Malaysian Moments

This was our April 2023 break over the holiday of the Myanmar New Year holiday called Thingyan. Our trip started with a flight to Kuala Lumpur with the novelty of actually leaving the airport. We have been through KL Airport so many times that we probably know it better than Heathrow but just never got to leave before. We were immediately struck by the large number of skyscrapers on the way to the hotel.

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Thailand Trips

We recently had a long weekend and wanted to take the opportunity to visit our friends in Bangkok. They are stark reminders that things are far from normal in Myanmar as they both work for NGOs that cannot operate effectively in the country. Like many they left the country at around the same time we did but unlike us, have never returned.

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Cool Season

When we returned to Yangon in January we were very happy to feel that the cool season was still hanging around. This was the first year that I actually felt its arrival-when we first came to Myanmar our friend Dave had told me “one day you will feel a cool breeze and know that the cool season has arrived!” Well, for four years I waited for this magical moment and it never happened.

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Visitors & Vietnam

We had a great time in Cambodia and now it was time to jet off to Vietnam! Gav did forget to document one memorable part of our stay in Siem Reap though. We noticed in Phnom Penh that Cambodia had many different national breweries and we made it our mission to try as many of them as we could get our hands on. There are lots of choices-Angkor, the confusingly similarly named Anchor, Cambodia, Hanuman, you get the drift. They also have the amusingly named Krud Beer. Their tagline? “Good Times, Krud Times.” Maybe that’s what Dickens had written before his copy editor got to the manuscript, who knows. Anyway, obviously that was a must try.

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Return to Siem Reap

One of the big advantages of working in a school in South East Asia is a long break in December when the weather is usually pretty good. Our first year we went to Indonesia diving and then to Bagan. The next year was Sri Lanka right before the pandemic hit. Our third year we were stuck in Yangon and our fourth year we were basically stuck in Thailand and spent it in Chang Mai. After 2 years this was our next and last chance to travel in the region. We decided on going back to two of our favourite places namely the temple complex in Siem Reap in Cambodia and then Vietnam.

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Job Jamboree

I think we mentioned that we had resigned our jobs and were looking for new ones to start in the summer of 2023. The international school job cycle usually starts in around September/October of the year before you want to start a new job. This is when you are asked by the school if you are intending to sign on for another year. In our case we had already informed the school back in July but jobs don’t really start appearing until mid-September so we couldn’t really do anything until then. The whole process is a bit stressful as you usually have to resign before you get another job.

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Bagan Again

A few weeks ago we had a 2 day break from school. This was actually the Thursday and Friday of the week before Thanksgiving as we no longer get a holiday on actual Thanksgiving. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have that day off with this specific population of students and there are actually a lot of Myanmar holidays in November so a few years ago it was decided that we would shift the vacation days to coincide with something that most people actually celebrated!

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Komodo to Quasimodo

Well, we had a great trip to Komodo but it’s been a bit of a downward spiral health-wise since we returned! Three weeks ago Gav started complaining that it felt like he had a bit of something stuck in his eye. I told him he was fine and also that THIS time I was not taking him to a hospital to have it taken care of. A few summers ago while we were visiting London Gav decided to clean out our gutters or something and blew some leaf detritus into his eyeball in the process. I ended up having to take him to the London Eye Hospital and wait ages in the urgent care area until someone could q-tip the stuff out. When he was still complaining the next day I figured he had pink eye so I gave him some drops for that.

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Mantas and ‘Modos

Is the world finally getting back to ‘normal’? I guess not if you live in China and especially if you’re an expat there. Lindsey looks everyday at the major recruitment site for international teachers and has to scroll for miles through the Chinese jobs before she gets to other countries. It’s not back to normal for Russians and Ukrainians and not for the people here either. One personal ray or normal for us was the opportunity to go on an actual holiday during our October break.

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One of Gav’s duties as the acting director this year was to get all of the new staff into Yangon and get them settled into their lives here. In the past, new faculty have all flown to Bangkok where we had about 4 days to meet everyone, have a few meetings and get our visas to enter Myanmar. The school has since decided to do away with that first step and just have everyone get their visas in their home countries and then arrive here and have a bit more time to settle in before the craziness of school starts. I think this is a great change but it was all up to Gav (and me!) to organize the intro week.

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