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Part 2

Kevin McAllion hails from Scotland and he has the humour to prove it. A journalist by trade, he took a sabbatical in Thailand where he spent an unlikely year teaching English before returning to more sensible employment drawing boxes and deleting commas for the Daily Mail. Here Kevin recalls his times in Thailand.

Starting off on a new career path is fraught with danger and fear - a fact amply illustrated by painfully enduring Pele and Bobby Moore's strained dialogue during another screening of Escape To Victory on cable TV last night. Thus it was with great uncertainty that I set out on my first mission as an English teacher to the house of an extremely wealthy young Thai boy.

Preparation is the key to successfully negotiating any obstacle placed in one's way and unfortunately I was as well prepared as Stephen Hawking for the 110 metres hurdles during an electrical storm. This was mainly due to the extremely uncommunicative job agency that lined me up with the job.

The name of the agency should have immediately set bells ringing as The Nature Concept sounds more like a nudist abstract art museum than a highly respected international language school. As I tentatively pushed the doors open, four Thai women behind a long desk confronted me and after being ushered to a seat and asked to fill in a form, I was introduced to the brains behind the operation. She looked like a cross between Rusty Lee and Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazard but sadly lacked both culinary flair and a distinctive bellowing Texan laugh. Instead for the next 15 minutes or so she blethered on in rapid-fire Thai to the rest of her colleagues while I sat about biscuit-arsed depserately trying to keep a flicker of enthuisiasm burning.

They eventually managed to find a post for me at a school and all five seemed positive until they asked where I lived an Bangkok. My reply of "Sukhumvit 22" was met with bellows of laughter and after a polite shake of the head to the request of "Can you get here every day for 6am?" they were back chattering away and flicking through their folders.

Eventually they found me a private tutoring job and asked if I could return in two days to be taken to the house of my new protege. This I duly did and was escorted by one of the coven to a petrol station somwhere in the outskirts of Bangkok. After yet more congress on her mobile phone, I was told the family would arrive to pick me up and bemused onlookers were perfectly within their rights to assume some sort of drugs deal was in progress.

This illusion was heightened when a luxurious silver van pulled up and a serf was dispatched to open up the side doors revealing an impeccably dressed Thai businessman sitting alone in the back of the van. I was quickly bundled aboard and soon wondered at the opulence in front of me. Within touching distance of his massive leather sofa was every form of communication available and I felt like scanning the TV to see if he had access to any, ahem, "pay television".

Instead I correctly chose to politely introduce myself and the businessman ran me through all the essential details that the Witches of Eastwick had decided to avoid telling me at the job agency.

After turning into the drive of his massive house and quickly noticing two further vans and a brand new jeep, I was escorted inside to meet my new apprentice. I successfully managed to stifle any childish laughter upon discovering his name was Trump and thankfully the little scamp never once lived up to his billing over the next hour or so and managed to keep any flatulent forces at bay.

He turned out to be a very personable young gent and fears that I would have to use hand puppets and nursery rhymes to pass on information proved unfounded. At the tender age of 10 he has a better grasp of the English language than some un-named hacks I used to share a press box with.

Thus the first lesson was spent talking about pokemons, ghost stories and cartoons and I was soon bowled over by the advances made in the animation industry over the past 15 years. While cartoonists' imaginations only stretched to finding new and improved ways a mouse could knock fuck out of a cat during my childhood years, the advance of the chemical generation has ensured a much more vivid landscape for today's toon army.

Thus I sat back slack-jawed as Trump described bizarre cow and chicken crossbreeds and mutated ferrets. My own particular favourite was a character called Johnny Bravo - "He loves chasing women and has a scientist friend who helps him with experiments," according to Trump.

At 300 baht an hour it's not going to make me rich but it's pretty easy work and only takes 45 minutes on the Sky Train to get there. However, I feel a little guilty about my role in increasing the already massive chasm in class that exists here in Thailand. Expecting to hear exotic monikers when asking about his friends, I instead learned Trump's close social circle involved characters such as Stewpot and Colin. It all sounded a bit like an extract from Tom Brown's Schooldays and I half expected Turmp to ask me permission to leave the room for a few minutes so he could administer a sound trashing to his fag.

Tomorrow I think we'll have a little chat about the October Revolution.

A full time job seems like it may be edging ever closer as I had an extremely positive interview with Berlitz before jetting off to meet Trump.

Kevin McAllion – Originally written in 2002

Related Article: It's Like a Jungle Sometimes: Part 1

Related Article: It's Like a Jungle Sometimes: Part 3

Read more from Kevin (aka David Alsatian) at: http://www.thespoof.com/search.cfm?writer=564

Back to Teaching in Thailand

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Have your say...

14 Sep 2015, 14:05
I don't think Curt would have much of a shot winning any eltcoien. Is there anyone out there who actually likes him? For all he did for Boston, still every Boston fan I know doesn't really like him, they just respond to questions with something like, well, I'm really happy for what he helped accomplish for us, but he should shut his mouth because he's an idiot.As for Moose in Hall, I guess it makes sense that he not get in if we look at his peers who will be getting nominated around the same time- Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Randy Johnson, Clemens, Pedro. Those are all guys who were incredibly dominant. Moose, as great as he was, just wasn't in that league. While I have never thought much of Glavine, he does have the magic number and that's what counts to get him over the hump. As far as Moose playing on the Orioles in the 90s and Yankees in the 2000s, that's true that that probably helped him get some wins, but it's also true that pitching in the AL East probably took away it's fair share of wins from him. Facing at various times the Sox, Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays is not an easy task- far more difficult than playing in other divisions. This is the premier offense division and probably always will be.Side note: if Moose shouldn't get in before Blyleven- should Schilling get in before him? Or before Jack Morris for that matter? Schilling's got the 3000+ strikeouts, but he doesn't have the win total of Moose or Blyleven (who also has more Ks, as do Clemens, the Unit, Maddux, and Pedro). He also has the postseason record, making him similar to Morris. If you put those together does it make him Hall worthy? I don't know. I think right now people think he and Moose should get in, but in five years from now, with some perspective, I think people will answer no.'
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