Sunday Summary #28

Welcome to Sunday Summary, the meme in which I attempt to summarize the week that came before.

One thing about Thailand is that every week is different than the one before with even the routines having nuances that keep life from becoming completely boring. Good or bad, the weeks have been flying by and have remained interesting.


This week, we attempted to give the end of year final exams to the students in the K3 level as we had been told under the revised plan. However, there were numerous interruptions throughout the week and quite a few children were simply unavailable to take the exams due mostly to practicing dance routines for the Open House Show in mid-March! (The Chinese teacher and I will get our turn at rehearsals next week while the school is closed to most of the Thai teachers and students.) The week culminated on Friday with all morning classes (and exams) cancelled so the kids could sit on the assembly hall floor for three hours while local paramedics and police officers gave presentations on keeping safe.

Most mornings over the past few months, I have been greeted at school by one of the many cats who live at the temple. He used to just sit silently with me for a few minutes before I went inside to my office but has recently begun to purr softly while sitting there and meows when I walk away. Recently, we have been joined by one of the soi dogs; the dog and cat were weary of each other at first but now take turns seeking my attention. The dog has tried to come inside with me on a couple of occasions.

Due to several mornings when funerals and wakes were being held at the temple, we only had two morning assemblies outside.

On Wednesday afternoons, the children do Scouting outside while the Chinese teacher and I remain inside. This week, I heard a familiar tune and looked out to see the Thai teachers and the children holding hands and swaying to a Thai-language version of “Auld Lang Syne”. When I later told one of the teachers that this was a very old song from Scotland, she insisted that it was a “new Thai song”. Okay, then. (The ending did include the chorus in Scots English…)

Under the revised schedule for the end of the school year, this was to be the week that the Chinese teacher and I gave our final exams in K3. There were children missing from every lesson as they were rehearsing for the annual Open House Show; the Thai teachers will not be able to do the dance practices next week as the school will be closed and they will be travelling to do training at other schools. While I only had a handful of tests to give in K3/1 and K3/3 by the end of the week, there were nine students in K3/2 who had missed their exams. I was looking forward to giving those tests on Friday; these are oral exams given one by one with each child taking around five minutes. We only have 30 minutes allotted per lesson so it is a struggle even when all the kids are there.

However, we learned Friday morning after assembly that ALL lessons before lunch (including two of my three K3 classes) were cancelled as the children had to participate in the local government’s Road Safety Campaign. That largely meant sitting quietly on the floor from 8:30 until after 11 a.m. while various government officials gave welcoming speeches (a smattering of parents attended) and then presented various demonstrations. I particularly liked the one about drowning which gave lists of places to avoid (including “don’t fall into the toilet!”). I was surprised at how well the kids handled the long period of sitting — especially the Nursery kids (2- and 3-year olds), none of which urinated on the floor which is quite common during the lessons. The one break from all this was about 20 minutes outside when they were taught about traffic signs and wearing helmets on bikes. Of course, after the presentation they had to return the helmets and many of the parents picked up their kids and took them home after school with very few helmets in sight.

Another session of speeches followed and the expected group photos were taken. Despite having helped with the kids all morning, I wasn’t asked to be in the photos (it is rare for the foreign teachers to be included in such things so many never really feel a part of the schools in which they work).

Finally, it was lunchtime and the kids were served spaghetti with pork sauce. It appeared that several of the kids had never had this before and many were struggling with the noodles and ended up wearing quite a bit of the sauce. The Chinese teacher and I were invited to eat as well (this NEVER happens and we usually have to fend for ourselves). It was quite good!

A long naptime followed lunch and then I had two lessons scheduled. I was looking forward to finishing the K3 exams as this will be impossible when the kids return on 7 March as I will be doing exams for Nursery 1, Nursery 2, K1 and K2 and it will be a real challenge to get them all done with just one 30-minute session for each of the nurseries and two for the other levels (compared to three per week for K3 and we still couldn’t get those done!). Alas, I was told the children were “too tired” to be tested so I just did some more review. K3/3 struggled to recognize random alphabet letters!

After school, I exited the wat and noticed that the long Road Safety presentations (that were attended by some of the parents) had had no affect as many of the kids were piled onto their parents’ motorbikes (some with three or four kids), nobody wearing helmets and the usual attempts to squeeze by larger vehicles waiting at the stoplight was in force. Suddenly, a car whizzed by on the little bit of shoulder, pursued by a traffic cop on a motorbike. The car ran through the red light and smashed into a delivery truck on the opposite side of the highway. As the police sounded their whistles, cars just drove around going the wrong way in the wrong lanes. The usual Thai chaos…


Another week of solely posts on Philatelic Pursuits. I am even slowing down a bit on those as the last two weeks of exam prep and different activities have put my routine a bit off-kilter. During the coming week, I won’t have any lessons at school other than teaching dance routines from 9 until 11 each morning. We still have to stay in the building from 8 until 3 in the afternoon so I hope I will be able to get a few tasks done during that time, including a fair amount of blogging. My other blogs — A Stamp A Day and Postcards to Phuket — have been completely ignored this month (perhaps I can write something up tomorrow and/or Tuesday) and I have yet to move My Collections over to this blog. I hope I can get started on that project in the coming week as well.

Latest Posts on Philatelic Pursuits:


I didn’t have anything particularly special all week other than finding a new type of salad at 7-Eleven (it had a ton of chili peppers in it, making it almost impossible to eat due to the spiciness). A couple of new restaurants opened up this week very near my home so I tried the Isaan food restaurant on Saturday night. They had decent pork fried rice for 50 baht (this is what I order when trying a new place as it is a dish that is difficult to mess up!).


My Bluetooth speaker died at the start of the week. It had served me through all of the Pandemic Era (teaching online and then in the classrooms, particularly needed in kindergarten). I checked a few local markets but those speakers they had were tourist-priced so I ordered a new one on Lazada — a much smaller version of the JBL that I’d had for the last three years. It arrived on Thursday afternoon so it was a fairly quiet week — most of the kids did sing the “Hello Song” at the start of the lessons without the musical accompaniment but the nursery lessons were long as we usually dance for at least half of each class period.

I started out the week listening to more Eric Clapton from the 1974 tour followed by a bit of 1973-1974 era Fleetwood Mac (end of the Bob Welch-led band), some Neil Young (mostly live from the Bluenotes shows circa 1988), and started re-listening to Kate Bush, starting with the “Wuthering Heights” single and continuing through her various albums and singles. I got up through the Hounds of Love album and “Experiment IV” single.

I also finished reading Elizabeth The Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith and began Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals & People in America by Dan Flores. A new Steve Berry novel has just been published so I will probably take a break from the non-fiction to read that soon.


Kan Kan’s work helping out at her friends’ restaurant in Bangkok has been extended for at least another month. She told me tonight that she is definitely ready for a “holiday in Phuket” and wants to bring her mom when she returns. It would be nice for her to be here for the Thai New Year (April 13) and her birthday (April 14) but we will see what happens. She got to wear her special Christmas red dress for a friend’s birthday party this week and it was nice to see when she called me (and she sent a few photos as well). She says the hard work is paying off as she is losing some weight (I never thought she was getting fat although she fretted about it during the December holidays). At any rate, I miss her. The video calls help (she even called me when I was at school one afternoon and a number of kids got to say “Hello”).

And that is my Sunday Summary for February 20-February 26, 2023. I hope the week to come is just how you want it to be. Cheers!

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