My patience squirms inside the tiny claws of 60 schoolchildren, slowly squeezing through their talons like a traumatic play-doh project dangerously closing in on painful ulcers and a one-way ferry ticket to Shutter Island. Basically, I really like teaching kindergarten. Okay, so the latter statement drips with sarcasm, but teaching four year olds is a whole different ball game—less runs, more injuries and coach Arex erratically scampering after her marbles in the outfield.
In my 8 years of various employment “positions,” I’ve never napped on the job; quite frankly, I’m not a napper. Two days into Kindergarten and Teacha passes out for two hours in a drool pool on her desk. Even harsh whistle blows produce an explosion of laughter and pointing at my terrible stern face. They do not fear me. I need them to fear me.
Sadly, teaching small ones has me wondering, do I actually enjoy teaching? Mehhh. Do I enjoy teaching kids that don’t understand a word I utter? Out on a limb, the split second answer is NO… back near the trunk after some careful consideration the answer is still Ehhh. I love these kids, I do. And it breaks my heart every time I fail to console a face full of tears because I can’t bushwhack to the root of the problem through the language barrier brush. I love Thailand, but what good is love when you don’t have the time to express it? Let alone a millisecond to exhale. I just want sit on a dock of the bay with Otis, a bottle (barrel) of wine and a shattering sunset.
Maybe monsoon season washed away my patience along with the roads, trees and abandoned motorbikes or maybe I just figure if a job is going to make me miserable, I might as well make some money doing it. Some long-awaited sunshine this weekend helped to heal my bruised soul—it’s mind blowing how a little vitamin D can repair you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Monsoon season in Thailand is no joke. I mentally prepared myself for afternoon showers and maybe a lightning storm here and there, failing to comprehend the severity of this period. In Florida, when streets overflow and flood to depths rivaling the shallow end of a swimming pool, we shut shit down. Schools close, jobs grant vacation days and families huddle together under mattresses in the kitchen encompassed in mounds of canned goods and flashlights. It’s called hurricane season and frankly it’s terrifying, or so I thought until I nearly experienced a rain-induced apocalypse last week. I remember being mocked because during torrential downpours, I pushed my seat forward, gripped the steering wheel at 10 and 2, flipped on the hazards and my inner granny materialized as I coasted down the street slower than a drive-by Prius.
|Photo credit to Corey Husak!|
Even the beaches experience the wrath of monsoonity. The tide commandeers our stretches of beach and swimmers turn around defeated as red flags denoting NO SWIMMING flap violently in the draft. I attempted to brave some storm swells and was repeatedly wrecked and tossed into the sandy throws of a ruthless ocean. Moments later, I staggered to the shore with bikini bottoms filled to the brim with beach and received an uninviting welcome committee of a lifeguard and rentacop each motioning me to step away from the water before Farang gets hurt. I glance down the beach realizing that not only am I the only idiot swimming in a storm, but I’m also the only idiot on the beach. Not my finest moment.
Thankfully Mother Nature sensed the depression and imminent alcoholism resulting from days of being confined to the space of ones own home allowed the sun to grace us with her cheery presence. And after drunkenly contemplating packing our shit and hopping the next flight to South America, Linds and I again grasped our sanity with both hands. And even as prisoners in our turquoise living room, we interpretively danced for hours to Wilson Phillips and anxiously anticipated the arrival of September with Earth, Wind & Fire. Call it insanity, call it contrived happiness, either way, we’re making a conscious effort to find solace in the storm. To harness the wind and transfer it into some joyful energy and maybe some puddle jumping.