Despite that we weren’t teaching on Monday, we still had to get up incredibly early. We went to breakfast at 7.30am to be introduced to the school at their assembly at 8am. It was horrifically early. After a breakfast of rice we went to the assembly and watched the students that were late sprinted across the field to stand with the rest of their class. As they raised the flag and sang the national anthem there was a dog going around and sniffing some of the pupils. It was quite funny watching the students try to ignore it. We then had to go on stage and say our name and where we’re from (England, Scotland, England, England, Thailand – Aum was on the stage too). Then Ben tried to get the students to say our names back to us. They managed Kate and Aum but couldn’t manage Eilidh, Hannah or I.
After presenting ourselves we were shown to the staffroom and had to sit in there until the principle could take us to immigration. This was to prove that we were actually teaching like we said when we applied for our visas. Once the principle was ready we set off in the car. About two hours later (and a long nap) we were at immigration. The 10 minutes we spent at immigration were great, once I discovered the wi-fi password. They also had sinks in the toilets! We then got back in the car, drove up to the Laos border, glimpsed at it through the car window, then turned around for the two or so hours back to the school.
We stopped along the way for lunch. I was so hungry I could have eaten a horse (figuratively of course). It was a Chinese restaurant and the principle ordered our food for us. The staff then gave us some water. The cups were so filled with ice that they were practically slushies. I would have preferred a slushie but after 3 hours of air conditioning without water I didn’t see the need to complain. The principle came back with some Chinese cake or sweet things. What they actually were I have no idea, but they were a white, creamy colour and eating them was like biting into a cloud. Eilidh and Hannah and ‘chocolate’ flavour, while Kate and I were given ‘carrot’ flavour clouds. The ‘carrot’ was definitely the nicest, even if it didn’t really taste of carrot!
The food came and it was a pork soup with noodles, bean sprouts and some cabbage. It was lovely; just we were only given chopsticks to eat the soup with. Eilidh found this easy enough as she’d spent last summer in Korea and Japan. Kate, Hannah and I, however had to figure out how to eat noodle, pork soup with chopsticks, without dropping it all on our white shirts.
Not too long after we attempted to master chopsticks, the principle got us three forks to use. But I, being the stubborn person I am, continued and managed to eat using the chopsticks. You’ll be pleased to know that I have since managed to get the stains out of my shirt.