Getting by with English is not particularly easy in Laos, but it is possible. English is only spoken very sparsely and generally you will only find a local who can speak English in towns and places that attract a lot of tourists so challenges will await more adventurous travelers who like to get off the beaten track and go on to explore less popular, but equally astounding corners of this beautiful country. Good thing is that Laotians are genuinely nice people so finding a way to communicate, even if none of you can speak the language of another is easy.
Vietnam and China remain the most challenging countries of Asia where virtually nobody speaks English, and I’m talking nothing, nada, zero English – not even two or three basic words, like “Hello” or “Yes”. In countries like that, unless you are able to pick up the local language to help you along, you’ll be having fun times trying to get basic necessities, as even ordering food in restaurants will be a challenge. You won’t find any menus in English, only in native language so you’ll be shooting blanks when pointing at an item in the menu, hoping it’s not chicken stomachs spiced up with legs of cockroaches.
After Vietnam and China which are without doubt the most challenging countries for an English speaking traveler to visit, Laos lingers as close third. Thailand used to be a challenge where upon my first visit I would talk to two dozen taxi drivers in Bangkok none of which spoke a word of English. And that was Bangkok – imagine what it was like in rural areas. But strangely enough, another visit a year later and all of a sudden those people in countless 7/11s tell me the total price in English or ask me in English whether I’d like a bag with my purchase. I was there a year ago and nobody would ever have a clue what I was talking about when I asked for a bag. Thailand is now much easier a country for an English speaker to get by than it used to be just a year ago but Laos still has a long way to go to reach similar levels.
Either way, friendly nature of Laotians along with their genuine smiles and undying willingness to help will make any visitor’s stay enjoyable and fulfilling. From my own perspective, even though there was constant language barrier, I’ve never actually felt lost. Instead, wherever I went, the embrace and appreciation of my presence was evident with many hands and mouth ready to interrupt whatever they are doing to offer their help should you look confused or somehow feel uneasy. Best of all, in Laos, the people will help you with genuine intentions to help, not to scam you or rip you off like it happens in Cambodia where I was prior to coming to Laos.
All in all, even though few people speak English in Laos, you’ll find that genuine will to help goes a long way even if language barrier prevents verbal communication.
This whole road trip idea was planned out to be a surprise for Ha and her daughter. I knew Ha couldn’t score a normal job in Cambodia – being both Vietnamese (keep in mind that Cambodians are extremely racist – just ask any Vietnamese person who’s ever visited Cambodia) and illegal to seek employment in Cambodia, so the only option she was left with was prostitution in Siem Reap‘s night clubs. However, the more time she spent with me, the wearier she kept getting of this whole idea of selling her body for money. Since she couldn’t have an actual job, Ha would the daytime with her daughter, as there was simply nothing other she could do. If I didn’t go to Angkor, she’d spend the day with me, but I needed to take advantage of good weather after waiting the rain out so I spent three consecutive days exploring the ancient temples, leaving the girls alone in Siem Reap.
I bought a 7 day pass to have enough time for even the more remote temples, but things went pretty smoothly so after three days, I had all of the temples on the Petit Circuit and the Grand Circuit covered, leaving me with 4 extra days to do the remote ones. The Petit and Grand Circuits are within main Angkor area where all of the famous and popular temples can be found, so by covering them all, I virtually had Angkor explored and everything on top of that would be an added bonus. One exception to this rule was the temple of Banteay Srei.
Banteay Srei temple is located about 25km from the main Angkor area (the area with where all famous and all biggest temple can be found – aka the area where most tourists go), however even though small in size, its intricate and elaborate carvings on red sandstone make Banteay Srei visually appealing so many organized tours include it in their itinerary. As a result, Banteai Srei, even though much smaller and significantly further away from Siem Reap, sees more visitors that Banteay Kdei – the temple on the Small Tour (Petit Circuit) where I made friends with villagers. While this is mostly a marketing pull on behalf of tour organizing companies, Banteai Srei did also gain notoriety among budget travelers which landed the temple a title of the “Jewel of Khmer Art”. As such, Banteai Srei is very overhyped and attracts tourists like honey attracts flies.
