One of the rules of living in Asia, perhaps the first and most fundamental one, is to expect the unexpected. This is true in most areas of life but particularly of the ESL world. Classes are cancelled last minute, students are added or removed without any notice, Friday nights are claimed for work dinners with your boss, again with little notice.
This all becomes second nature after a couple of years. What’s new for me these days is how much the school cares about our clothing. To me, the idea that teachers even have to have specific outfits is completely baffling. Especially for those of us teaching primary and kindergarten students. Wearing ties and skirts and tight clothes is the opposite of practical or logical. That’s not just a Thailand thing, of course.
But what maybe is a Thailand thing, or at least something I haven’t seen elsewhere, is that seem to delight in thinking of new clothes for us to wear. Mostly we wear red polos but on Buddhist days (once or twice a week) we have white tshirts to wear and because the King’s birthday is this month we have yellow shirts to wear once a week and now we have traditional clothes to wear once or twice a week too.
It’s not too much a bother, though it’s sometimes hard to remember the correct outfit required for that day. I have to wonder about who is getting paid to think up new outfits and my western brain feels like they could perhaps spend that time on something more productive.
But it’s all part of expecting the unexpected.