Teaching in Lampang with ‘The Henderson’

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Last Wednesday I was staring at my computer doing nothing. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I was wasting yet another hour on Facebook or not when ‘The Henderson’ rang me up out of the blue. I get on well with ‘The Henderson’ and consider him a friend, but we aren’t on a ‘calleachotherupfornofuckingreason’ level yet, so I was surprised to see his name pop up on my phone. I answered it and after the pleasantries he asked if I wanted to work with him in a town 2 hours away called Lampang at the weekend. After contemplating whether I should cancel my soul destroying weekend class at my regular school, I finally said that I would throw caution to the wind and give it a go. After all; I’m leaving soon, so what’s the worst that could happen?…

Our boss whose name was ‘Lek’ picked us up on the Friday and drove us to Lampang. When we got there we were treated like bosses. With meals fit for a king and accommodation that most people (well, people that like to travel anyway…) could only dream of.

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After preparing for the class until 1AM (I use that term loosely; in fact we were simply photocopying vast amounts of paper whilst getting drunk…) we eventually staggered into our rooms. I thought to myself that this was too good to be true. I have detested teaching for well over a year now, so I knew that these students are going to almost instantly irritate me for the whole weekend. When I woke up at 8 in the morning I wasn’t looking forward to our class…

Turns out the students were amazing too! I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed teaching but this was definitely a fun class to teach. Their level wasn’t that high; but they wanted to learn and were appreciative of the opportunity they were given, which is all any teacher could ask for really.

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Then after the class on Saturday Lek took me and ‘The Henderson’ up to Chaeson National Park. Apart from being gorgeous like most national parks, this one specifically had a water feature running through it. Lek described it as a ‘waterfall’ but it was more of a stream of hot water running through the rocks.

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The water had sulphur dioxide in it. At least that’s what Lek told us. I didn’t know what that meant so I smiled and said “Kap…” Basically the water was approximately 82 degree celsius, and one of the common things to do was to boil a basket of eggs in the water. Point being we had a lot of egg based food that night, and I personally got given 15 soft boiled eggs as a present to take home with me…

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The weekend went by very quickly, and to be honest I was gutted it was over so fast. I loved teaching those people and felt lucky to have met them. When I got back to Chiang Mai I felt far happier than I would have if I spent yet another spirit crushing weekend at my normal school.

To wrap up I would like to say thank you to ‘The Henderson’ for setting me up with this job, and a massive thank you to Lek for single-handedly restoring my faith in bosses over here, and my love of teaching. If I never did this class I probably would have left Thailand quite a bitter man stating that ‘I hated teaching’ and ‘would never go back to it’. Now I know it was just the environment that I had been in for such a prolonged period of time. Now I feel that if I did get offered a teaching job on my travels, I wouldn’t roll my eyes and say ‘never again’, I would smile, say ‘Why not?’ and hopefully get some extra cash in my pocket so I can continue to write my books.

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Lek looking satisfied after the three of us annihilated a traditional Lanna (Northern Thai) meal…

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