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Videos of the Quake in Myanmar(Burma)

I got hold of a VCD from my neighbour whom bought the disc at Tachilek.  Its actually filled with video footages of the aftermath of the quake.  They are selling the disc for 25Baht each.  Hope they are using that money to donate to the needys.

Anyway, I ripped 3 of the more interesting footages from the VCD and uploaded to youtube.  Here's the playlist ( in case you can't see the embedded video below.


1st experience of a major earthquake

6.8 to be exact, although some of the news says its a 7 in Myanmar.  The experience is really quite scary.  I was in my studies in front of my computer when it started.  Things in the room started vibrating and then the whole world just shook.  I have to hold onto my computer and stuff as I was worried they might just dropped off the table.  My portable hardisk actually did fell (lucky it still works) and things above my cupboard fell onto the ground.  It lasted for about 5 to 10 seconds (I just lost track of time) but it felt like ages.  After it stopped.  I ran out to comfort my dog Cindy.  Wife and the kids are at a friend's house just 2 blocks away from our house.

I grabbed my phone and was trying to call her when the second quake came.  This time not as intense but a bit longer.  For a moment I really thought I might die there.  This is only 6.8!! I really can't imagine the Japanese or the Chinese who got hit by a 9 once.   You can see from the intensity graph (taken from USGS website) below and you can see Maesai is actually close to the centre of the quake.

After the 2 initial shock.  We kept getting aftershocks once in a while until around 1030pm.  I tried calling my wife but the network was too congested.  All our neighbours are in the street, worried sick and afraid of going back to their house.  I finally managed to get through her and they are fine.  Phew!  She's a bit hysteric and could not drive back home.  

So I walked to her friend's house to fetch her.  On the way, people are in the street discussing and calling others on the phone.  There is a real concern and panic as there are news that some houses in Maesai has collasped from the quake.  I drove the family back and the village guards came and ask us to prepare our torches as they might be turing off the electricity for safety purposes.  

All the neighbours were camping out instead of sleeping in their houses.  There were rumours of more quakes to come.  Wife is so scared that she wants to sleep outside too.  So lucky for us, she bought a tent and I set it up for her.  The kids love it (like camping) hehe.  All the while, I was checking the news on the Internet via my iPad.  

At around 11pm, another quake came and go.  Not as intense as the first 2 though so I felt more relaxed.  We slept quite late last night and I was woken again by another aftershock this moring at around 730am.



It's harder than I thought...

To be hired as an English Teacher in Thailand.  I have heard about the discrimination against non western folks in securing a job as an English Teacher.  They have this silly idea that a "farang" (Ang Mo) will be a better English teacher even if he may not come from a native English speaking country (Eg, France and Germany)

Its a bit discouraging but I have already prepared myself for this reality to haapen actually.  So most probably I will need to activate my Plan B instead;  Seting up my own little private tuition center here in Maesai or Chiang Mai.  Starting a buisness is no joke as it involves more money and time.  Moreover, I might need to work out my work permit by myself if I'm not employed by a school.  Which is the one major reason I wished to get employed. To understand how to get that work permit first hand before I go on my own.

Anyway, I still have till end of the month to get a job.  April will be tough as Songkran is in that month and I beleive the schools stop their hiring process during that period.  May will be the new school term so I have less than 2 weeks before reality sets in.


Another graduation performance.

I'm back for a week and I only managed to have some free time today.  Wife and the kids are now at her relative's place for a day.  So I could spend some time sorting out my stuff.

For the past week.  I had been applying for a teaching position in Chiang Rai area.  Sad to say till now, I had yet to received a call from the schools I applied for.  3 in total and I guess I might need to change my stragtegy in terms of getting hired here.

There are many teaching positions in Thailand but most of them are in Bangkok, which is the place I hated most about Thailand and so that will be my very very last option for me.

Enough about the job hunt :).  This entry was about last night where my girl performed again in her school's graduation dinner ceremony.  This is her 3rd actually.

The 1st time you can view it here.   The 2nd time I wasn't around and wife forgot to charge the video camera so it was not recorded.  This time I got my NEX-3 to film it.  Its a pretty funny dance routine as you can watch it below.  

The dance started slow (I have never seen the rehersals) and then it suddenly just break into a crazy dance rountine midway (around 2:15 if you want to skip)

Food at the dinner party was pretty good and the atmosphere is pretty good.  Although some parents are the usual "kiasu" style of pushing way in front of the stage, blocking everyone's view of the show.  I actually have to hold my camera high up in the air to shoot this video.  All thanks to  the tilted screen.  For the 1st few seconds I actually focused on the wrong girl until wife pointed out to me... (they are all dressed up as frogs!!) If you find the video shaking... well, it's because I'm giggling.. hehe.. 

I got an 'A'!

A- actually but still an A ... hehehe.  Pretty happy about it and surprised I was placed 3rd in the course.  Seems like all the hard work paid off.  I enjoyed my stay here in Samui and met some wonderful people and friends here.  Tomorrow I would be flying back to Chiang Rai and I need to start to look for a job at the new school near my house.  Hopefully this certificate would help.

All in all.  It was a great experience and my doubts of being an English teacher has been thrown out of the window.  I will write more once I'm back at home in Maesai.  Still have things to pack..  For those who are interested, you can click here to view some digital shots I took during my stay here. :)


Last week in Samui

Wow!  I just realised I have been MIA for almost 2 weeks.... :P  And I actually boasted that I will be writing more often.  Anyway, just to summarised.  For the past 2 weeks, I had my lessons and TP (teacher's practice)  Most of the free time I have are actually for me to study or prepare for my TPs.  Which is actually quite a lot of work if you want to have a good lesson.  Especially so with the kids in the primary school.  We have to come up with the lesson plans which can be quite tricky sometimes.  It needs to be balanced with learning and having fun (playing games)

I did managed to have some more free time to explore the island.  I actually spend the first weekend to the Na Meung Waterfalls.  Took some photos of them on my Hassy.  I also visited Koh Panhgan (an island next to Samui) just last Saturday to take a break from the main Island.  Its a bit more laid back over there and the beaches there are actually much cleaner compared to Samui.  Think the tourists will be flocking there soon...

Anyway I have my Grammer Test and my last TP tomorrow on Monday.  There are 2 more assignments but they are mostly done.  One of them is a 1to1 teacher's practice that I did with an employee of the resort.  I need to submit a report on Wednesday.   If everything goes well.. Thursday I will get my TEFL certificate and I would be leaving the island on Friday.  I have booked my tickets back to BKK and Chiang Rai.  I can't wait to get back to Maesai, I have been missing my wife and kids since week 2.. :P