After teaching in Thailand for a year, we have encountered our fair share of funny moments. Kids say the darndest things would be an understatement to the types of things people would say to us. Last week I told you how to get a teaching job abroad but I didn’t exactly tell you what that was like. Before I get to all the funniness, you have to understand that Thai people are very blunt and say exactly what they think without sugar-coating it. To teach in Thailand, especially if its high school, you must have tough skin or risk being offended all the time. I really wish I had been writing down all the things the kids had said to us from the beginning but the these are the best ones that I can remember. Hope you enjoy.
First day of school
Student: Where in Africa are you from?
Me: I’m not from Africa. I’m from America.
Everyone sits in silence and thinks for a second.
Other Student: like the United States?
Me: Yes, the United States of America.
Students start chattering in disbelief in Thai
Another student: Well where in America? (it’s said as a challenge, as if asking me this question they will catch me in my lie)
Me: I was born in NY
Students again chatter amongst themselves
Then someone says Okay NY is in United States
Me in my head: How these lil shits gone challenge me 😂
Regular Day of Class
Me: Calls on student
Student: I’m not going to answer that because you fat
I’m wearing braids in my hair
Student: How you wash (points obscurely to my head) that?
Me: With water and shampoo
Student: Oh just like me then
Student Turns Off Lights
Everyone starts laughing
Student: Teacher you disappear
Day After 2016 Elections
Students: Hahahaha Donald Trump your president points and laughs
Me: 😑 He’s not my president
Student: What you mean? You from America no?
Me: Let’s move on.
We are learning about descriptive words such as attractive and beautiful. Me being me, I feel it is necessary to expose them to more than just Asian and white women. So I use a picture of Rihanna. Her face pops on the screen and students start calling out words describing her. Tall, Red Dress, Fat, Black
Everyone gets quiet and looks at me.
Me: Yes, that is correct. She is black.
Student: Ooooohhh, she’s your twin
Me: *looks around* Who me?
Everyone: Yesss!!! TWIN, TWIN, TWIN!!!!
hahaha if you have ever seen a picture of me you know this is the furthest thing from the truth but shit I’ll take it.
I was the only woman who taught with the men in the foreign language department which meant I was always with a bunch of boys. On the first day of the new school year we were playing a game where they guessed details about my life.
Me: I am married.
Student: Oh yes. I heard you married to Tom.
Me: I’m sorry. What?
Other Student: You, Tom and Brett married together.
Me: Starts laughing No. Hahaha I’m not married to them.
All Student: *legitimately confused*
Another Student: So which teacher you married to? Scott? Anthony?
Me: 😂😂😂 I’m not married to any of them. My husband’s name is Alejandro.
All Students Together: arai wa (basically WTF)
Wears a wig to school for the 1st time
Student 1: Teacher, me no like you hair.
Student 1: It very bad.
*assumes I don’t understand him, gets frustrated, and goes to find another student who speaks better English*
Student 2: Teacher, he say he don’t like your hair
Me: Tell him I said okay.
Student 2: No. You don’t understand. He don’t like. It very bad.
Me: Again okayyyyyyyyy. What do you want me to do about it right now?
Student 2 gets angry shakes his head at me and gives up
Me in my head: 😂 WTF do they want me to do snatch it off my head right now???
Since I am American I tend to smile at everyone. Which doesn’t happen very often to people over here who are considered “beneath” someone else. I would often smile at the cleaning ladies and the one who cleaned my classroom became very attached to me. She would often speak to me in Thai and even if I didn’t understand her I would at least nod my head like I did. One day we were walking down the hall (arm in arm because obviously she was my BFFL) and she rubs my stomach
Clean Lady: How you baby?
Cleaning Lady: You baby. Baby okay?
*apparently since I’m fat she thought I was pregnant and somewhere in the conversations we had I had agreed that I was*
Me: Starts laughing No. No have baby.
Cleaning Lady: Its okay *she motions like shhhhh our secret*
Me: I just laugh it off like whatever
The next day the whole Thai staff thought I was pregnant 😂😂😂 so much for our secret hahahaha
Gets my hair braided. I realized after writing this, a lot of these comments come from things having to do with my hair lol. In the teachers’ canteen (lunchroom) you line up to get your food. While I am in line the teacher behind me makes a general reference to my hair.
Teacher: Wow! It looks so nice.
Me: Thank you
Teacher: And clean.
Me: Uhhhh…. Thank you.
Teacher: How much you pay?
Me: I tell her a price less than what I actually paid. The real price was roughly $60USD (If you are looking for black hair braids or braiding in Bangkok contact me here and I will give you the ladies number)
Teacher: Oh my Gosh. So much money!
Me: I just smile knowing I lied.
Teacher: I will learn how to do this on YouTube so then you can pay me to do it.
Me: Uhhhhhhh yeaaaaahhhhh sureeeeeee
Random School Day
Worst Student In Class: Teacher, I’m in love with the Coco!
Bad Kid: *busts out bag with mysterious white powder substance* It’s cocaine!!!!
Whole class starts laughing
Me in my head: I don’t get paid enough for this shit
Me out loud: I don’t give a shit if it is coke! That’s not my business as long as you don’t do it in class.
Bad Kid: *Excited* OKAYYYY!!!
*Sidenote* Obviously it wasn’t cocaine 😂😂😂 I’m not that horrible of a teacher. Lol
And while yes I received the majority of the ridiculous questions/statements there is no worries for those of you that are here for Mr. Ward. He wasn’t immune either.
Student: Teacher, how many months?
Mr. Ward: Huh?
Student: You pregnant?
Gets hair braided
Student: Teacher, you look Kawhi Lenard!
*Again if you have seen a picture of Mr. Ward you know they look nothing alike.
Random School Day
Mr. Ward: *passing out Oreos*
Student: *points to other student who doesn’t bleach his skin (He’s a dark peach at best)* Teacher him and Oreo same color
Whole class starts laughing
In the Teachers Office
Teacher: Mr. Ward is it true what they say about black men?
Mr. Ward: I don’t know. What do they say?
Teacher: *Looks at crotch*
Mr. Ward: What???
Teacher: Well you know seeing is believing
As you can see our time teaching in Bangkok was full of laughs. If you are planning on teaching there feel free to reach out with any questions. If you have any funny moments from teaching abroad leave a note in the comments.
See all of our pictures from Thailand in the hashtag #MeetTheWardsInThailand
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