Teacher Conrad

Well, I’ve got a job.

It’s a crummy job — I’ll get paid $6/hr.  Which is absurd for my qualifications, but I have no experience.  And I have 2 paid hours a day.  Lesson planning and attending meetings I don’t get paid for.

siem_reap1

Near where I work.

But, it’s not crummy work.  I’m basically teaching high school.  The kids are good.  Some are giggly, a few are sullen and uninvolved.  It’s the difference between technical proficiency in clear presentation and managing the emotions of teenagers.

(My income is now $60 / week — paid monthly — and rent is $49 / week — paid when I feel like it.  So I’m holding my own.  I might get an apartment, which would cost less.)

They call me “Teacher Conrad.”  I’m replacing “Teacher Smith,” and the boss said if I had any questions I should talk to “Teacher Kevin.”

Frankly, I’m hoping there might be a cute native fellow-teacher who I can date, on account that the options here for a Western-style girlfriend are pretty limited.

I’m not interested in hiring a hooker.  I’m not morally outraged by prostitution, to the extent it’s voluntary, and it doesn’t disgust me.  Trafficking is terrible, and it’s got to go.  From the bios in social work reports I’ve read, not all Cambodian hookers are trafficked.  I’d actually like to chat with a Cambodian hooker or two.

But for all that I say I don’t judge prostitution, I really have no interest, and I can’t exactly tell you why.  Not my style, I guess.  And truly, when you actually look at how the profession plays out and affects a person’s life, it’s often quite sad.

But I don’t relate to the hysteria about stamping it out as a profession.  You want to stamp out a profession?  Stamp out soldiering. 

Anyway, the other option generally available is to find a third-world girl who’s desperate to get out of poverty.  And that doesn’t appeal to me. 

Again, I’m not for the sex-politics rhetoric that all relationships must be between equals, or they’re exploitative.  But having someone who’s dependant on me from day one — no, I just don’t see it.

So, here’s hoping that I have at least one cute, datable co-worker.  If not, who knows?  Maybe I’ll get over my third-world girl skittishness, or find a hooker I really like.  One who wants to retire, in other words.

Anyway, the next step, after having settled in at the job, is to find a meditation teacher.

And also to learn Khmer.  (I’ve heard having a girlfriend helps.)

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Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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