Needless to say – after being to all of the main Angkor temples, Banteai Srei was next on my radar. I knew Banteay Srei was 25 kilometers north of the main Angkor area, which all in all, would add up to being well over 30 km from Siem Reap, but since this part of Cambodia is completely flat, covering such distance on a bicycle wouldn’t be a problem. Sun and heat would be the biggest challenge, with potential of hostility from locals being close second. Afterall, being so far away from Siem Reap, all tourists who make it to Banteay Srei get there either in a bus as part of an organized tour, or by Tuk Tuk they hired in town. Omnipresent Tuk Tuks and motorcycles are fast moving and don’t draw much attention to themselves. Significantly slower moving bicycle with a foreigner on it, in an area of Cambodia far away from police patrolled streets of Siem Reap or Angkor… that sounded like a straight up death wish.
So instead of going all by me onesy on a bicycle, I decided to make my trip to Banteai Srei a Road Trip with guests and kill several birds with one stone. I could definitely do it on a bicycle, but after I took all other factors into consideration, the idea of a road trip prevailed. The undisputed advantages were:
1 – Tuk Tuk Ride
The idea of covering a long distance on a bicycle didn’t scare me. I was fit enough and enjoyed bike riding to the dot, but there were things in Cambodia a wise traveler never lets to slip his mind. But there was one even bigger reason why I had to consider a road trip on a Tuk Tuk and it goes back all the way to me teaching English at Wat Preah Prom Rath:
I have only been in Cambodia for less than 24 hours and I already taught a lecture in one of the classrooms at Preah Prom Rath. I enjoyed this experience profusely and was more than happy to volunteer my time to that cause as the students who attended the classes at the temple were ones who did not have a sponsor who would pay for a semester at a posh school. With me being part of their classes, they got more out of their lectures than students from incredibly overpriced schools such as the ACE – Australian Centre for Education. ACE – despite its high cost, is one incredibly useless school. If I were a parent of any of the kids who paid an incredible amount of money to attend that school, I’d demand a refund and get my kid the hell out of there. Most girls from the Sras Srang village where I ended up spending several months of my stay in Cambodia did attend ACE after sponsors paid for them, but day after day were forced to ask me to explain the lesson to them because they had no idea what it was about after attending a TESOL certified teacher lead class. After I explained it to them, then they understood, but there wasn’t one time in 5 months when any of the girls would return from the class and understand the topic of that day’s lecture.
Back to my English classes at Wat Preah Prom Rath – unfortunately for me, I came to Cambodia with an open mind and a will to dedicate myself to good causes. At the time, all one could find on the internet about Cambodia were utter lies. It took me all together 5 minutes to realize that Cambodians were hostile and that knowledge stayed from the moment I stepped foot on Cambodian soil, to the moment I left it. However even after being in the country for hours and already having experienced much of their hostility, I still lied to myself that there must be some good in Cambodia and if I keep my mind open, I would find it. It was a foolish thing to think.
Unfortunately, this type of mindset set me up for traps from which I could not get out of in the future. The students from my class instantly took advantage of the fact that I offered myself up to them with all openness and used each lecture to pressure me with business solicitations. As days went by and I realized that Cambodians are NOT those nice and friendly people travelers who fear reality make them to be, then I started to build a protective barrier between myself and the locals and didn’t allow anyone to take any more advantage of me, but this wasn’t until a few days after my arrival. During this first lecture of mine, as well as a few subsequent ones, I opened myself up and my students, instead of being grateful that I donated my time and knowledge to them for free, they took advantage of me and swarmed me with business hypes disguised as friendly chats. I reciprocated what I believed was merely an intention to have a friendly conversation with an English speaker, only to be forced into listening to pushy sales pitches from Tuk Tuk drivers and as they kept pressuring me and getting more and more in my face, the only way for me to escape was to eventually say OK to something.
They tried to force me into buying their services, but I told them I wanted to go for a walk that night so I couldn’t use them. Their response was that they would take me to see a sunset over a lake tomorrow then. And then that they would take me to the temples of Angkor. And then something again and again and again and again. From every angle, voices pressuring me more and more and cornering me and getting in my face until I had no choice but to say – “OK, I’ll let you know if I need a tuk tuk, G%$amn it!”
It was truly foolish of me to think that Cambodians would merely care to have a chat with someone from abroad. It’s not the case. It’s never been the case and not even after 5 months in Cambodia it ever happened to be one. But I wasn’t prepared for this to be a fact when I just came there and once a Cambodian forces you into even remotely implying something, then they’re gonna remind you of it day in and day out. And so they did remind me of that time when I said “OK”. Surprise!!!
