It’s like I waited my whole life…For this 1 night…It’s gonna be me, you and MASAKO!!!!!!

So…..Hows life?

Surviving. Did a bit of teaching, a bit of writing and a bit of lounging around on Facebook. You know, the usual….

Oh yeah? Do you have any teaching stories for me? That’s the only reason i really come on here anyway…..

I got a few. I’ve been teaching IELTS (an international English exam) to a girl that can only be described as ‘The Asian Lauren Whale’. It seems that most people look the same in some way shape or form. I have found countless Asian counterparts to people i know back home. It’s weird but at the same time it’s like an inside joke. So point being you probably have a Thai counterpart in Thailand somewhere (or if you are Thai and reading this, you probably have an American or an English clone of you somewhere…)

…No one’s gonna say it? No one? Fine i’ll say it; Who’s Lauren Whale?

She’s a friend of mine back home. I met her when she worked at my mum’s pub as a barmaid/waitress. Really nice girl. But she is very confident and outgoing whereas ‘The Asian Lauren Whale’ (registered trademark) is very shy. So they are not complete doppelgangers…

So why are you….. Wait… Oh no you’re gonna do one of those bloody long-ass dialogues again aren’t you?

<Giggles…>

Me: ….So step 2 on the ‘tips for the speaking exam’ is to talk about what you know. Keep bringing the conversation back to subjects you are comfortable with. For example, what are you studying?

The Asian Lauren Whale: English

Me: Sorry, i don’t mean right now, i mean at University?

The Asian Lauren Whale: I have been studying for 2 years

Me: No, The question was what do you study at university?

The Asian Lauren Whale: Business

Me: OK. So talk about business terms because you will know those phrases in English. How about this; What do you want to be?

The Asian Lauren Whale: <thinks>…. Manager

Me: A manager of what?

The Asian Lauren Whale: Huh?

Me: Manage what?

The Asian Lauren Whale: I don’t know

Me: You want to be a manager but you don’t know what you want to manage?

The Asian Lauren Whale: No

Me: It’s a good job you’re pretty……..

Oh deary me…. Anything else?

Yes unfortunately; I had a brutal lesson with MASAKO! On Saturday. I had to teach her the difference between present simple and present continuous (I go to the gym, I am going to the gym) and it normally takes about 10 minutes maximum. That day it took 2 hours.

2 HOURS?!?!?!?!

Yep, in the end i was speaking to her in broken English one or two words at a time. I started off saying present simple was forever and present continuous was temporary whilst giving examples but all i got was a lifeless look straight back at me. I might have well been teaching the dog! So i broke it down with things like, “Forever…no stop…… temporary….yes stop…. forever… go go go go… never stop.. always… temporary…. like this month, until September…yes stop…. stop one day… this finish….forever, or permanent….no finish…you do…and keep doing..” I then run out of ideas what to say so i started humming ‘Forever’ by Chris Brown. I knew that wasn’t gonna fly with a 76 year old Japanese lady, but hey, i was desperate! In the end there was an exercise to do and i drew a line in the middle of all the options and said “OK all the present simple options are on the left, i go, i see, i work, etc… and all the continuous ones are on the right i am watching, you are running etc…. all you have to do is match the words and if its on this side you write simple, on the other side you write continuous. So this….simple….this…continuous..OK?”

“MOTSUKASHI!!!!!” she replied (oh i forgot to mention, she talks to me in Japanese. If she starts freestyling at me i just wait for her to stop and just say “Yes, thats exactly what it means” in a defeated tone…..)

Errrr……. Not really sure how to respond to this….

Neither am i, don’t worry about it. Anyway: My book is slowly creeping towards the end. She met one of the locals from the pub who is only 19 and taking a gap year from university and he convinces her to go to Asia with him. At the moment they have just arrived in Malaysia and… that’s it really nothing special.

So you are slacking on the book, right?

