Monday, June 28, 2010

Gainfully employed

First the really good news: I’ve found a job! Teaching English, mostly to children, somewhere exotic. For various reasons I’m not going to say where just yet, at least not on a public blog. Only my family and friends (on Facebook anyway) are aware of where I’m planning to go.

I knew that my potential employer was showing interest several days ago, just as I was setting off for Phuket. The next day, after an interview I’d over-prepared for (always the best way), he emailed me a contract to consider. Having chatted again to him today, I’ve verbally agreed to take the job. Apart from a few nerves, I’m really excited.

In truth, I’ve done hardly anything touristy during my time on Phuket and I’m leaving tomorrow. I’ve been too concerned with more important matters (i.e. work and the Doctor Who finale). Mass-market holiday islands aren’t really my scene anyway; apart from a couple of strolls along the beach and round the shopping malls, I’ve hardly left my hotel.

One of the best things about this job offer, though - which stems from me shrugging aside the nagging, irrational fear that if I’m not careful, I’ll wind up in a gutter drinking meths out of a paper bag - is that it’s made me loosen the purse-strings and spend cash almost like a proper tourist, a habit I hope will continue in the eight whole days I have left before I fly home from Bangkok.

Actually, I’d made a start on this before the interview was even on the cards, when I‘d reserved a room over the internet. Since Phuket’s not a budget resort, I’d resigned myself to paying normal hotel rates for the three days minimum I was planning to stay here. However, because of a mix-up on the hotel’s part, the type of room I’d been promised was unavailable, so they bumped me up to the penthouse suite for the same price.

It wasn’t all that impressive - more like a small bedroom with a reasonably plush sitting room attached - but for about £23 a night (three to six times what I’d normally pay for accommodation) I couldn’t complain. Not when I’d forked out nearly as much for a poky room in Heathrow Travelodge six months ago.

When my three days were up I moved to a more basic room, mainly to use the wifi and continue my employment negotiations on Skype.

Now all that’s left is for me to make my way north to Bangkok and come home. Unfortunately, to do that involves travelling along a thin, lengthy strip of mediocrity and I’m bored with beach resorts in any event.

I could do it all in a 16-hour bus ride but that would be knackering and mean another week in Bangkok, so instead I’m going to split the journey into more manageable chunks.

A week on the road, a couple of months in Blighty and before you know it, it’ll be time for me to settle down again. And you know what? I’m really looking forward to those last two bits.

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