A Year in Bangkok – Christmas Day

25 12 2010

Apparently it’s Christmas Day! I know this because we should have been moving house today but we haven’t quite got everything ready yet so we’ll be moving in a few days time. As you doubtless realise, Thailand is a Buddhist country so the old mid-winter festival isn’t a big deal over here and, although it has been said before, my attitude towards it errs on the side of “Bah, humbug!”

Yesterday was a good day in school though. We had some Christmas activities for the students. The secondary students, in Thai and English, told the ‘true history’ of Christmas which many of the teachers said they had never heard before. Younger students sang some Christmas songs – standard fare such as Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells and so on while the secondary students chose to sing “Do They Know It’s Christmas’ to a standing ovation, even though it is not a well known song here – they got it from a CD I lent them. The kids performed two fairy stories and the kindergarten kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves doing a dance routine to ‘Rock’n’Roll Body Parts’.

I also got quite a lot of gifts which was surprising as that isn’t a tradition here either. Some parents had sent me gifts and some colleagues did but, especially moving, were the visits from my students to my room bringing me packets of crisps, biscuits and sweets which they had bought with their pocket money.

Many Thai English teachers have extremely poor English skills and, yesterday, I was presented with an essay written by such a person. I was so gobsmacked by it that I thought I would share it with you today. And yes, it really was written as one sentence without any punctuation! The title is ‘Football World History’ so that at least gave me some idea of what it is about. Here then is the full, uncensored and original version:

The word is that football happen in the world officially when date 8 December 2406 Buddhist eras free the back rub in V a woman London England and arrive at date 21 May 2447 Buddhist Eras are day first of forming federation foreign countries football or FIFA and in year 2463 Buddhist Eras are when step from president association football France position comes in to control FIFA bridle by have crowd oval abundantly a donkey be honorary trusting secretary just this at participate important build wasp the supporting has football world arrangement and ball world cup name that for honorable old person push forward the very important person with.

I will leave you with that, apologies for no photos this time, and I wish you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas time.

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