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If you told people, they would never believe it

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by MsBuzy, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I'm not blaming anyone... I thought the theme of the thread was experiences that you probably wouldn't have had if you weren't an expat teacher.
    MsBuzy and yasf like this.
  2. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    Finding a cow tethered outside the school kitchen was surprising.
    Seeing it being butchered out there the following day was not quite what I expected. At least we knew the meat for dinner that week was fresh.
    rosiecg likes this.
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    The first earth tremor I experienced was when I was teaching in Lincolnshire. The second was when I was enjoying a sundowner in my fourteenth floor apartment in Santiago de Chile. The ficus tree in a pot in the corner of the room suddenly began to thrash about like a live thing. But the earth really moved one Friday afternoon in El Salvador when leftists blew up a nearby Esso station. Before detonating the charge, the guerrillas cleared the area of traffic and moved the Esso employees to a safe distance. This was the last phase of what had been a very bloody conflict and both sides had realised that gestures won more friends than atrocities. Out for a Sunday drive, we were stopped at an FMLN road block and asked politely 'Would you like to contribute to our campaign fund?' We duly tipped up $10.00 dollars, were given an official receipt and sent on our way with thanks. We knew that they had a tendency to shoot out the tyres of people who said 'No'.
    MsBuzy and yasf like this.
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    The guidance counselor, a defrocked priest and co-habitator with the female director, spirited away in the dead of night after it was discovered he had been changing the grades of certain favored female students.
    Despite an internationally recognized auditing firm’s official report that multiple grades had indeed been changed, the director (the co-habitator) publicly maintained that nothing had happened and no shenanigans had been uncovered.
    That was just my first year as a teacher.
    MsBuzy likes this.
  5. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    @576 sorry...it was that it was followed by the comment that your following 2 schools were far saner places to work. I was simply making a jokey comment and didn’t mean to be critical.
    576 likes this.
  6. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    I don't believe in co-incidences.

    I'm checking Interpol's most wanted list but cannot find any reference to 'the hippo'. Not your real name is it?
    s0830887, SPC2 and yasf like this.
  7. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    While you're there, have look for this character...convicted of sex offences in India. Absconded while on bail (allegedly)

    He's definitely on their Red warrant list

    Ex-SAS (lie), ex professional swimmer (lie), taught "Harry Potter" (lie), Pope asked him to repaint the Sistine Chapel (lie), world's highest IQ (lie)

    Multiple passports in names of Paul Meekin, Colin Meekin, Calvin Corness etc

    Last seen in Kuwait
    Luvsskiing and aquabutterfly like this.
  8. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Perso that I worked with last term worked in a certain Middle East country. They were paid in cash, including a large bonus. All in plain brown envelopes. No pay slip or any deductions at all.
    I don't understand why they left.
    Luvsskiing and MsBuzy like this.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    My dear froggy friend, hippos are well known to be calm and gentle herbivores, unless you happen to be a silly tourist who gets too close to the riverbank. Then we'll kill you.
    TusitalaH, frogusmaximus and MsBuzy like this.
  10. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Ungainly as it is, the hippopotamus is the world's deadliest large land mammal, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. Hippos are aggressive creatures, and they have very sharp teeth.
    And you would not want to get stuck under one; at up to 2,750kg they can crush a human to death.
  11. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Before I knew better I have been in a boat within ten feet of hippos on the Shire River. My sons were frequent visitors to Lake Malawi and said that the mere sound of a surfacing hippo would clear the beach in five seconds flat.

    I've mentioned elsewhere that Mrs M's school kept various 'pets' including a sizeable crocodile but the most aggressive members of the collection were the pint-sized duiker deer which wouldn't hesitate to overturn an unwary human and gore him while he was on the ground.

    A good trivia question: Name the three most deadly species in Africa. Folk who don't know the continent will plump for such answers as lion, elephant, leopard. My own response (no idea if it's 'officially' true) would be mosquito, hippo and man.
    Luvsskiing, frogusmaximus and tb9605 like this.
  12. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter


    2 / 3 sir!

    Mosquito 750,000 a year
    Man 437,000
    Snakes 100,000
    Dogs 35,000 (rabies?)
    Freshwater snails 20,000
    Assassin bugs 12,000
    Hippo comes in quite low on 500 (same number as elephants)
  13. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Not bad for a guess, then. Amazed at some of the others but ought to have remembered bilharzia. Our younger lad had non-recurrent malaria twice. My father contracted a recurrent strain while helping Monty fight Rommel. My mother would pile on every blanket and quilt in the house and the whole heap would shake and give off wavy vapour trails like a frame from a Disney cartoon. Burial records of my family's church show that malaria was rife in 17th and 18th century Lancashire. I gather that like a number of other diseases of yesteryear it's making a comeback.
  14. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    Chauffeur driven cars and shooting were the main causes of death I witnessed first hand in Africa, with malaria taking the librarian's baby son.
    The principal's driver's wife died after a miscarriage on the kitchen floor, which was definitely one of the worst things I ever saw. Most shocking, though, was his statement that she was carrying a demon and that the lord had purged her. Still makes me shiver thinking about it all.
  15. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    I got bitten by a mozzie yesterday
    I bet the wee barsteward had a hangover this morning
    MsBuzy likes this.
  16. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The school principal absconded from school for 9 days for family reasons without informing any members of staff, nobody noticed.
  17. ed717

    ed717 New commenter

    I'm in the process of writing a book too! I'll definitely check yours out! Looking for proofreaders very soon if any takers? Called 'A language teacher's diary: Wine or curry for breakfast?' Hoping to have it out on Kindle edition by December all being well...
    Luvsskiing and Mermaid7 like this.
  18. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I am my own proof-reader. Of course the publisher also has a proof-reader but in my experience they make a bilzup of it if left to their own devices and will insist on 'correcting' things that need no correcting. Commenting on a photo of my formidable Great Aunt Lily at her brother's shotgun wedding, I wrote that 'She looks ready to knit at the foot of any scaffold'. The eejit proof-reader, who had clearly not read 'A Tale of Two Cities', changed 'knit' to 'kneel'. To proof-read books one either needs to have read some books or at least to check with the author before mangling his prose.

    Best of luck with your book. My best proof-reading tip is 'Do it in 1,000 word chunks and read it aloud to your long-suffering nearest and dearest'. Mrs M always has a special mention in my books, not least for suffering with me line-by-line.
  19. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

  20. ed717

    ed717 New commenter

    Thank you very much for your advice. I must agree that I have very little faith in proofreaders - I have seen some real shockers where they have obviously just taken the money and skim read through.

    Back on topic... being sent home suddenly from school due to the implementation of a military curfew has happened a couple of times.
    Having a Maths teacher sitting next to me eating his rice and curry with his hands (as most people do in South East Asia) and then shaking the rice off, causing some food to flick onto my planner and onto my face.
    Having no A/C or even fans in 37 degrees temperatures... being referred to as a 'fair skinned teacher' :confused: seeing teachers asleep on the desk, witnessing the headteacher referring to parents as 'useless' and 'clueless' in whole school assemblies! School changing the term dates giving just a week's notice and asking me to change or cancel flights or other plans... the list is endless!

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