Daily Prompt: Sink or Swim

I would feel ill with anxiety every time  I had to do a “spontaneous demo” for a new teaching job. Couldn’t I just turn around and walk out? Not an option. Demos should be a piece of cake when it comes to ESL teaching. This is true when there is some preparation time included. For the less experienced teacher, such as myself, an on-the-spot demo is a daunting task.

Most schools require teaching demonstrations before hiring. I thought subbing was an exception to this rule, but alas – a demo is involved. Maybe I was naive at the time.

I was funemployed and I needed extra hours, so I went in search of temporary work. I found a potential subbing gig at one of the better schools and subsequently met with the manager, “Ken”. We had a nice little chat and I thought that I could leave afterwards. No, it wasn’t going to happen. I was asked the inevitable question. This demo was to take place in the next few minutes.

Nonchalantly, Ken walks into the other teacher’s class, to notify him that I will  teach his kids for a short while. So I follow him into the classroom, with this sea of kids. Maybe that’s an exaggeration – there were about 20 kids. Twenty too many at that stage! We’re talking 11 or 12 year olds – the tough crowd.

In the middle of the classroom, he handed me a book. I glanced through the pages allocated, my heart beating faster with every passing minute. I had 2 minutes to skim through it.  Absolute silence.  Short of walking out, there was not much that could be done.

I had to wing this one, and wing it I did.  I worked with what I had, which wasn’t much, but I made it work and I got the job. Not only did I get that job, but I was also offered a permanent position later on. All I needed to do was breathe and get on with it – there was no room for doubt.

Sometimes you just have to ride the wave.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be Light


The above picture was taken in Koh Chang. I wanted to capture this guy contemplating during sunset, while the lights from the resorts came on in the background.



This image was taken on the rooftop of a hotel in Taroko Gorge, Taiwan.

It was New Year’s Eve, and my very first countdown in Chinese began. As soon as we got to one,  I caught this downpour of light.


A Day, or Two


When flying to a foreign land

Is no longer realistic

When sitting still in one place

Makes me pessimistic

I realize there’s no running away

From everything that’s here

But if I don’t make a quick escape

I’ll lose it, this I fear

I’ll lose the person I became

When I was far away

I have to leave this town

If only for a day

A day or two is all I need

To get that extra space

A day or two is needed

To run from this rat race.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected


The Wang Ye Festival in Donggang, Pingtung County, Taiwan.

You’re probably wondering why this boat is on fire.

This image was taken in October 2012 at a Taoist ‘boat burning’ festival in the south of Taiwan. The boat was set alight at around 5 am or so.

Find out more about the Wang Ye Festival: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Ye_worship


Out of Place


Nothing is in place

Except for your delusions

Standing in the way

Causing room for your confusion

It’s meant to fall in place

But there’s always something missing

It’s supposed to come together

When in fact it’s really spinning

And you soon realize

These ‘things’ are not in order

Fit the societal border

Or continue to forever be

Out of place.


Thailand – Letting me Be


We took a flight from Bangkok to Koh Chang (Trat) Airport.


Yes, this is the shuttle.


The ferry took us to the island of Koh Chang. It was dusk – the best and most beautiful time of day. It’s when the magic starts to happen, for sure. . .


I had never been to a beach that included these awesome recliners. It’s a tad touristy, but there’s good reason to be a tourist – you get to chill on the chairs pictured above – no complaints.


The sunset wasn’t bad either. Actually, the sunsets have varying degrees of stunning.


This is what I call DUSK. The sun hiding away, slowly. . .


Then came night. Dinner was on a white sand beach, trippy lights included.


Steak salad was just one of the meals of choice. The courses included pineapple and shrimp salad, coconut soup, and other such exotic feasts.  As I am not the best at food photography, only one image will have to suffice.


Back to the airport (sitting area pictured above). After days spent at the beach, as well as enticing markets, we had to head back. I didn’t capture any market moments, but if you like fairly priced products such as owl bags, things with elephants, comfortable and relaxed clothing, Buddha sculptures, etc, then go to a market. Even if it’s just once.


I don’t use this bag often, but I love the quirkiness of the design.


I didn’t get many good shots of Koh San Road, but I quite liked the tree lights; we sat underneath these at a ‘roadside cafe’. I don’t think I could explain Koh San Road – I was there for only a few hours. What I can say is that the general area is utter madness – a balanced madness. Good and bad – if that makes sense.

I wanted to focus on all of the favorable aspects of my experience in Thailand, because there is enough bad news out there. To be honest, I am actually quite tired of it. Not every aspect of Thailand was ideal. . . but I chose to share the positive part of my experience this time around. The best thing about Thailand was the permission to ‘be’.


The soundtrack for this experience:

Magic Trees

What would you do if it grew on trees. . . ?

Would you discard it or hold it and keep it and use it, taking what you need?

Would you spread it, feel it, or enrich your life with it?

Tell me, what would you do?

Could it come in a pill, a bottle of sorts? If there is no seed, or remedy. . .

I picture trees, bottles, or pills, to rid me of these ills, the things i want to change.

Make a wish, put it out there, it’ll disappear. . .

The solution to the indecision, the doubt, and any remains of misery.

The run away remedy

Crossroads have stop signs

What about  about magical trees?


I wrote this when I was in Taiwan, during a stage of indecision and utter frustration – a time when my thoughts were in overdrive. I looked everywhere for answers to my questions, but I wasn’t winning. So I just wished it was as easy as appearing in a bottle, as a pill, or in a tree. If it could just be picked from a tree. . . whatever it may be.


Call it Paranoid

It’s the car behind me

Or the one on the right

It could be the man at the traffic light

Slow down, speed up, go home

Who’s that?

Don’t stop here and don’t go there

In fact, do not go anywhere

Lock that door; accelerate

You don’t have time to hesitate

Fear personified

Paranoia amplified

Every time I drive at night.


I have never quite been able to express my anxiety when it comes to driving in Johannesburg, at night. I know it’s not within reason, and people can call this behavior crazy, or delusional. I call it paranoid.


It is

If it’s rainy, the sun cannot be summoned

If it’s gridlocked, surely it cannot be cleared

If it’s paradoxical, how can it be normal?

If it’s your nature, I cannot change it.

Without control

There’s liberation.

It is depressing

It is stressful

It is confusing.

It is frustrating

It is.