Yes and no. I always think I could do more. There has been more filler I’ve had to put in. The thing with being like a diary is you can slot ideas in that gives the characters or the storyline more dynamic. Doesn’t really help with the speed of the book but things are being written. I had a few more people read my first book. They told me to just publish it. Get it out there and go from there. I don’t know ANYTHING about the marketing side but i suppose no one does when they start out. It’s all about trial and error. So after i finish this one i’m gonna focus on getting the first book on Amazon etc… as an E-book and hopefully get it published in a few months. Who’d have thought it? Someone like me nearly ready to publish a book? It feels weird as i type it but it’s nearly a reality…

What book is that again?

It’s the one about a famous actor who can’t cope with the fame and spirals into depression with lots of drugs involved. This is the blurb of it if you are interested. I’m not gonna lie i’m really excited about getting this ready for publishing!

Don’t worry, that big head will start to deflate once your book bombs…. So is that it?

Pretty much. I went out with some friends of mine to a Mexican restaurant called Miguel’s and it was the schizzle! Their names are Clayton (I think i’ve mentioned him before) and Jessica and they have their own travel blog too! Also if you have any questions you like to ask me or even if you are angry and bitter at life and just want to send random abuse, please feel free to do either in the comments section. Also if you like this blog please share it on Facebook, Twitter or any way you can so more people can see it. That’s it i’m afraid. SEE YA!!!!!!!!!!

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Cheers to ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Thacker’ for making a special guest appearance in my life…

Come on then let’s get this over with; The Artist Formerly known as Thacker?

Yep, I met him teaching at CEC a few years ago. He left but we kept in touch. He started working on creating a proper English book for Thai people because the standard of English books for Thai people are terrible at best! He got his head down and worked his A*** off. Including completely immersing himself into Thai culture. Most English speaking people here speak mickey mouse Thai but his Thai is fluent, and i mean fluent. And he’s done well for himself he’s producing youtube videos for Thai people. Things are finally looking up for him at the moment and he deserves every bit of success he gets

Oh god you’re not going to… What’s it called… The thing that goes into an electric socket?

A plug? You’re damn right i’m going to give him a plug (not that he needs it he already has 5000 likes on his facebook page)

Well done, it took you 1 month to sell out… So what happened? Give me as little detail as possible…

He contacted me on F2thaAcebook  asking if i wanted to play football last Friday. I thought “Why not?” I hadn’t played in a few years and it’s only a bit of fun. Maybe i could sneak a goal or two, and it’d be good exercise.

How did you do? Did you score?

Of course not, I got ripped to pieces! Thai people play at a very high tempo so even if i was at my best i would have been struggling. After 3 minutes of running after shadows i strategically decided to play centre back. Let’s put it this way i now remember why i said i was retiring from football a few years ago. I was teaching the next day and i could barely breathe! i think i need to do more exercise…

Speaking of teaching, you got any teaching stories this week?

I got 2! The first one i was sitting at my desk preparing for a class when some random Thai woman walked in with a massive smile on her smile. I remember thinking “I don’t know what is going to happen, but i’m pretty sure this is gonna go in my blog…”

“Hello teacher Lewis!” She beamed gesturing to her right as if she was about to introduce someone (there were only us two in the classroom) “This is your student!” She said still smiling

“No, that is a wall….” I thought to myself. Eventually i found out that she meant the student was in reception but the damage had already been done, sorry random receptionist…

And the second one?

I’m teaching a TOEIC class, and it’s as boring as it sounds. There are 2 students in my class; A French girl whose English is really good and a Thai girl who can barely say her own name, it’s a sitcom waiting to happen…. Anyway, I was going through one of the questions with the Thai girl and she was looking at her book ignoring me. So i started to sing ” You’re like a belly dancer. I give you the question, you give me the answer, police saying freeze DA-DOING-DOING-DOING!” I don’t know what possessed me to do that but it made the French girl laugh so at least it wasn’t a wasted reference…

What is a French girl doing learning English in Thailand?

She wants to teach kindergartners here and wants a high TOEIC score so she can prove to potential employers that she can speak English. Unfortunately for me she is very European so she questions every little thing i say and never gives me a break.

Sounds brutal..

Actually i love it! She keeps me on my toes and i don’t feel like i’m just going through the motions like i do with some classes. I came here because i want to help people and if someone has the same passion as i do i can bounce off of it. This may seem hard to believe for anyone that knows me but i do genuinely care. Its just when i get rich kids who don’t want to learn i think “If you’re not gonna try then neither am i…”

I suppose now i have to ask you about the book. You finished it yet?

