Hello! I’m so sorry for the late post. It’s just that I’ve been profoundly lazy this past week and, I can’t lie to you, it’s been fantastic. But, I’m here now!
The red area is Nakhon Si Thammarat province in Thailand
As I was saying in my last post, Matt and I decided to leave Koh Samui to go to Nakhon Si Thammarat, which is the closest province to Koh Samui, because everyone else from our agency was going there. The reason for that was because our agency had promised most people jobs within that province, so everyone figured why wait for them to tell us to travel there when we could just show up there and force them to do their jobs now rather than later? Considering this was a decent plan, especially since our bank accounts were draining more and more each day on the expensive island, Matt and I decided to follow suit.
Upon arriving to the hotel in Nakhon after around five hours of ferry and minivan travel, we dropped off our stuff and decided to walk and find some food, since it was now lunch time and we were incredibly hungry. While walking around, we noticed that for the first time, there was nothing in English at all and no one—literally not a single person—knew a word of English. We also noticed that everyone was gawking at us—and I mean, everyone. I guess that’s just what happens when you’re a white person in a province with zero white people.
Oh, and there was virtually nothing in our area of the city. There was a mall and a McDonalds about a half hour walk from our hotel. That was about it.
During our week stay in this boring city where no one spoke our language, we regularly spoke with a woman who was supposedly from our agency (you know, the lovely Island TEFL) and was responsible for our placement. At one point, she had taken everyone to their placements in the province, including where we would live and teach. One day, she took Matt and I to ours.
We hopped in her car and she drove us about 45 minutes from the city to an area where there was virtually no one. There was only a shack about every minute or so. There were no stores, no places to eat, nothing. Eventually, we came upon this relatively large pink house with a smaller brown house attached to it. Our new agent told us that we would live here– not in the pink house sadly, but the brown one– and we would share it with other teachers at our school. She then informed us that the two houses belong to the director of our school.
Pretty sketchy, we thought, but decided to continue on to see the school anyway.
Next, the agent took us to our school, which was about 15 minutes from the director’s house down a small, curvy deserted road. The school was very small and in terrible condition. It had no air conditioning, hardly any grass for the kids to play on, cracks in the walls, and stained black mildew on the two buildings.
Okay, so the school was sketchy, too, basically. We then decided to ask our agent about other possible apartments because sharing a house with the director and other strangers didn’t sound too appealing. She then showed us another living quarter possibility. She took us to some random Thai guy, who rolled up a door much like a door for a storage unit in a small building across from the school. When we walked inside, it was an unfurnished cement room. Beyond that, there was a much smaller room with a squat toilet. Oh, and a 2×4 rotted wooden balcony beyond that.
And no shower. And no furniture. And no running water. And no electricity. Matt and I literally laughed and walked out of the place. Can you blame us?
We didn’t tell our agent that we wanted to work there, nor did we tell her that we wanted to work there. We told he we’d think about it and let her know (even though I was sold on absolutely not going there from the start).
So, we wasted about a week in the city, dicking around and wasting time with other agency members that were equally pissed about everything.
After a while, it turned out that the scam wasn’t quite over. There was no promised placement for any of us and we would have to wait until December 1st to start teaching. The school semester had already started for most schools in Thailand (November 3rd) and we wouldn’t be teaching maybe until December 1st!?
So, naturally, everyone was even more enraged. We all ended up going to a hotel in the middle of nowhere in Nakhon province where the cost was cheap, according to our agent, and there was a beach. She wanted us to go there to “relax” and “not worry about our placements.” We all figured, hey, there’s a beach. Why not?
We all squeezed into a minivan with our belongings and took a two and a half hour ride to our new hotel in a town called Khanom, which, by the way, was literally in the middle of nowhere. There were even cows grazing outside of our window (which had a beautiful view, though. I couldn’t complain about that).
Matt sitting in front of the window in our hotel in Khanom
Once we dropped off our stuff, we decided to go to the beach, since we had nothing else to do and it was a ten minute walk from our hotel. The beach was completely deserted and beautiful. The beach was filled with coconut and palm trees, and there were mountains around us and crystal blue water in front of us. Oh, and a little hut that served American food. It was a haven for us, really.
The beach; one of the huts on the beach to eat inside; a beach swing
Eventually, we had to leave our paradise and returned to our room and said, “Okay. Let’s find other jobs because fuck Island TEFL.”
We had heavily researched before in the city of Nakhon, but didn’t find too much. However, as a last resort, we looked on Craigslist that night (this was November 12th). Matt found an interesting ad for a teaching job in Chonburi, Thailand (about an hour Southwest of Bangkok along the coast of the gulf) looking for two English teachers. So, Matt and I contacted them and they immediately e-mailed us back with interest. The person, named Omar, was messaging Matt and told us to skype call him that night. So, we did, and we talked to him for almost two hours about Island TEFL’s headache and con job, our interest in the job, etc, etc. Then, after hanging up with him and being offered the jobs, we decided we would go there for a job. Why not? We have nothing to lose at this point and nothing going for us where we were.
The next day, we took bicycles from the hotel and rode into town (it was a gorgeous ride!) to buy bus tickets (which was a hassle, by the way, since still no one spoke English here) to Bangkok at 5:00 pm that day. We rode back to our hotel, showered, packed up our stuff, and hitched a ride with one of the hotel managers back into town to catch our bus. We then got on our double-decker tour bus and rode to Bangkok for twelve hours.
Matt bike riding into the nearby town in Nakhon Si Thammarat province; Matt’s pictures during the ride
Thanks for reading, folks! I hope you enjoyed! Side note: I am so sorry I have no pictures from our week in Nakhon Si Thammarat city. I guess both Matt and I just hated being there so much, we didn’t want to have any mementos from it!
Next time: arriving in Chon Buri and starting our jobs (finally)!
Don’t forget: you can always leave a comment with questions or anything you would like to say! 🙂