Friday, October 27, 2006

Strange Pets

Ya see that big bug tethered to the sugar cane log? That's a Thai Rhinoceros Beetle. It seems they are quite a business here. They appear in the late summer months to mate, and munch the crap out of the farmers coconut, banana, and pineapple crops. The farmers aren't pleased, but everyone else is. The locals stage fights with them. Don't worry though, no one gets hurt. What they do is this. They get a sugar cane log, and dig a hole in it, and put a female in there. Then they put two males on the log, and they start pushing each other to get to her. The one that falls off, or gets tossed out of the way is the loser. They have these little sticks with metal rings on them. You spin these between your fingers, and the rings make a "zzzurzzzurzzzurz" sound. The beetles react to the different sounds made. Trained bugs!! Who knew? Anyway, alot of money gets put on these matches. It's quite the event in august and september. I told Roong i thought that was a hoot, and would like to have one. I was joking...but 2 days later, one of the farmers in her district brought me 6 of them!!!! Haaaaa. Mine aren't as big as the one in this photo, but there are many different species. I will try and get a pic of them and add it to this blog tomorrow. They are supposed to die off after the fall mating, so i am not sure how long they will last. They locals treat them like pets, and it's quite normal to be chowing down at one of the outside restaurants, and have one sitting by his owners plate having a bit of lunch too. They are so big, they don't really seem like insects. More like little wind up toys. they aren't aggressive, they just ponder along. They do make a very loud hissing sound if irritated, and that can be a bit unnerving at first. They can fly too, but don't seem to be very willing to do it. That's all for now. I did get pretty bombed with my friend Steve at a pet shop the other night, but thats a story for another day ( Hi Mai!). Haaaaa!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Don's English Home opens.....

What a day! Our little classroom opened up today. We had 3 classes, with a total of 14 children. A few more may show up on wednesday though. We tried to divide them up by their skill level. I think we have them pretty well sorted out. The youngest ones are first, then the intermediate, then the kids that really just need to practice speaking. Roong took the day off work to be there to help. She did alot of translating at the beginning of each class. Once the kids understood most of the basic commands, then we seemed to do pretty well. Roong won't be there on wednesday, but i am hoping Palmy will be close by just in case. most of the kids are From Roongs district, but i do know a few of them. The 12 yr old in the black and white stripes is Ead's daughter Earth. The 11 yr old in the same photo, that has the yellow shirt is her sister Art. The other two girls are named Oon and Ice. At the picnic table, that's Pim and Boom in front. Roong's niece Bing is just to the left of them. That is Lang on the right, and Gino,Man, and Nat in the back. There was another class, but i will have to get photos on Wednesday, when the rest of the kids show up. I think there will be 1 or 2 more.
Adjusting to their differnt abilities was hard. They are wonderful children, and quick to learn. I hope i can do the same..Haaaaa!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hanging out with friends...and other assorted creatures

Roong and i had dinner with Steve and his wife Joom last night at Ban-nok. We had a great time. A few other showed up too. That jerk Thanet was there with a group also. It seems i didn't get the job at the Pattananikom school because the little knob told the board i wanted 40,000 baht per month. They hired a Filippina woman to teach instead. But as she isn't a native born English speaker, no one can understand what she says! Haaaaa! So they fired Thanet (kharma strikes again) and put Kizi in charge of the English dept. They say i should get hired next term when the other girl's contract is up. But in Thailand...who knows?
The guy in the T-shirt is Steve. That's Joom talking to my wife. The guy with his hand on steve's leg is Joom's Uncle (snicker). The older gentleman is Eads Father. He built everything there from scratch, starting with a small chicken farm. Pretty impressive. The 3 guys are friends of the family. They are like local strong arms or something, but they seem nice enough. Steve says they are good people to know. Oh..the cutie in the apron is one of the waitresses there. I think her name is like Tiree.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Skul daz

Only two more weeks until we open the class. I still have to finish putting a door in, and getting the back room light to work. And due to leaks beyond our control, I truly hope it doesn't rain during class hours. Haaaa! That's Thep on the left, he made the signs for us. We have a fair amount of people that say they want to send their kids to learn with us. We also have several adults. I may have to do a few evening classes for them. We will see how it goes. And yes, i know that sign is butt ugly, but Thep is a good friend, and i didn't have the heart to tell him that. 8)