For the end of term celebration dinner I thought it a nice idea to write a haiku for each of the teachers I work with – an artistic test for myself. I printed them on A4, laminated, cut, hole-punched and cut and tied ribbons on each. I enjoyed the whole process.
UNO champ, waiting
Watching the new Thai drama
For a while, at the end of the working day, teachers would gather to play UNO before heading home. Fluke would sit in quietly, watching some Thai drama series or other on her iPad at the same time. With a sweet and lovely smile she was a vicious backstabber when it came to the game and often won. It was best not to sit next to her round the table!
You make it work, you go girl
Swing those hips wildly
All the male teachers in our building (and in most of the school) are gay and love getting dressed up for special events. They can be so spectacular and outrageous that it’s difficult not to get swept up in the occasion. JJ is, of course, one of them. A smart young guy who should’ve been born a girl.
Sleepy ginger boy
Wake up; the world wants you now
So, wake the fuck up
Dylan is from Northern Ireland and is here in Chiang Rai along with his many brothers, cousins and other relatives I’m sure. The brothers look so alike that they find it difficult to meet girls that other members of the family have not already met, Chiang Rai being a pretty small town to start with. Anyway, Dylan arrives at school each day well before he has actually woken up and being young he attracts the most attention from the other similarly aged female teachers.
Silky voice, smooth tune
Loud and proud; but wait, what’s this
Big boy is sleeping
KT, or Kate, is another male teacher, though not quite as outrageous, he loves to sing loudly and play fight with the female teachers. He is a big (and big hearted) guy and because of this he has a problem where he stops breathing in his sleep so wakes up all through the night. This affects him at work as he often nods off, sometimes mid song. There are many pictures and videos of him snoring away.
Stress, happiness, stress
Working hard for the future
Your reward will come
Champ is our hard working coordinator who gets a ton of (nonsensical) work dumped on him whilst also trying to implement things in a better way, hence his ever-swinging between stress and happiness. If efforts were truly rewarded in this world, he will achieve a lot. Lives with his boyfriend and supports the many LGBTQ+ kids in the school.
Dance under the moon
The wolf is crazy; no sleep
Sleep when you are dead
Amp, along with First, JJ and Tee, was one of the student teachers from the local university. She taught Chinese and her English was the best when it came to speaking but her understanding was very good. So good that she could play along well with jokes and she loved having a fun time, especially dancing.
Face reflects the moon
A laugh and smile; gone too soon
No more UNO now
First had a face that reminded me of a childhood story-book moon. A genuine personality and diligent worker it was sad to see her leave at the end of the term.
Love is in your heart
Impatient; where is the one?
Wait, don’t try so hard
Gratae is a loud, funny and self deprecating girl always looking for love advice from anyone. She is not so pretty on the outside but once you get to know her there is a sad vulnerability hidden there and when she is not hiding herself behind her defenses is a very nice person.
Soft and gentle girl
Turns out tough; always goes hard
Life of the party
Tee introduced herself as ‘Tee, as in PART-TEE!’ She is a chubby happy girl that I believe hides her abilities and real personality. Very likable, I’m glad she has stayed on here as a teacher.
Watch the students dance with joy
Always going forth
Mai has a striking looking feminine posture with a mushroom haircut. If you see him you will wonder what he is about. As far as I can tell he is a well respected teacher among the students, particularly as he will often play music and encourage dancing in his classes. Obviously he coordinates a lot of the stage show events the schools here seem to love. Mai is always the most outrageous cross dresser in the school. He is unrecognisable in a blonde wig and tight black dress.
No accident stops
Her from happiness and play
Another round, yes?
Aomsin recently had a motorbike accident that smashed one of her front teeth but that didn’t get her down. She will always be the first to want to play UNO.
Tag team with Gratae
Keep fighting, fighting today
Who talks the loudest?
China (pronounced Sheena) and Gratae appear to be best friends and once they are in a room together the volume is cranked to 11. This can be funny most times, but others, when trying to concentrate, becomes very distracting. One of China’s favourite phrases is to keep fighting.
Kru Feung Fah
A secret boyfriend
The sporty type? Shy? Humble?
Liaisons out of our sight
Feung Fah is a skinny, sporty girl that seeks to deny the fact she has a boyfriend for some reason. Her English is not the best but I can feel she has a good personality.
Good morning teacher
Big smile, warm welcome, let’s go
George greets everyone happily each morning, showing his face to let them know that he is here at school before quickly sneaking off to get coffee at his favourite cafe. Going out of school is not always accepted unless it is to the 7-11. So, whatever it is that needs to be done outside school, going to 7-11 is the default answer.
I am so happy and grateful for my creativity and ideas – they pushed me forward and I realise I can still do these things – even if I’m not very happy with them – I feel a little bit of that artistic streak again. It’s good. I’ve been writing a lot so I can combine that with presentation and push myself in new directions.