There’s straw for the donkeys – 7th February 2018

Happily, I was successfully accepted for the CELTA course in Chiang Mai, though I need to brush up on my grammar skills considerably!  The interviewer made me feel very comfortable despite my lack of knowledge and I actually felt that, yes, I could do this!

Also got word of a position available at the university close to our house (Mae Fah Luang) which I will apply for, though the timing may not be right as applications close at the end of March and I won’t have a certificate (assuming I pass) until the end of May.  Will apply anyway, it is Amy’s old University colleague who manages the English department there so that may be a benefit at least.  He said if it doesn’t work out he will direct students to me for private tuition in the meantime.

Last night my housemates took me out for a farewell dinner.  Bram drove the Volvo and Katrina and I made fun of him because he couldn’t hear his brakes screeching because he has lost hearing in that range.  I thought he was just pulling our leg at first but seems he was telling the truth.  I hope my hearing holds out a while longer – there’s still too much music in the world to enjoy.

We went to a dinky Chinese diner in Chinatown and ordered a big stack of food, including my favourite fish in boiling chilli oil with Sichuan pepper.  Not quite enough chilli and pepper for my taste but still a fantastic eat and half the price of some other places.

I noticed the staff putting flowers in the bags for Uber Eats deliveries so at the end of the meal I asked one of the staff if we could have one and I gave it to Katrina who was suitably embarrassed and happy to receive.  Bram laughed too and said I was showing him up.  I like this couple and hope they can achieve their dreams for the future.

For Bram that involves a 3-month motorcycle trip through India (and possibly Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore – though it’s looking like he may not be able to afford that now).  For Katrina, it means getting her permanent residency in Australia and then saving to build a couple of container style apartments on her grandmother’s land near Shengzhou (with Bram’s help).  Apparently famous for it bamboo forests, as seen in popular Chinese dramatic cinema in the west, pictures look especially magical when it snows in winter.

We both invited each other to visit what will be our new homes.

After a few days lull, our house is going gangbusters today with the perimeter fence going in, the electricity being hooked up, ceilings being primed and pond being finished off concreted.  Things seem to be coming together very well.


Today, though, I woke up in a slight funk.  Possibly from the two beers I had with dinner last night, the first since the end of September last year.  Last night’s chilli has also assisted in processing the last few days codeine constipation.  Codeine is nice – I can see why it becomes addictive.

After today updates will become a little less often though I’ll still try for daily.  I’ve lined up a few entries from 1994 (until the end of March) and want to try and get ahead with those if I can – they are a pain in the ass to re-write and it was a perfect situation to be able to do that at my job.

It’s stinking hot here in Adelaide and super dry today.  Tomorrow I fly to Brisbane to meet with my son.  His mum has booked us an apartment in Fortitude Valley for the weekend for which we are both very thankful.  It’s been about six months since I’ve seen Hayden and probably will be another six before I see him again, assuming he’ll have time to come visit me in Thailand.

I’ll go and finish off that big book that will be too heavy to take with me.  Already threw out jeans and dinner jacket and some other stuff I wanted to take.  So maybe, just maybe, I can squeeze in a box of Australian wine to bring to Amy.

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