So, let’s play a wee game of fortunately unfortunately to explain today’s chaos in the ‘Land of a Thousand Smiles’.
Fortunately, I make it to work in time, without getting soaked, bamboozled, or otherwise banjaxed.
Once there, nobody seems to know where I should go. I corner two unlucky ladies in Block 2, who contact ‘Teacher Ben’. I’m told to wait ‘down there’ ( vague wave of the hand ), in building 7. It takes 15 minutes to find the EP ( English Programme ) lunchroom.
Fortunately, there is a kettle, and mugs, and such, so I nurse my crook guts with generous helpings of hot cocoa while hunched over the phone apartment-hunting. Also fortunately, a genial American chap, James, introduces himself, and gives me some tips on apartment prices.
Unfortunately, I then decided to duck out to top up the phone,. The school has kiosks for such things, but I can’t operate it, what with everything being in Thai.
Unfortunately, it appears the Monsoon season might be starting early. This morning is my second taste of Thai rainstorms. They’re an event. I’ m happily cruising along on the scooter on a warm summer’s day. Less than 10 minutes later, it is bucketing down. I pull over to take shelter, because of course I’ve forgotten that I packed the raincoat which came with the scooter. Thirty minutes later, the gutters are filled with knee-deep water – if you’re a toddler. I decide to make a run for it, riding down the middle of the road, repeating “don’t drop your phone”, and hoping the water doesn’t cut out the scooter’s electrics. It does cough, but it comes back to life.
Fortunately, I make it back home without further disaster, get changed, back to work. Also fortunately, I hear from Ken, Micheal, and Dave – marvellous to hear from familiar characters.
Unfortunately, the typist doesn’t tell me the contract has been drawn up. I go and ask for the 4th time, about 30 minutes before ‘knock-off’. Also unfortunately, the contract isn’t what the recruiter offered. Obviously, the terms are slightly worse. I point this out, and there is a flutter. This evening, it still isn ‘t finalised.
Fortunately, the clock ticks over to 4.30, and the day is done.
Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. My scooter doesn’t start, and I’m standing there stranded like Goofy pondering what to do.
Fortunately, a student, “Noong” ( sp? ), a huge basketballer, steps in and gets the bike started for me.
Unfortunately, it craps out again 300m down the road.
Fortunately, Noong arrives like the cavalry, and when he can’t start the bike, doubles me down to the local bike shop. It’s on the side of the road under a makeshift shelter.
Unfortunately, they can’t fix it on the spot, and wrangling with the bike rental outfit through broken English results in an agreement to supply a new bike. After a long wait at the bike shop, I’m on my way home at 7pm.
Unfortunately, the air conditioning in my room at the Wiang Walee has given up. So has the WIFI. It’s sweltering hot. I can’t sleep. I phone the desk. After they find Salee, the manager, and the only person at the hotel with any English, I’m shifted to a new room.