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Part 3

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.

After a laid-back week honing my teaching skills on the impressionable scamp that is Trump, it was finally time to step into the front line of education after landing a job teaching kids at a Thai primary school.

My honest answer of "I don't have anything particularly against them" to the poser "Do you like kids?" somehow proved enough to persuade another job agency to line me up with a local Primary school every Tuesday.

After a day meeting the principal and being run through the basics of the job, I started with immediate effect and was handed the soul-destroying task of finding my way to the school for 8am. Thus I was forced to surface a painful two hours earlier and after long since brokering an amicable agreement with the world of sleep to do bugger all at this hour, my body was in no mood to co-operate. June's alarm clock needed to be every bit as annoying as it actually is to get my arse out of bed but I somehow made it to school on time.

The overall experience was, well...., a bit like the first day of school - nerves tied a giant knot in my stomach as the bell rang and I was summoned to class. It turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I thought and there was a giant fat kid who, at twice the size of anyone in the school, was somewhat intimidating.

Luckily, I was not alone in trying to bring an iron rod of discipline to the lawless schools of Siam as the job agency had fixed me up with a local assistant. I felt a bit like a respected European football manager summoned to an ailing Third World nation in a bid to sort out their sorry national game and hopefully my impact will be more Bora Milinutovic than Berti Vogts. The general rule in these soccer set-ups is that the foreigner supplies the innovation while his local side-kick administers the discipline.

Thus while I was encouraging the primary ones with psychological pats on the back, my Thai guide may have been whispering "Is that the best you can do, you little f**k! I want to see some improvement in that spelling if you don't want to receive one f**ker of a hiding from me! And what the f**k is that c**ting drawing supposed to be? Call that a f**king cat? It's a f**king disgrace! Do you hear me you little p***k?"

It seemed highly unlikely though and thankfully my glamorous assistant was a lot more attractive than Tommy Burns. In retrospect, the general good behaviour of the students was probably down to the fact that most of the boys were gawking at her while pondering the significance of these strange new feelings and movements in their shorts.

The teaching itself was pretty easy and didn't really change much from class to class. At 50 minutes a pop, the time simply flew past and from working on pronunciation with the primary ones (we worked on the sound "ay" and thus I was treated to the unwelcome sight and sound of 30 toddlers yelling "gay" while pointing in my general direction) to asking the primary sixes what jobs they wanted to do (a reassuring number of footballers and astronauts and one brave girl who yearns to be a teacher) it was quite a good laugh.

One downside, and a new occupation hazard, was the effect giant marker pens had on my hands. While the scent from the pens was pleasantly giddy, they didn't half make a mess of my mitts and by the end of the first lesson my hands were bluer than an Eskimo’s after he bravely decided to slip off his gloves for a sneaky sherman.

However, I can easily hack such inconveniences for three more weeks and by that time, I will be long-since engaged in full-time employment. My interview with Berlitz proved ultimately successful and I start training on Monday morning. At six days a week it will be tough work but I seriously need the poppy. As the classes don't start until 4pm during the week, I can continue to corrupt Bangkok's youth every Tuesday but sadly it signifies the end of my time with Trump.

I've grown to like the wee man after six lessons with him and it's so sad I won't be given the opportunity to introduce him to the wonder that is Roger's Profanasauras.

His maid also makes an excellent steak and Trump's lavish pisher is only bettered by a convenience in Kyoto, Japan, that offers sound-effects at the touch of a button to drown out any groaning and anal audio.

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 2

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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