Contest Winners!!

I have to admit that I never thought this day would come. The contest that I announced 2 weeks ago has reached a definitive conclusion. A quick recap for those who may have missed the contest post: it posed the following question: “Which will happen first: Will I start substitute teaching? Will our apartment’s pool finally be ‘swimmable,’ or will Christmas come?” I wouldn’t generally call myself a pessimist, but life in Thailand thus far has made me lean towards the Christmas option. In the end, though, to mix a metaphor, my empty-glass was half-filled when this happened:

Note the pleasant concrete structures that the apartment owners built around the neighbours that refused to sell their property.

That’s right. The pool is finally drained and filled!!

Ahhh. We’ve come so far.

I think the school/apartment management finally clued in to the simmering rage that was threatening to blow the top off this apartment building. Turns out that residents don’t particularly appreciate being forced to sign leases for overpriced units that don’t contain the amenities they were promised. In order to placate us, fixing the pool was a smart move. Enough ranting, though. The pool is fixed, and we are rejoicing.

Rejoicing with Jacqueline and Keeley, two of my favourite southern belles.

In terms of contest winners, the situation is a little more interesting. While I do appreciate all the supportive thoughts about my job prospects, these votes did not win you the amazing prize package of chocolate/Chang/cheese/undying respect. In fact, only 2 people picked the right answer, and both attached modifications to those answers. One of the winners is blog reader/admiral in training seahorne, who managed to simultaneously guess correctly and insult Todd in the process. The second winner is none other than my soul/room-mate T-bone, who also predicted that the pool would break again before either Christmas or subbing occurred. There is still time for your dreams/predictions to come true, Todd.

We salute the winners.

Seahorne, you have my undying blog-world respect. Well done. Todd, you may buy yourself a Chang on your way home. Just make sure that you use your own allowance.

Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who voted!!

I have no job! Part one of umpteen billion

Life has been a little craptastic around here recently. This is for a couple of reasons. The first is the fact that – you guessed it – our apartment complex is still experiencing drainage issues. While our toilet is functional, our entire apartment is permeated by the rich scent of raw sewage. This is particularly aromatic, because it is delicately interlaced with the smell of rusting pipes. It manages to be simultaneously odd and unpleasant.

Something else that is simultaneously odd and unpleasant: the water in the canal behind our house

The second reason that life is craptastic is that I recently bit into the reality sandwich called “I don’t have a job.” This reality sunk in as all my little teaching buddies frolicked off to work, and I could no longer take shelter in their welcoming ranks.

Riding public transit with a bunch of cute teachers

Now, being jobless is sucky on a couple of levels. On the big-picture/vague/nebulous level, it sucks because I am trapped in a strange land of introspection and soul searching. “What should I do with my life? Who am I?” Sometimes, it gets dire, and Oprah-isms start floating around the ol’ grey matter: “I should just follow my bliss. But what is my bliss? What is the meaning of bliss?”

This is what statements like “follow your bliss” make me think of

On a more practical/pragmatic/painfully obvious level, being jobless sucks because you don’t get paid. Moving to Thailand has been a financial adventure as much as anything. I won’t reveal the secrets of our finances, but let’s just say that they’ve taken a bit of a slap-chop: Thailand’s famous smiles don’t stem from the fact that people are making serious coin here.

Todd doesn’t need anything as mundane as money to make him smile

So whether it’s to stop the (Oprah) voices in my head, or to line my pockets with something other than lint, I need to find a job. My search has had to overcome a few roadblocks including our sketchy WiFi connection, the Olympics (“but the athletes NEED my moral support, Todd!”), and some annoying culture shock-esque symptoms (see my post on culture shock under Ruminations), but I’ve managed to apply for a few jobs, mostly with non-profits and expat-publications. I haven’t heard back from anyone yet.

I was feeling pretty down about the whole process today – craptastic would be an accurate description. However, one of the job postings that I found on Craigslist Thailand cheered me considerably. Please note: I am NOT embellishing this advertisement.

From the Non-Profit jobs section of Craigslist Thailand:

“Looking for Old Lady Indian or pakistani for 1 day to attend party (Bangkok)”

“Looking for an old and decent lady at least 60 years old indian or pakistani, preferably Muslim, 
no work only have to attend a party as a relative,
will get full respect as an elder in the family,
will be paid well,
please reply with picture as appearance is very important.”

Suddenly, life went from craptastic to super-fantastic.

Just to make this a little more interactive, here’s a question for you all: Would you rather:

A)    Get paid a lot for doing something that is only marginally interesting to you;

B)    Get paid only a little for doing something that is very interesting to you; or

C)    Get paid a moderate amount to dress up as an Old Lady Indian or Pakistani

Leave a comment and let me know what you’d choose!