Tuk Tuk drivers are an incredibly awful lot. They made every minute of my stay in Cambodia outside of my room a nightmare. If I had Ha with me, I could not finish a single damn sentence without one getting in my face and rudely interrupting. As a result, I would not give any of them any business just on principle. If I needed to go somewhere, I’d rather walk in that heat than give a Tuk Tuk driver a penny. Needless to say, they would still bother the living crap out of me, but at least I wouldn’t pay them anything. So it was not easy to actually get one on my own terms and offer him a gig of taking me to Banteay Srei for a road trip. But since this would shake off one of the traps Cambodians caught me in when I was too trusty, I said – why not?
2 – Fun Day for Ha and Her Daughter
Hellz yeah – to Ha and her daughter, every day was a struggle to survive (as it was for me, but for completely different reasons) with basically no chance to do anything fun. To Ha, every morning started with thoughts of worry about how she was going to buy food for her little girl. When simple day to day survival becomes your #1 priority, you don’t have the resources to buy basic necessities beyond food, let alone take your kid on a road trip. And knowing darn well how much hardship Ha and her daughter already went through, I instantly realized that affording them a simple day of simple joy would mean the world to them.
And this was the main reason why I opted for a road trip on a tuk tuk, rather than a self ride on a bicycle to Banteai Srei. A tuk tuk can seat up to 4 people easily, so taking Ha and her daughter along wouldn’t cost me any more than going on my own. And even though had I not met Ha, I would still have gone by bicycle, despite pressure from my students, knowing that by taking Ha and her daughter out for a day of fun, I could visit an extra temple without risking a ride through potentially hostile territory, and I would shake off the obligation my students forcibly placed upon me, I saw nothing but pure WIN for everyone in this arrangement.
The only trouble was that the night prior to intended road trip I did not make it to the class, because I stayed at Angkor Wat for night photography. I already had my present for Ha’s daughter with me, but I really wanted to make the day when I give it to her even more special. I wanted to take them away from the worries they experience every day and set their mind on something positive – while they are together, and myself with them. So despite being exhausted and wet (it rained like all hell during my nighttime stay at Angkor and I rode back home in that rain), instead of heading home to take shower and relax a bit, I headed straight for Pub Street and started looking for a tuk tuk driver from my class. Since Pub Street is where majority of foreigners who stay in Siem Reap go after dark, that is where majority of Siem Reap’s tuk tuk drivers aggregate after dark. I knew I stood a decent chance of finding him there as ratio of tuk tuk drivers to foreigners in Siem Reap is rather unfavorable (more tuk tuk drivers than tourists).
Luckily for me – he was there, hiding from the rain under the roof of his tuk tuk. I made arrangements with him, told him when and where to come the following day and told him where and how many of us are going. All set and done, I was ready to go to my room, make myself human again and head over to the Temple Club to meet with Ha so I could take her home with me for a warm shower and comfy sleep. I told her not that I had a gift for her daughter and that after the gift, I was taking them for a road trip to Banteay Srei. I kept it a surprise until the last moment and it paid off big time. Not only did the girls have their first worry free, fun day in a long time, it was also the first time for the little girl in years to feel like she had a father. I may not have made her, but she was in daddy’s arms the whole time. I do not have the words to describe how much it meant to them and to me, but what I got back in child’s laughter and mother’s tears has made an impact you can’t replicate.
While most locally run Cambodian businesses are not very customer friendly, there were exceptions worth doing business with. One of them was a local Cambodian restaurant on the east bank of the Siem Reap river, a block north of the independence bridge (about three houses back). The restaurant was clearly not targeting tourists as it was not on any popular tourist path and it didn’t even have an English name. None of the staff spoke any English, but where there is will, there is way to communicate.
Even though this restaurant was locally owned and run, it did not support discrimination and the same rates applied along the full spectrum of customers, regardless of their color of skin. Menu had items listed in Khmer language with some English translations to the right of it. Those translations seemed to have been put together by consulting a dictionary, instead of an English speaking person and had to be taken with a grain of salt, but gave reasonably clear idea as to the dish. There were occasional surprises, though:
Several items in the menu were translated into English as “Chicken and Vegetables” however what it ended up being was chicken stomachs with vegetables. Similarly, there would be a column of five dishes each with different Khmer name, but English translation for each of them was the same. The very first meal I ordered had its name listed in English as “Fried Egg with Tuna”. This was pretty close to what I got, except that the fish that came within this uniquely looking and tasting omelette was not tuna. It was some small, fresh water fish. Not a big deal.
