As I write, I’m sitting at a guest house in Krabi Town waiting for a ferry to Koh Lanta on the first day of our three month summer vacation. It’s very hard to believe that we have two semesters at ABAC and 8 months in Thailand behind us already.
The best way to describe our time here so far is to say it’s pretty much been a dream. Definitely a whirlwind too, but mostly a dream. Thailand in and of itself is one of (if not the) best places I’ve ever been to. Not only does it have everything a traveler could possibly want (big city, jungle, amazing beaches), the culture, the people, and the way of life here really leaves us wanting for nothing.
As I’ve said in posts before, Bangkok is a city of contradictions, but in the best possible way. You can stay at a hostel for $10 a night or a fancy hotel for hundreds. You can shop at some of the fanciest malls we’ve ever seen, or go right across the street and shop in the markets for basically the same clothes (though “lower quality”). You can eat in some of Asia’s best and finest restaurants or dine on street food for cheaper than you could possibly imagine. Whatever you want, you can get it.
Our love for Bangkok aside, we feel like we got really lucky with our jobs at ABAC. When we first arrived, it was hard for us to adjust to the fact that no one plans anything very far in advance here. We found out our schedules for classes 2 days before classes began. For the first few weeks of class, we got calls changing around our schedules for the very next day, leaving us very little time to prepare. As two people who love to plan everything we can, we found this lack of planning very difficult. It was a rough first few weeks for us here, but as soon as we accepted it and embraced it, things got much easier. We started to go with the flow and we realized that with our amazing schedules (15-18 hours of classes per week, 1 weekday off per week, and more vacation and holidays than we could even count, approx. 4 months in total), our free housing (one place at our campus and one place in the city), and the freedom and autonomy we have with our work, it’s actually pretty hard to complain or be upset about anything.
6 months of teaching later, and we feel not only feel like we’ve got the hang of it, we both enjoy it very much. We receive the lessons/topics that we need to cover at the beginning of the semester, but other than that, we have free reign to teach how and what we want. We don’t have anyone constantly checking up on us, there’s no one telling us that our methods need to change… We have the freedom and ability to teach in the way that we see fit.
Some teachers complain about a number of things at ABAC, but we find there’s very little to complain about it. Sure, once in a while you have a bad class or a disrespectful kid. Once in a while your schedule gets messed up or you have to make a last minute change. Overall though, we feel very fortunate to be living in one of the best cities in the world in a job that we’re both extremely happy with.
But, don’t get us wrong… As much as we love our jobs, we are ready for three months of summer break! Vacation, here we come! First stop, Koh Lanta in the South of Thailand.