Not yet, so carrying on from last week she was feeling remorse about what happened to Old Bill (the character who died) and she knew something about his death that she couldn’t tell anyone, which in turn meant there was more of a burden on her shoulders because she had to hide her true identity from people as well. This weighed heavier and heavier on her until she finally cracked and told her boyfriend who she really was

How did he react?

He kicked her out. He also told her that if she ever came back he would tell everyone who she was. So it was an ultimate rejection. She pleaded with him for a while but eventually left. Then she fled the country to Holland where she is spending lots of money (the money that she won) on drugs and prostitutes, men and women. She’s starting to feel those psychotic emotions again such as a repeatedly humming or singing a creepy song she wrote. The same one she sung to the girl as she was killing her. So we’re getting closer to the end now, i’d say i’m about 70% or more through this one

So are you done? Can i go back to my life now?

Nearly. I’ve re-done my ‘Home’ and ‘About’ pages. My friend Clayton (who is also a blogger) helped me set it up which is why it says it is Clayton authenticated. I’ve also done some blurb pages for my books as well so my blog is slowly filling up with random stuff, and that’s me done for this week, tune in next week when i….. ah, I’ve got nothing…

Thacker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

A picture of us at a school Christmas show. The Artist Formerly Known As Thacker is on the back row, far right, in the black shirt.

Hi Ian!!!

Ian? Who the f*** is Ian?

Apparently it’s me. My friend from Germany came to visit for Songkran and for the first few nights he stayed in a hostel. As you do in hostels you meet a load of random people and generally just drink a lot. After a few drinks everyone kept calling me Ian as they were convinced that was my name. I kept correcting them but after a few hours i gave up.

HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened either! When i was living in Italy for the first couple of months i was working on the scaffolding with Italians and Albanians who didn’t speak English and for some reason they thought my name was Will. Same thing, i kept telling them my name was Lewis but after a week or so i ended up responding every time they called me Will because it was easier.

OK Ian/Will. You said your mate was visiting for what?

Songkran. It’s a Thai festival celebrating their new year. Long story short its basically a 3 day water fight. We spent the last few days getting very wet and a tad drunk, You go out with a bucket or a water gun for a few hours and just have fun! I would recommend everyone to experience this holiday at least once in their life as it is a truly amazing experience.

I see….. Any teaching stories?

As a matter of fact i do. I was doing an English related snakes and ladders game to a nineteen year old girl and whatever she landed on she had to do something English related. At one point she landed on ‘Say 6 countries and their nationalities’ and she got to England and said……

Oh god, you’re not gonna do another long dialogue are you…?

Yep….

 

Exhibit A: British

Me: Nope

Exhibit A: No?

Me: Yes, people from BRITAIN are British, but what about people from England? (I know, i was being picky)

Exhibit A: British

Me: Wasn’t British 10 seconds ago and is still not British now…..

Exhibit A: <SILENCE ENSUES…….>

Me: I am from England, I am…..?

Exhibit A: <please read above Exhibit A comment…..>

Me: OK, let’s try this a different way, What language are we speaking right now?

Exhibit A: English

Me: So a person from England is……

Exhibit A: English language

Me: I am from England, I am English language?

Exhibit A: No

Me: So i am from England, I am…?

Exhibit A: …British

Kill yourself, and your immediate family…….

Well done that girl! Hows the writing?

Been putting in more filler to give depth to the story. At one point they (the killer and her partner) were both having an affair with a blonde woman and i wanted to give her more depth. So in 1 extract of the diary i got the main character to sit down with her and talk about why she sleeps with anything that moves even though she’s married. Naturally shes pretty defensive and angry at first, but then she breaks down and says that she just craves love and affection that she has never got before. I don’t know where i’m going to take this yet, but it’s a good sub-plot i can run with if i want to.

Great, but any ACTUAL progress?

Yes, i killed off one of the characters. There’s a local (bar local) called Bill who is a retired police officer (so naturally he is referred to as ‘Old Bill’). He starts dropping subtle hints that he knows her true identity so she feels that she has to eliminate him before he blurts out who she really is.