The same menus were used by everyone – locals and foreigners alike and the same prices applied to everyone equally. Everyone regardless of their ethnic background also received the same level of service and courtesy, although I could only compare it with myself as I have never seen another foreigner ever dine in that restaurant. Still, despite being a foreigner, I have never been charged extra just because I looked different.
Virtually every meal they had in the menu was listed at mere 7,000 Riels (approximately $1.75) which included unlimited rice and tea (within reason, of course). Best of all, despite being a local restaurant, all customers were provided with safe-for-drinking ice to cool the tea down with. This was great since many locally run eateries use cheaper, industrial ice which is produced in unsanitary conditions using unsafe tap water. For your information – safe ice has smooth, cylindrical shape with hole in the middle of it, whereas unsafe ice is just an irregularly shaped crushed mass.
Food in the restaurant was fantastic. Preparation never took too long and every dish I tried had great taste to it. I also asked the students in my English class to teach me how to request no MSG in my food in Khmer language because no one in the restaurant spoke any English and I wouldn’t be able to continue dining there if they kept adding it to my food. Luckily, the cook had no issue with cooking without MSG for me so I was all set. BTW, it’s easy to remember how to say No MSG in Khmer – it sounds very similar to saying “No BJ” in English. You literally just use the abbreviation of “blowjob” and add “No” before it. If you can memorize “No BJ, no masau soup” they will know exactly what you are asking for and will gladly leave it out of your food.
For a few weeks, this local Cambodian restaurant was my favourite place for eating. It got pretty busy around lunch hour so I tried to avoid going there at noon but outside of breakfast (very early in the morning), lunch and dinner times the place was quiet and enjoyable. Everything was a little too perfect about it. They did not discriminate, food was great and well priced, ice was safe and No MSG requests were complied with. They never tried to overcharge me just because I was a foreigner so I kept supporting the business until the day the owner crossed the line and attempted an overcharge.
It was after a very long time of regularly dining there and never having a problem, when some woman walked in with a tray full of rice cakes. These were small, pinky sized rolls of rice wrapped in a banana leaf. Presence of raisins and some other fruit gave them slightly sweet taste which worked perfectly as an after-meal desert. Because this took place after I had spent more than a month in Cambodia, I could already understand some of the language, especially the numbers, so I overheard her asking for 100 RielS when she was offering the cakes to other customers (other locals who were also dining in the restaurant).
After having offered her rice cakes to everybody else, the woman eventually came to me. I had just finished my meal and the owner of the restaurant was by my table as I was paying for my food. Realizing that the woman didn’t speak any English, I made a hand sign with the money I was still holding in my hand for her to show me how much per cake. At that point the owner of the restaurant who was still by my table and felt compelled to “help” me understand the price took the receipt and wrote “200” on it.
I ended up buying that one cake for 200 Riel but felt like this was a major breach of trust. Needless to say, it was the last time I dined in the restaurant. He was always fair with me before so it was really disappointing to reach the point at which he would try to rip me off because I was a foreigner. Was the desire to earn easy 100 Riels by overcharging a foreigner really worth losing a loyal customer?
My English class had on average 30 people attending. That’s about as many as could be fit within the space of our classroom. Strangely enough, there was only one girl in the class, the rest were boys (of which about 10 were monks). Because class was open for anyone who wished to improve their English (this was an advanced speaker’s class), there were odd days when we had two girls in the class, but for the most part there was only one. The disproportionate gender distribution was instantly noticeable and got me curious.
Since it was not only my class that suffered from severe lack of women in comparison to men, I asked why there were hardly any girls attention the classes in Wat Preah Prom Rath Pagoda. What I was told was not a bit surprising. My students simply said that if I went to the Khmer University in Siem Reap, I would see the same ratio of women vs men. They said only about 4 girls attended the university, the rest were all boys.
I was curious why that was so I kept asking. Did Cambodian women have aversion to education or was there something else in play? The responses from my students suggested that based on Cambodian cultural and societal beliefs, the place for a woman is at home, looking after children and making her man happy. She is not to care about anything else and should always stay by the side of her man, even if he cheats on her or beats her up, which is a common treatment Cambodian women receive from their husbands.
The world has moved forward and both sexes are deemed equal in most of the world, but some countries still perceive women as the lesser of the two. Cambodia appears to be one of them. High rates of rape also suggest that many Cambodian men perceive and treat women as mere sexual objects. Sadly enough, it is socially and culturally unacceptable for a Cambodian woman to admit pre-marital sex, even if she was brutally forced into it. Because of that, most cases of rape don’t get reported and remain a burden a woman-victim is left alone to bear.
