Best Job I Ever Had
The saying ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ is annoyingly so true isn’t it. Now, unemployed, and in lockdown on a dreary Liverpool estate back living at home. I can’t help but think back to my glory days of living in Thailand and working as a nursery teacher. This may not sound like the dream to many, but it was the best job I ever had.
Now don’t get me wrong, like any job, being a teacher to a class of adorable two year olds had its ups and downs like the rest of them. And there were definitely trying moments when all I could think about was packing my stuff up and running away to the beach. But more often than not I would realize that I’m broke, I hate sand, and a shitty nappy is not the end of world. A shitty classroom is however, but I will get to that later.
The best part of the job for me was sleep. Now I know that’s terrible, and I should say the kids, but I’d be lying, because it was most definitely the sleep. Yep, that’s right, I got to go to sleep whilst at work. In one way, I got paid to take naps. Every day at one o’clock the kids got to lie down for a nap, and the teachers did too. I had my own little corner and a pillow, and I even had a blanket. In our class we had three teachers so we would take turns to stay awake, so at least 3 out of 5 days I was able to have an afternoon siesta. BOSS. Especially if I’d gone out the night before I could rest my weary head for a bit.
Another amazing benefit of being a teacher, and being a teacher in Thailand were the holidays. We had half term, public holidays, religious holidays and our entitled holidays. Sometimes it was like 1 out of every 4 weekends you got to go away. I have never been as tanned or chilled since. St Moriz, you ain’t shit, England, where your bank holidays at?
Now you’re probably thinking ‘did you write this post just to brag? No one’s assed’ but I’m here to ensure that I didn’t. For every many amazing memory there are about 4 embarrassing ones to accompany it. You don’t live away for two years, having a small grasp on the language without making a tit out of yourself.
Below is a little round up of some of my most embarrassing moments from Thailand. Unfortunately, the waxing incidents, yes there were more than one, are not included in this post. They were that insane that I’ve dedicated a whole post to them called ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ and will post it soon. However, I promise these are equally as entertaining.
How Do I Pronounce Sorry In Thai?
Lets start with my first Parent Teacher Conference. Not only was I ridiculously hung-over but also I was also insanely nervous. 1. It was my first actual teacher sort of test, 2. I hate any type of speaking were the focus is on me and 3. I was hung-over as fuck.
So, this one parent, we’ve been chatting for about 10 minutes and her face is like thunder. As you can imagine, this is stressing me out. I’m saying good things about her kid and she’s looking at me like I’ve just said I like to inject heroin into my eyeballs. Honestly, her face was fuming. So because I’m nervous I start talking even faster, which means I sound even scouser and nobody knows what I’m saying anymore, myself included.
I start repeating all the nice things I’ve already said about her daughter and start smiling more. Paranoid I’ve got a talking bitch face (not sure that’s even a thing) and look like the grumpiest teacher going. But still nothing, she’s still fuming and there’s not a hint of a smile. She leaves the room and I look at my Thai teacher literally like ‘what the fuck’ to see her bent over and trying not to laugh or even look at me. She caves and bursts out laughing, nearly bursting my eardrum and raining spit all over me. All she can say is ‘Oh Teacher’.
I am genuinely lost, what the fuck did I say? I get my back up now because you know, I’m already stressed/ nervous/hung-over and now I’m being laughed at too. When she finally catches her breath she tells me, and now I wish she hadn’t.
I’d made a mistake, a pretty big one when it came to pronouncing the little girls name. Rather than calling her by the cute and angelic girly name they had given her. I had accidently pronounced it as the Thai word for pubes. Fucking pubes of all things. For 6 months I had been walking around calling this adorable little girl pubes, and worse still I just did it to her mother’s face. “Oh pubes can do this, little pubes is so good in class, pubes is very social, I love having pubes in my class everyday”.
I’ve never wanted to die so much in my life, more than all the times I’ve waved at people and they weren’t waving at me. Poor little Pubes.
The Not So Cultural Day
Another time I wanted to die (my life was basically just a string of seriously embarrassing events that happened at work by the way) was on our event for ‘Cultural Day’. Basically a day in which everybody dresses in the traditional dress of their culture and we play games and do activities from all the different places.
Now as much as I would have loved to rock a shell suit and perm, or scouse brows and rollers, I felt like it would be lost in translation and people would think I’m even weirder than they already do. So, I opted to rep my Sri Lankan roots and wear a sari.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the slightest clue where I would buy a Sri Lankan sari in Bangkok so decided DIY’ing it would have to be the best option. Now being bigger than a size 8 is difficult when it comes to clothes shopping, in Thailand. Let alone when you’re shopping for anything remotely like a Sri Lankan sari outfit on a budget.