So what does she do?

They’re in the pub by themselves and……actually, i’m not gonna say. I’ll let you read it. I needed help to come up with the idea of what exactly to do and not copy something else that is already out there (I had a great idea about him choking on his own vomit in the pub toilets because he was drunk for his birthday and Alex (the girl) walks in the toilets seeing him choking but refuses to help and watches him die. But of course that is a carbon copy of a relatively unknown TV show called Breaking Bad) so i have to give thanks to my friends Michael (The German guy) & Kaycee for helping me complete this scene. As always there will be a character named after you two somewhere down the line. I’ve already got a new barmaid called Jen in this book!

Anything else?

That’s it really. I’d like to have written more than i have (i swear i say this every week!) But i have spent the majority of the time drunk and/or playing fifa with my German friend. I’m not saying it’s COMPLETELY your fault Michael, but i’m going to blame you anyway…..

Image

* Picture of me and Michael in Koh Phangan, Thailand, 4 years ago at the full moon party. And i’m sure you can tell by the picture we were extremely drunk here as well……

 

369, damn you’re fine, move it so i can sock it to you one more time……

Top of the morning to ya! Where shall we start first?

I’m gonna start with teaching today; I was teaching MASAKO! and we were playing a game where i had drawn a board game on the board with all different subjects on it. Basically whatever she landed she had to say 6 things about it. E.G. 6 colours or 6 countries. She landed on ‘objects in this room’ and she said WINDOOOW……….WAAAALLLLLLLL……

There are no prizes for guessing what i said next………

Winner! Anything else?

Yeah, i was teaching a class last week and we were going through how often. For example: every day/week/month, once/twice/three times a day and i finally got to ‘every other day’. I wrote it on the board and asked………

Let the games begin……

Me: What Does Every other day mean? Does anyone know?

Class: <Looking down staring at their books in unison>

Me: Have a guess

Class: <More avoiding any eye contact of any shape or form>

Me: OK, what do you think it is? (gesturing at one of the students)

Student 1: Sleep

Me: Erm….. No, but good try, what about you?

Student 2: Take a shower

Me: It’s good, but it’s not the one. The rest of you you’re back in play. Buzz in when you know the answer…

Student 3: What i do in my free time

Me: I suppose we are getting closer now, how about you?

Student 4: Sometimes

Me: By process of elimination you are the closest……

Love it! got any more updates on your book?

Yeah, i got feedback from my 1st book and everyone said they really enjoyed it which was a big relief for me. I always wondered whether i was wasting my time and when the people i gave it to kept saying “I’ll read it next week” I started to think that it wasn’t very good and they had read a bit, put it down and didn’t want to hurt my feelings so they came up with excuses such as “I’ve been really busy lately” or something to that effect. But they said that they thoroughly enjoyed it and were asking me questions about the characters in the book which makes me think they did like it because if they didn’t they would simply smile at me awkwardly and say “yyyyeah, it’s great!”

What one’s that?

It’s the book about a kid who becomes a child actor and makes millions of dollars before he’s even hit puberty. Then he struggles to deal with the constant demand of fame and you watch his life slowly unravel due to his own insecurities and getting involved with drugs and women. There’s a lot of twists and turns in it and….. well actually, i don’t want to spoil it for you.

Can we read it? 

It’s not at the publishing stage yet, but i’m thinking about putting the first 250/500 words or something on here to generate interest. But nothing’s concrete yet.

Gotcha.  Hows the latest one going?

It”s slowly but surely getting there. I pretty much have an idea how i’m gonna end it now so it’s a matter of letting the story run away with itself and if i come up with any sub-plots or a better ending along the way then even better. I’ve been putting filler in at the moment because i wanted her to have a miscarriage but when i added up the time she found out she was pregnant after 4 weeks and miscarried after 7. So i needed to stretch that out so she could get more time to get attached to the idea of having a baby and possibly even have a scan so i haven’t really progressed (apart from the miscarriage of course) i’ve just been extending the story and almost dragging out the miscarriage. I even got a bar fight put in the middle so that may lead to a sub-plot later on

So is that it for this week?