I got to San Pedro de Macoris the following day just before dusk. I made my way to the traffic circle where I previously picked up the hitch-hiker who stole my laptop and parked the car at the opposite side of the road so I have good visibility of the spot where she was standing to hitch a ride but so I am not visible from that spot. San Pedro is the city of more than 200,000 people and this traffic circle marks the beginning of the highway leading to the Dominican capital Santo Domingo so traffic was quite busy and many people passed around. I noticed a great number of young males on motorcycles swishing up and down the streets. Dominicans seem to come out of their houses this time of day, perhaps as it’s after work and there isn’t anything better to do so they meet up to kill time after dark.
I was sitting inside of my rental car while keeping my eyes locked on the spot where hitch-hikers stand to see if I can spot the one who stole my laptop. At the time there were two people standing there, but the thief was not one of them. As time went by, my presence was noticed by one of those young men who swish around on old motorcycles and curiosity got the best of him, so he pulled over by my door and stared inside. I rolled window down and asked him if he spoke any English. He didn’t but said he had a friend who did. Few minutes later he was back with a girl on her own motorcycle. She spoke a little bit of English so I started talking to her but her understanding was very basic so she wasn’t able to follow. Seeing that I had something important to say, she said she knew an English teacher and told me he was gonna be here in about 10 minutes. So I waited.
Sure enough, a little while later a group comes back on motorcycles with a new young man among them. He opens the door and I ask him whether he speaks English. He said in quite clean and unaffected English: “More or less!” This was my man. I asked him if he would like to take a sit on the passenger’s seat, claiming that I had something important to say and needed his help, but had a reward for a person who could help me. Young man took a seat and introduced himself as Domingo.
Domingo teaches English at a college in San Pedro. He has a very sincere voice and eyes and his English was better than just “more or less”. He was the best English speaking Dominican I have ever met and that meant there were no obstacles in how I needed to express myself which made everything easier. Domingo listened carefully and with interest and when I told him everything about what happened and how my laptop got stolen, including the plea that I would pay $1,000 to anyone who can get me my laptop back, he said we were going to go across the street right on the spot where I picked up the hitch-hiker who stole my laptop to talk to the guys who are there. Domingo said that these guys are there every day as this is their bread. They organize buses and gua-guas (cheap but not very comfortable form of transportation in the Dominican Republic) and help travelers with bags for which they get a few pesos to help them get by.
This was it. My intentions to trace my stolen laptop with my own devices was off to a good start. Finding someone who speaks good English in the Dominican Republic is a tough task. Doing it in a town like San Pedro de Macoris which is not a tourist trap because it doesn’t have anything interesting for foreigners is even more difficult yet thanks to Domingo the English Teacher who learned to speak English on his own out of his own interest this became a no issue. I had a person to help me communicate with others despite my non ability to speak Spanish. The first, very important step on my way to trace the whereabouts of my stolen laptops and/or the person who did it went down smoothly and made everything that went down from this point on so much easier. Domingo the English teacher was the best thing in whole of the Dominican Republic.
It was a busy day but I was happy with how it all panned out. I got myself Cambodian cell number, I bought a mountain bike and baptized it by taking it for a spin across Siem Reap and to Wat Bo where I spent some time taking pictures. I was excited as I was about to have my second day of teaching English at Wat Preah Prom Rath pagoda and since it was already 4pm and the class starts at 5pm, I headed straight for Wat Preah Prom Rath. Excited about having my new ride, I was flying by Tuk Tuk drivers who only stared at me, realizing that this was one foreigner they were not gonna make any money off of. It was yet another scorching day in Cambodia but in spite of rainy season, it did not rain today at all. I was drenched in sweat and needed a break from the sun. There was no better place to go to than Wat Preah Prom Rath. Temple grounds are like a sanctuary where none of those aggressive Cambodian Tuk Tuk drivers or other touts dare to come with their malicious intentions so you can enjoy the break with peace of mind. Shaded benches are provided right across from the classrooms which is exactly where I was heading to escape the merciless sun rays.