Surprisingly H&M didn’t have what I was looking for so I went the market and trawled the stalls. In the end I bought a red and gold gypsy skirt and some gold accessories. Once I got home I cut an armhole in the skirt and turned it in to an off the shoulder dress. It didn’t look remotely like a sari, and I looked more Indian than Sri Lankan but you got what I was trying to achieve and I sort of owned it.
I turned up at school and everyone was in actual traditional dress opposed to my fancy dress/DIY style attire, but I didn’t mind as some of the other foreign teachers looked equally as ridiculous so we were all in it together. As the day went on I realized that having only one mobile arm wasn’t really practical when you’ve got 16 kids running around. About ten minutes later I’d had enough so thought it was about time the skirt served its purpose. I put on my work t-shirt and took it back to the early 2000’s and was now rocking a floor length gypsy style skirt with a white t-shirt and gold belt.
It was almost the end of the school day so I went outside to pack all the kids backpacks. As I was bending down I could hear someone laughing. Not uncommon as it was a school; kids were always running around laughing. Thinking nothing of it I carried on but I could still hear someone proper chuckling. Now being in a country were you don’t speak the language it’s very easy to become paranoid because you never know if they’re talking about you. I thought about the situation and thought nobody had any reason to be laughing at me, had a word with myself and decided to just ignore it and stop stressing for once.
So after bending down and packing 16 backpacks, bending down to tie laces, seeing off children to their parents, talking to other teachers, talking to my boss it was only then that I was told the worst news of my life (think about any embarrassing moment, now multiply that by 1000). The efficient little armhole I’d cut into my skirt had now become a rather large peephole across the back of the skirt, and of course it was now right across my bum. I don’t remember what knickers I had on, but I think it will have been a toss up between a thong or period pants, both not great.
Anyway, I wanted the ground to swallow me up, and despite walking round for the past few hours with my arse out nobody actually said anything. Well, not too my face anyway.
The N1 Lily Mystery
When you work with 2 year olds there are always going to be accidents. Whether it’s on themselves, on their bed, in the classroom, or occasionally on your leg, it happens. Thankfully kids pooing themselves is lesser common and I only had a few instances of it happening throughout the year. One particular instance sticks out especially…
It was a Monday morning; there I was sat at my desk listening to some kind of Monday motivation playlist. I’d just tidied up all the toys and the kids had gone to their music lesson so I had 30 minutes to chill before they came back. I gazed around my classroom wondering if there was anything I’d forgotten to do or tidy up.
That was when I seen it, something left behind on the mat. Was it a forgotten toy, a piece of lego? I genuinely couldn’t work it out, but not wanting to stand on the bastard if it was the latter I decided to move it. I kept looking still unable to work what it was, when I realized it looked like food.
I was pretty confused by this because they’d all finished their breakfasts and nothing brown had been on the menu. I started panicking a bit thinking if this gets out that I’m letting the kids eat chocolate for breakfast then I’m probably going to get in a bit of shit. Also, if the cleaners thought I was leaving chocolate for them to clean up they wouldn’t be too happy either. I decided the easiest solution to this not so difficult problem was to just clean it up. Put it in the bin and leave the mysterious brownie as one of life’s mysteries.
As my outstretched hand reached for the brownie, I stopped. Something wasn’t right. It didn’t quite look a brownie. It was pretty big for a brownie. And, on closer proximity, it definitely didn’t smell like a freshly baked brownie. I finally came to the conclusion. No one had been eating brownies. This was no brownie. There were no brownies.
SOMEONE HAD POOED ON THE MAT.
I had just nearly picked up a poo with my bare hands and a wet paper towel. Panic stricken, I ran to the music room and burst in to the classroom. ‘Poo, poo, there’s a poo on the mat’. Confused and pissed off I’d interrupted their lesson, all the teachers just ignored me. Again I bellowed, ‘poo, poo, someone has pooed on the mat’. I felt like the man on Titanic who shouts ‘ICEBERGGGGG’ but no one listens. A nod of recognition and then finally the kids were marched to the toilets for inspection.
When the Thai teachers returned they shook their heads and told me that the students were all poo-free. It was a mystery. To this day I still don’t know who left a poo on the mat, why they left a poo on the mat and how the hell they did it without anyone seeing. It’s the N1 Lily mystery never to be solved.
So yeah a little round up of the most embarrassing moments during my time as a nursery teacher. Even with the embarrassing moments though, I wouldn’t have changed any of it, well maybe not getting my bum out. But as I said, it was genuinely the best job I ever had. There are literally too many moments I could argue with myself about as being the cutest, the funniest but they don’t really make for an interesting read so I’ll leave it at that.