Monday, 20 February 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole

Week two done, and I’m still alive, just about. Sometime this week-around Wednesday I believe, I had a little mini breakdown due to over work, but all is ok now! The rollercoaster continues and is definitely a bumpy ride.
I would like to quote something from 'Chicken Soup for the Soul,' a book which more often than not makes me want to puke on it rather than being inspired to live life to the full. But anyway, this I rather liked:
When your ‘there’ has become a ‘here,’ you will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will again look better than ‘here.’ 
And so, in light of trying desperately not to wish away these four weeks and to enjoy the moment, I have endeavored to remember, and now relay to you, a couple of memorable parts from the last seven days.
The hotel that houses the course is run by a crusty old English man named Clarence who has a far-too-young-for-my-liking Thai wife. I knew old Clarence was trouble on the very first day we met him, when he announced that the bar 'closes at 10.30pm and after that we expect quiet.' On Friday night, after a grueling week, the ten of us with a desperate need to blow off steam, were ordered to leave the bar at the grand hour of eleven, and to go up to the tree house area near our rooms instead. So we did. But no more than five minutes later, we were told to leave the tree house too, by a girl who is also staying in the hotel, because she 'had work in the morning.' Seriously?  
So we went back to the bar where we were soon met by the dreaded Clarence. Lee, always up for a heated debate/argument, stepped up as spokesman to relay the opinion of the downtrodden masses. The conversation quickly deteriorated, culminating in Clarence calling Lee a 'self-centred foreigner.' To this, Lee, as anyone who knows him could predict, told old Clarence to f*ck off, and stormed out.
The episode got me thinking. Does Clarence have a point? Are we self-centred for needing to relax after a week on a CELTA course, in a place where there is nowhere else to go? In my mind the answer is firmly NO. Firstly, isn’t it a bit rich to call someone else a foreigner, when you yourself are a posh old white man? I'm not sure that you can ever get away with that, no matter how long you’ve lived in a country. And anyway, who is he to judge us- people who he had never even talked to before except to take 1000Baht each off us as a surprise room key deposit. But what interests me the most is how he could be so hypocritical. Hello, Mr Thai wife…? Talk about using your birth place and therefore bank balance as a bargaining chip to get what you want in a less developed country. The icing on the cake came later when I found out that this is in fact Clarence's third wife. That's right. Lovely.  
Last night we all went out for dinner, and were highly amused to find ourselves at the much loved 'Pauline and Mr. Chan's Pizza' restaurant. Man there's gotta be a story behind how a middle aged British woman from the 'Birds of a Feather' era and an oriental kung fu master got together, moved to Thailand and opened a pizzeria. We couldn't help but wonder if Pauline was Clarence's first wife…
And finally, a couple of poems from the past week (keeping the spirit alive Stephen!) that aptly encapsulate how I feel right now.

The game we play
is let’s pretend
and pretend
we’re not pretending
we choose to
who we are
and then forget
that we’ve
who are we really? 
                        From Response/Ability by Bernard Gunther

'Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
and the mome raths outgrabe.   
                        From The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll  


  1. Hey its Susie. this is the first blog i have read an i love it! It makes me feel like were having a conversation. Clarence or whatever he's called sounds like a goober. love you....xx

  2. Ahahah this is hilarious, the very idea of clarence makes me feel a little queezy.. i watched a documentary (shock horror) about men and their thai wives, maybe he was on it? or are they all this strange, creepy, desperate, RICH, steriotype? anyway, it was a good one, by louis theroux, when u get a break you should check it out!

    two more wks rach and yr free! keep yr head down, u can do it! miss u both loads, and keeping up to take with yr blogs :D

    lots of love,

  3. Happy ur finally on board suse! I'll msg u soon- been meaning to for ages. Miss u! x
    NEWSFLASH- when we were kicked out of the bar, we took some of the chair cushions to sit on in the dusty field outside. Clarence now wants 2 baht (approx 4p) each for them to be cleaned!

  4. Hiya! yeh the big C man is a big loser. I dont think I could ever live in thailand, there is just tooooo much of this stuff going on.
    we r on the downhill stretch now, altho feels like still a long way to go.
    Hope ur good, miss u 2 x

  5. Rachel! This really made had me lol-ing at my laptop. I can just imagine how Lee 'stepped-up' and acted as spokesperson haha. Glad to see you're having fun. And yes, complete hypocrisy calling Lee a 'self-centred foreigner' ...obviously some form of verbal displacement. Keep us updated! xx


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