I still had about an hour until the lecture so I was pleased to find one of my students sitting on the bench, also hiding from scorching Cambodian sun. The girl was just like most Cambodian young women – strikingly pretty. You didn’t have to ask me twice to sit next to her and engage in conversation. It was mostly me talking to myself, but we both seemed to have fun and my curiosity eventually got the best of me and I started enquiring about Buddhism and the life of Buddha. I was in predominantly Buddhist country, virtually everyone around me was a Buddhist, I was fascinated with Buddhist temples that were all over the area and my initial encounters with spirituality of Buddhism were more than positive – so it was natural that I sought answers to my many questions about Buddhism and luckily for me, the girl agreed to be my guide and introduce me to Buddhism and the life of Buddha.
There was a little bit of language barrier happening as my girl guide had just started to learn English so most of what she said made no sense and mostly she just repeated herself, but it was engaging nonetheless. We took our shoes off and walked straight inside the Wat Preah Prom Rath temple. As we walked around the outer wall where colorful, three-dimensional reliefs from Buddha’s life are, the girl stopped by each relief and briefly explain what the part of Buddha’s life depicted here was about. Because of limited English, all I could pick up was the story of Buddha being born and being kept within castle walls so he can become a king, as his father didn’t want him to become a holy man. But when Buddha got out of the castle and saw suffering of ordinary people and his destiny was decided.
Buddha then went to a secluded place where he lived for many days fasting. Just as he was near death from starvation, a girl found him and insisted that he eats, which saved his life. Buddha then realized that life is meant to be abundant and we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of anything but shouldn’t indulge too much either. Buddha started teaching about living “the middle way”.
The depictions of scenes from Buddha’s life involved good and bad times he went through during his life all the way until his death. My guide passionately talked about each stage of his life, but as it was hard for her to explain herself in limited English, so it was hard for me to understand what she was saying in English that was not making any sense. It was still an enjoyable and powerful introduction to Buddhism and the life of Buddha for me and I followed up on more research from this point on.
I have also asked about Stupas as the purpose of those was not clear to me. She was the first person to explain to me the meaning of Stupas and what they are used for. I did not see them as majestic monuments anymore, I actually knew what they were form now on.
Oddly enough, we both went to the classroom to attend the lesson and this was the last time I’ve seen that girl. During subsequent three months of my stay in Cambodia, she has not shown up for another lesson in the class. I do not know whether it had anything to do with me or not, but it was odd. Afterall, the hour we spent together at the temple was filled with nothing more than talking. Why was this the last time she’d attend the English class with me was and remains a mystery.
Yes, it was one of my intentions to dedicate my time to volunteering and yes, since I didn’t have much experience volunteering before, teaching English seemed like the easiest way to start. As I was talking to that young man, he mentioned that he studied English here at the Wat Preah Prom Rath temple. He said he was from a small village but moved to Siem Reap in order to get some education and perhaps a decent job. I highly approved of this thinking.
He said he didn’t have the money to pay for his own accommodation even though being local he could find a room for $30 a month, so he stayed at the pagoda sharing living space with monks. Classes at the Wat Preah Prom Rath are free and anyone can attend so he takes full advantage of it. Having come from Canada, he asked me if I would like to come to his class which started at 5pm – in about 30 minutes. You wouldn’t have to ask me twice. I could not say “YES” fast enough.
Before I knew it, I was in a class. Room was full of people who were giving away surprised looks, but the overall feel was that I was welcome. I tried to introduce myself but probably sounded a bit awkward. There were both monks and non monks among students. Before I could get down to anything, a teacher walked in.
The classroom had no doors and no windows, just holes in the wall. The building in which the lectures were held was old, walls on it were mouldy and paint was peeling off. It offered striking contrast to shiny gloss of the temples across the walkway from there.
The teacher was a monk who spoke great English. I’m guessing he spent some time in England as he bore accent affected by the British. I introduced myself to him, after which he introduced me to the class and told me he had a bit of a sore throat and asked me if I could lead the class on my own. I have picked up his TOEFL book, got to a page where they were and without any ado I got straight down to teaching.
It was amazing. The class was at first a bit reluctant but I poked a funny here and there which eased the mood and so the lecture went like on grease. I enjoyed it so much I could not believe when an hour went by and everyone started leaving to attend to their other duties. My first English class as a volunteer was awesome. Everything about it was awesome. I have enjoyed it thoroughly and could not wait for the following day to do the same thing over again. As I was suggested, they held the same class every day during the week between 5 and 6, except on weekend. This was Tuesday – my first day in Cambodia and I have already taught English. What an amazing start to my new life.