From Chiang Mai, I took a bus (with other teachers from my TESOL course) to Bangkok where we had orientation with our teaching agency. Many incoming ESL teachers (who don’t know the process of teaching abroad) are hired by agents rather than directly by the school. Agents “streamline” the process and are supposed to act as a middle ground between the school and foreign teachers.
To be 100% honest, I am not a fan of my agent…they are not helpful or knowledgeable. More often than not, I find myself taking the initiative to ask questions to clear up any confusion. They also take quite a large chunk of our salary for themselves. Rumor has it they take almost half of what the school pays them to have us. In no world do they do enough to deserve that kind of money…Sure, they help with the work permit but they don’t do much beyond that. At one point I had to remind them to take our bank account information so that we could get paid! Not to mention, we had to sign a contract stating that if we were to leave the agency we would have to leave our school (even if the school wanted us to stay). By contract, we would be banned from teaching at the school for 2 years.
We spent 2 days in Bangkok for orientation with our agent. While there, we celebrated our friend Kate’s birthday in the city. It was quite the adventure. Getting a taxi was a nightmare as was the heavy traffic into the city center. It took us close to 2 hours to get to the city center and to make matters worse it was monsooning. I have never seen so much lightening and rain in my entire life.
Looking like wet dogs we arrived at Sky Bar, one of the famous rooftop bars in Bangkok. Sky Bar is 63 floors above the city. It was also where The Hangover 2 was filmed. At first, we weren’t allowed to go outside because of the storm but once the rain ceased they opened the outside bar.
You could feel the residual electricity from the storm. Our hair was standing straight up and every time lightening struck in the distance, an electric tingle shot down our bodies. Such an indescribable feeling: terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.