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Out with the old

Rather than fix the Old Dunger bike, I rented a new one at 1 million / month.

The prospect of turning up at school looking as if I got the wrong suburb didn’t appeal much. The school’s very upmarket.

The repair bill for the old bike came at about 1 million VND. That’s about the same as its retail value if it’s going.

I arranged to sell it as is for 500,000 vnd, but the buyer pulled out, leaving me with a white elephant. Learnings again.

Head down, arse up

Three weeks down, five to go.

Term now ends June 30, so it’s a case of making hay while the sun shines. The “Eagle”‘s monthly bowel movement is due June 7th after which I will feel a lot more secure.

I have two classes daily Grades 8 ( 13-14 years ) and 9. The younger students are eager, disciplined and easy to teach.

The older class is a battle with teenage hormones and several renegades running amuck among them. There’s a way wider range of English abilities. Three or four are maybe at the level of a good New Zealand 12 year old. Five or six are not far above New Entrant level.

Past July, the job isn’t assured, so I was pointedly told by the Head Teacher. The solution would be to sign up as a full-timer, which would mean more than 40 ‘office hours’ a week.

But that’s a bridge too far for me. And it seems, for the three other full-timers, who’re making noises of complaint about it.

The Head Teacher has told me that the school has been looking for two years for a 4th full-timer to tackle the brutal schedule.

Right now, I’m going to gamble that they won’t find one before August. In which case they’ll probably extend my contract at the ‘part-time’ mornings-only hours.

Laptop Blues

The laptop I bought in May 2019, just before leaving New Zealand, is unwell.

It may be terminal. I’ve been able to get by using flash drives, Linux, and the school’s machines. But revival attempts on the PC are taking up way too much of my time.

The worst upshot has been missing online classes with my favourite Japanese student. He’s an interesting guy, a native Japanese who’s lived in Thailand for 3 years, and supports himself as a sports writer. He’s been far and away my most consistent and loyal student. I regard him as a friend.

But his tolerance for me being forced to cancel classes won’t be unlimited.


I’ve become accustomed to the smaller living space, cheaper rent, and higher electric costs at the new digs, and plan to be here til July.

I’m also finding my way among the local roadside food stalls. So far I’ve found good, cheap, quality sellers of duck eggs, avocados, pork luncheon, and fresh greens. Still on the list are banh it, and seafood. I’ve learned that rather than ask uestions, the fastest way of identifying a mystery food is often just to buy a sample.

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