Pretty much. I have updated my homepage though so now I’ve got pictures on there and it looks a bit more professional now. I’m slowly getting there! And that’s me done i’m afraid. I’m hoping to get my head down and finish the first draft of this one within a few weeks because I’ve already got a few ideas as to what the 4th book will be and i’m itching to get started on them but at the same time i know that if i start a new one i will never finish this one. So i’m staying focused and hopefully it’ll be done in a few weeks!

Have you heard? That’s weird, borderline absurd. I thought everyone had heard…….

Lewis………Book……..Talk to me……

It’s going well, not as well as i would like but it’s a working progress. I’m writing more than i was the week before, so i’m slowly but surely heading towards the finish line

Sounds good, but we still don’t know what it’s about. You casually mentioned something about it being a killer, but i’m gonna need more than that if you want me to read it….

Fair enough, this one is set in a ‘dear diary’ point of view. At first i wanted it to be a death bed confession but i knew it would be much harder to express the transition from psycho to reformed back to insane if it was written at one moment at the end of her life. So i thought if it was a dear diary, you would be able to slowly see the anger in her teen years and the slow demise of her mind. I knew it would be much harder that way but if i can pull it off it will definitely be worth it.

I’m sorry, did you just say HER life?

Yeah, it’s a female killer. My friend Jen came up with this really cool idea of revealing half way through the book that the killer was actually a girl as everyone would assume it was a boy. I’ve given her girlfriends throughout her life and at one point she experiments with a male and the audience assumes its a gay experience. I like random plot twists like that that no one is suspecting, so big thanks to Jen on that idea.

Where are you at so far?

Without going into too much detail, she’s been given a new identity and is living in Chester. She begins to work in a bar and blends in nicely. She still is showing no remorse at this point and its almost as if she is completely oblivious to what she has done. In the bar they have lock-ins every Saturday night and one day all the locals are talking about the killing and she starts to freak out that people may clock who she really is and goes to the toilet to calm down. But she seems shocked that people are angry at her. She feels that if they knew the person she killed they would side with her, and even after this she has zero remorse. She then moves into the pub where she is working to continue her secret relationship with the landlord (which at this point the reader assumes is a secret gay relationship), a few weeks later she wins a ’100000 pounds a year for life’ scratch card (which is vital to where i want to take the story later on…) and then out of nowhere she reveals that she is pregnant with the landlords baby (which is obviously when i hope people will go “hang on, she’s a GIRL???”) and that’s pretty much where i’m at at the moment.

Tell us what we all want to know! How many people did she kill and how did she do it? And how old was she went she did it?

She only killed one person, I’m not gonna reveal how though, you have to read it! I can’t give you all the information or you won’t want to read it

Fine! I don’t want to read it anyway!

That’s not very nice……

Sorry, i get cranky when i don’t get my way. so any updates on the teaching?

I’ve been working a lot. A lot of IELTS classes which is basically an international exam that students have to take if they want to study in America, Australia or Europe. The other day i was doing a reading exam so it was extremely quiet in my class and i heard the teacher in the next classroom was playing ‘Bird is the word’ on his phone doing some kind of English related game. Anyone who follows me on facebook will know for the first year i was here i got by teaching English by doing the ‘Bird is the word’ song and dance in classes. Sometimes teachers would knock on my door and say “They’re not listening, i need you to come in and do the Bird is the word’ dance”. So anyway when i heard this i thought “You sir, are a god. I would sacrifice a small animal for you!” and invaded his lesson and started doing the dance. They giggled for a while and i left. 2 minutes later i heard it again and i stood outside the classroom window with a sign saying “Have you heard?” He told me to go away but i felt my job was done for the day, and in turn i could sleep at night…….

Anything else?

Not really. Actually, that’s a lie! I did my first guest blog for my landlady on what it was like finding a teaching job for the first time if you want to have a look http://www.cmstay.com/want-teach-chiang-mai-5-failsafe-tips-real-life-experiences-resident-teachers/ the first half is nothing to do with me, but after the picture of all the schoolkids that’s all me. And that’s me done i’m afraid. Next week i’ll keep you updated on how this book is panning out and if something hilarious happens in the classroom you’ll be the first to know. Ciao for now!!!!