since they appear to just mindlessly go after other animals and insects that have poisonous potential.  You'd think they would have some sort of instinct about stuff like that.  Puppy has been bitten by a centipede and was terribly miserable for at least three days.  They say around here that many dogs succumb to cobra bites and are found dead.  I certainly don't want it to happen to my pups!

Hope you enjoyed the video!

Monday, October 04, 2010

It's been a while since I let anyone know what's really been happening with me, so I'll attempt to be brief...

I left Patong Wittaya Mulnithi School in Thung Lung because I got sick of the corruption, lies, laziness, empty promises and back stabbing.  Pitiful situation for a school supposedly engaged in the education process.  Patong School, I kid you not, is run by a criminal.  A man who carries a gun, is driven around town in a big, black Ford truck with mirrored glass, replete with at least five armed body guards who do nothing to hide the fact they are packing weapons.

His brother, a corrupt local politician, was killed gangland style behind the Thung Lung market some four years ago.  He was found dead in the street with a single bullet hole in the back of the head.  So, the corrupt manager of Patong School is not educated, knows nothing about the educational process, yet he pulls strings at the school and effects day-to-day operations, like coming up with the bright idea to dump 100 plus kids on me, on a Monday afternoon, from ages 6 to 8, for a two hour class he called English Club. 

There's more, but that isn't my focus here.

In the last few months Mam was living with me, she was worried.  She spoke out one day saying, "You should learn to not talk.  To let things be.  You lost your job because of the things you say."  I begged to differ.  I said, " Thai's never stand up for yourselves.  Even when something is happening that you know is wrong...corrupt.  You just sit still and let it happen.  That is why Thailand is as it is now."

And so she left.  Mainly because the money coming in from me was insufficient.  She always wanted more, more, more...but was unwilling to work for it.  Rather ironically, after she left, within days, my prospects began paying off.  Suddenly there were jobs coming at me from all angles, but that didn't last. 

To avoid getting into a long, drawn out story, I will suffice it to say I fell into a whirlpool of piece jobs.  One would run out and another would appear.  But it wasn't enough to really live on.  Currently I'm over two months behind in rent and have two unpaid bills, electric and phone, both of which I haven't been able to pay for two months now. 

I was relying on an agency in Hat Yai called C-Bright to call offering me private adult classes, and the Open Learning Center in Songkhla to come up with much the same.  The same corruption and underhanded dealings is present in both agencies, only now I am able to just turn my head and look away.  I'm only concerned with money at this point.  Here in Thailand it seems, if you make ethics and morals your priority, you will not have work. 

But presently I just signed on for a 30-hour private conversation class at C-Bright on Sundays, which will bring in a little better than 1000 baht for the three hours I will teach on a Sunday afternoon and will be starting a full-time teaching position at Songsaeng school in Ban Klong Ngae, which is only about ten kilometers or so south of me.  Close enough I can ride my motorcycle there. 

So things are looking up a bit, but things have been so bad for so long, things have begun to fall apart here.  My television works, but the sound is gone...not a biggy.  The printer for my computer pooped out long ago.  I have three blankets for my bed, all which need to be retired since my little girl Chok tends to chew holes in them.  My sandals are broken...both pairs.  The rice cooker broke long ago.  My refrigerator is on it's last leg.  And so on and so's going to be awhile before I get things back in working order again.  But one thing is for sure, it's going to be easier without Mam here to leech off of me. 

I came damn close to bailing out, but I've never been a quitter, so I hung on.  I've got a lot of prospects in other Asian countries, but my dogs keep me here.  I've always been an animal lover, and more than anything negative that Mam did to me, I mostly don't understand how she could just walk away from the dogs.  Chok was her favorite, she rescued Chok from sure death on the main highway near out home.  While Chok loved me, she'd go nuts when Mam would come home.  Now, months later, she's daddy's little girl and I can't go far without her popping up by my side. 

So, that's it.  I do have another love interest in my life, Jenilo Cabasag, a woman I met years ago in the Philippines.  We've been corresponding a lot lately and she wants me to come visit.  She's originally from Bohol but has been living in Metro Manila now for the past two years going to college.  As soon as my finances clear up, that's where I'll be headed. 

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