Saturday, January 16, 2010

A New Year in Bangkok



We arrived in the heat and humidity of Bangkok – what a shock after the snow and cold. However we think we were lucky to get out, as the winter UK weather just hasn’t got better. We were also badly jet-lagged (the layovers in Dubai and KL probably didn’t help) so crashed very early in the evening after attending our orientation meeting for the job fair.

We had a busy fair with lots of interviews and we also managed to catch the presentations of the schools we were particularly interested in. We also attended the presentation for our school, so people could come and ask us questions about life at the school or in Angola. There seemed to be lots of interest, which is a healthy sign for the school.

After much wrestling with the decision, we finally decided on Sunday to accept job offers for a school in Dubai. Despite taking hours to decide, and talking to as many different people as we could about it, once we made the decision, it felt like the right thing to do for us now. We are really excited. Ironically, it will put us much closer to the boys in Tanzania – about 5 hours vs the current 36 hours plus!

Our flight back was on Monday, so Sunday evening we visited Pantip Plaza for our “techie” fix, followed by a great Indian meal. On Monday morning we got up early and caught the ferry to Wat Arun – the temple of the dawn. Although we definitely weren’t there for dawn, we did catch the early morning light on the river and at the temple. We’d both been to the temple before, but it is so photogenic that it was an obvious choice with just a couple of hours to spare.

Our flights back to Angola were uneventful, but the stop-over in Dubai airport took on a new meaning now we know we’ll be using it so often! We arrived in Luanda around 3pm on Tuesday and Bill was one of the first in the immigration line – we were through in about 15 minutes – an all time Luanda record for us. We were very surprised to find that the luggage hall had been over-hauled since the last time we flew in – it now boasts 3 “proper” luggage conveyer belts and they even have signage up saying where to expect your bags. That in itself would have been a huge improvement, but to our total surprise, the bags started to appear not long after we arrived there. We actually got our bags & were out of the airport in just under an hour from landing – that is nearly 3 times faster than normal! (Unfortunately, when we swapped notes with other teachers, it appears that this record speed is not consistent – despite the new conveyor belts, some people still had a two hour wait for their luggage).

So, jetlagged again (although not as bad as the other direction) we had another very early night with a three day working week to deal with the next day. Back to school…