So mua wan-nii, pom luuk saan pasa enkri. That is, yesterday I finished with the practice teaching. To celebrate the moment, I and the other three volunteers who were at the school went up to a big room where the two classes we had taught gathered, and we sang and danced for at least an hour. They had a karaoke machine set up and the teachers and students took turns singing us Thai songs, and there was a students vs. volunteers dance-off, and then each student gave us each a flower, and a bunch gave us cards they had made. It was similar to things that have been done for me in the past when I finished practicum/student teaching sessions, but like times twenty. Which was fairly ridiculous. And awesome. We also posed with kids and teachers for a whole slew of pictures, and they gave us these awesome floral print Thai shirts that we're supposed to wear for the Thai New Year on April 13th (which is apparently a nation-wide water fight/huge party, which I am very much looking forward to).
Anyhow, as if that weren't enough, a while after I got home and was trying to get my mee (mom) to let me help with dinner, she informed me that pa and I were going to eat just a little and then go into town, where we would be eating more. Like a good boy, I said "OK," and ate my bowl of rice and fried egg, then hopped in the truck. Twenty minutes later we pulled into the great big lot where the Saturday market is, where there were great big ferris wheel-looking lights, a few hundred tables set up, and a stage with huge speakers. At which point I said, "Oh, I've done this before!"
So I started eating and drinking, and eventually I got pulled up front to dance on the ground in front of the stage, and I eventually realized that the singers this time were actually doing karaoke! Though, I don't think they were just anybody... But I definitely recognized people singing who I had seen shortly before walking around socializing with other attendees.
I found some other volunteers who had been brought along, and it turned out that none of us actually knew WHAT was being celebrated. It was postulated that it MIGHT have something to do with an imminent election, but nobody really knew for sure. I think this lack of understanding actually made it better.
Today we had our "mid-term training evaluations," and I was told that I am "on track" to being invited to shed my trainee status and become a full-fledged volunteer. So that's exciting.
Dag. I feel like I keep on thinking of things I want to mention on here, and then when I have a chance to actually post, I can't remember them. All I can remember is that I'm not remembering. Bah.
Oh, I got a Thai haircut. That's something. It's not THAT different from an American haircut, except that I didn't know how to describe what I wanted (though I DID learn to say that I like my sideburns, "pom chop jahn"). It's shorter on the sides and in back than I'm used to, and not much came off the top, but it's neater than it was, so that's good. I also got my first ever barber-done shave (done with a straight razor), which was pretty cool for the experience, though I don't think I'd bother again. I gave myself a better, less painful shave with my month-old bic (so maybe the ads talking about 3 blades versus 1 DO have a point, though I'm still skeptical about 5 versus 3). Anyhow, haircut? 40 baht (just over $1). Apparently a woman's cut with shampoo, scalp massage and styling is 100 baht (like $3). So, come get your hair cut? I dunno. You wanted to know about that stuff, right?
Peace Corps out!