Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

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Milord
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by Milord » Sat May 31, 2014 2:28 am

Oh, it gets better ...

I'm waiting for more demand.
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by taabarang » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:06 am

This is a continuation of posts which appeared on pages 8 & 9 of this thread which describe in detail how I ended up living cheaply in rural Cambodia.

After I left Ventiane(the sleepiest city for its size I have ever seen) I crossed the border and grabbed a train headed for Malaysia. In northern Thailand I was joined by a gentleman who spoke excellent English. I inquired what he did for a living and he informed me that he was a retired monk.
A bit later the train stopped and carts of food and drink were soon being pushed by vendors down the aisles of the car. He reached for and purchased some kabobs of meat and began feasting. I was rather shocked since I thought all monks ate vegetarian fare only and no, I didn't know squat about Buddhism in those days. So, apparently I gave him a look that prompted him to inquire, "Is something the matter?" to which I replied and thereby revealed my ignorance of Buddhism, " Well, I know you are retired, but I thought you wouldn't eat meat." To which he responded, "All life is an illusion." I feared a Philosophy 101 lecture on the nature of reality in the wings so I just shut up. At which point he leaned forward smiling and said, "Well all life is illusion,
but some illusions taste better that others." I will always remember this man as the most enlightened Buddhist I ever met.

My next stop was Penang and I there were so many illusions there that tasted better than the last one that I had just eaten that I was truly in Pig Heaven. From there months were spent in Java with really nothing memorable. I did like the place and did apply for work, but unfortunately the Brits had the nuts on the market and were not about a hire an American peasant whose English they doubtlessly found quaint. To which it must be added I am not gifted at interviewing. A huge percentage of the teaching positions I applied for were daunting. I usually felt that they were not looking for a real teacher, but for a paid twirp the administration could count on. So, it was back to Cambodia where the some parents were still afraid to send their kids to school, so not many doors to knock on. Vietnam was my next port of call; salaries were better, food was cheaper and the students were better educated and eager. I liked it well enough, but the mystical call of Cambodia still entranced me like the Circe's call and I went back, never to leave again.

To say that the offerings were poor would be an understatement. My former employer who had promised me "protection from high places" had fled the country and there was a large selection of jobs at rather dodgy places. I finally accepted one at a school embarrassingly called "Banana School" It was a part time job but it kept the wolf away from the door. I was teaching a high level evening course to mostly older adults. Most were marginally passing and the rest were marginally failing so abilities were about equal. There was however one person on the attendance sheet who never showed up until the day of the final exam. He walked into the room and tell me quite authoritatively that he was indeed the person who had never attended nor had ever needed to attend. At which point I said, "OK, but if we were in my country we would both laugh and you would leave, but since we're not, I still need to see a piece of ID so I can verify that you and the name on the list are one and the same." At this point, he looked me straight in the face and said quite haughtily, "Do you know who my father is?" I lost it in my ire and replied, "No, I don't, didn't your mother tell you?" Well, he understood enough English to be properly insulted and left the room. I continued to proctor the test when a voice boomed over the PA, Mr. X please come to the office immediately!" I went down entered the inner sanctum of Administration where a man I had never seen before stood up from behind the desk, removed his glasses and calmly asked me, "Do you know who his father is?" To which I replied, "Jesus Christ, doesn't anybody know who his father is?" I was fired on the spot, which I found to a weak retribution. To be sure, this was the worst job, but the rest were bad too; they more resembled factory jobs. Some even had punch in and out clocks. Quite simply we were not respected as teachers but as tokens of a developed future Cambodia was awaiting. By the way, I found out later that "his father" was a special adviser to HE, working out of Singapore and his son worked with him.

The last part will be posted soon.
Last edited by taabarang on Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:45 am

Good addition LokTa. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the next/last installment.
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Milord
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by Milord » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:58 am

Good story, esp., "Didn't your Mother tell you?" lol
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by MoodyMonkey » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:16 am

Haven't read the first two installments, but I will now that I've read that.

Why on earth would a Cambodian guy with a connected father working out of Singapore enroll in a school named Banana?
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by Milord » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:34 am

Because he was in Banana Republic.
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by taabarang » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:30 pm

Moody, it's hard to say for sure, but here are uncertainties that must be dealt with:

1) Who knows what school was entered on his diploma.
2) His daddy and the guy behind the desk I had never met before most likely had entered a gentleman' s agreement that his son would receive a diploma whether he attended or not.
3) His daddy and the school directors were cronies
4) Any combination of the above.
Once you've read one of her posts all the rest are just a remix.
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by ExPenhMan » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:20 pm

Fan-bloody-tastic.

What kind of money were you living on in those banana republic days? (to keep on topic ;-))
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by StroppyChops » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:23 pm

:popcorn:
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Re: Those Living Cheaply Under a Grand

Post by horace » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:05 pm

MoodyMonkey wrote:Haven't read the first two installments, but I will now that I've read that.

Why on earth would a Cambodian guy with a connected father working out of Singapore enroll in a school named Banana?

Because his father was a cheap cunt, simple.however, I've taught a number of sons and daughters at "one rung less than the best places" and generally these higher ranking parents are alright, and never had one who pulled out the card before.


PS sorry if a meesy post but been to snow's wake
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