Yield to the right of way, stopping at a four-way sign, someone else’s rules, not mine – 18th December 2019

I’ve started talking to my phone. I thought it might be a good way to get ideas out more quickly. It’s quite difficult though. The action of talking seems to interrupt my thought processes and I feel like I’m performing thinking and trying to keep things linear. Of course, as soon as I put the phone away I had two thoughts that I believed I could use for writing and now have forgotten. Well, luckily one just popped back into my head but it’s likely I’ll forget it again by the time I finish this paragraph.

I’m sure I can make use of the speech to text on the phone – it just needs practice and more habitual use. I probably need to just push out the thought for fleshing out later rather than trying to run with it at the time. It’s an interesting exercise though it feels weird having a one way conversation into the phone. I see quite a lot of other people sending audio messages but I’ve never been comfortable enough to do that. Same with instructions for devices, like using Siri or Bixby etc. It makes sense to make use of that functionality but feels dumb talking to your TV or whatever.

Here’s the stream of consciousness spew I came up with:

Last night I had a dream and I was in the school and was complaining with a tie teacher about the activity we had to do actually we just stand around doing nothing no one told us what to do this is quite common having quite a lot in my classes in my schools and I knew that I was going to have to do something similar today and now here I am standing here but nothing to do just babysitting children despite this so nicely I’m having a lot of fun at least it’s something different not sitting in the classroom I actually I was looking forward to sitting in the classroom and reading and stuff but now we’re outside and kids just pretty much playing some games actually quite fun but sunny 11 could I go in till 4 so he nice
Sara Bareilles camp Camp I would just basically in the area looks like a note template or something behind the school in the fields with lots of trees randleman is nice and shady and cool kids are scared to go to the toilets because they think of this ghosts around very difficult I’m feeling great 5-10 year olds stool I guess you believe in ghosts maybe anyway it’s a really nice walk at the back of the school what do you call a housing estate the back and then can you record any more Minnesota twins in the first time I’ve been talkin into the funds I trying to record my thoughts but the actual process of speaking seems to be interrupting the source and feel like I’m trying to write a narrative rather than just letting thoughts come freely you not go all over the placeas I’m walking back to the sky suddenly going quite white hiding the the trees in the mountains in the distance and I can rice fields here smouldering away I’ve been burned off cat simulator with to sleep the sky is full of on the way down to the ground I can smell it now the smell reminds me of when I was a kid in it’s stopped little grass flies hedges no edges of them and banquets and places like that one time one got out of control and we had to run away we could see the fire which city smoke from the fire when we got home it seems like it was a long way away but you know it wasn’t so the relative sizes of different when you were a kid conrado Munoz nowholy smoke is pretty good actually I think I’m going to get my 10,000 steps done today that I’m think I’m going to drive back afterwards little bit hot after working in the Sun as I shake where I am this program is funny the conversion from speech to text isn’t quite as fantastic cuz I’m the Mack this is just on the phone Android phone remember to watch out for snakes where I amit’s very very quiet where I am at the moment I can see houses and buildings and stuff but I know it’s just a few crickets as birds fluttering around in the grass lawn grasses nice to know that this is he just being us like houses along the main road and then behind the house it’s just nothing

I think I could make sense of most of this but there’s only really two thoughts contained within.

I was trying to describe that, as a 6 or 7 year old, myself and the other kids on my street (for some reason I rarely hung around with kids on the next street) went off to the railway embankment and walked up to the top of the hill where there was a park. At the edge of the hill and park we set light to the grass for some childish fun. It quickly got out of control and we all ran like hell back home. From our street we could still see the smoke billowing into the sky even though it was what seemed like far away. It probably wasn’t that far but distance is relative when you’re still only three foot tall. When we heard the sirens we all ran inside.

And the smell of the rice field burning today reminded me of that day. Burning the fields is normal here unfortunately. Chiang Rai had the worst air quality in the world for a few days earlier this year. A brief smell of smoke such as I had today makes for a nostalgic romantic memory but when you are choking on the smoky sky it’s not so much fun. This year it lasted for about two months and it was awful.

The other thought I was trying to articulate was that I had an anticipatory dream last night. It’s not a very surprising dream and was really just a prediction. I think it did help me in some ways though.

I was dreaming that I was at school and it wasn’t the normal teaching day as there was some event that we had to help the kids with. I was standing around with the other teachers and we were all complaining that no one had told us exactly what we were supposed to be doing. I mentioned that one of the Thai teachers told me that we just need to make sure the kids don’t hurt themselves and I had laughed ‘oh we just need to babysit them then?’ Babysitting was a common phrase used by one of my old Thai colleagues and as ‘teachers’ it was a little frustrating, especially when we might only find out about these events the day before they happen.

So, last night I had made a note to be mentally prepared for a disorganised day today. It was Scout Day. I knew that we had to walk somewhere outside school and this morning found out that we would leave at around 9am. That happened and us obedient babysitters wandered along behind them without any clue what was in store for us. Sure enough when we got to where we were supposed to be no one told us anything else and we just sat around, wandered around, sometimes worried that we should be doing something. Exactly as my dream, mentally prepared, I took the opportunity to have as much fun as possible with the kids which is really preferable to sitting around complaining about the situation. I ended up having a great time. The kids seemed to be enjoying what was pretty much a day off school for them too. I’m not sure if they learned anything today but some days when I’m teaching I feel the same too!

Something I learned today
Black and white is always gray
Looking through the windowpane
I’m not inside your brain

In an effort to try and get the kids to at least learn or remember something, I would steal their hats and demand that they use English to ask for it back. They all eventually got their hats back – took a while for some of them.


Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful that I have the motivation and determination to get things done. This morning I weighed myself and the app on my phone tells me that I now have a normal BMI and no longer overweight. I’m proud of myself but the task is not over. I still need to lose a few more kilos and get more exercise. I know my weight will go up and down but I can keep heading in the right direction.

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