Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Return of The Weasally English Bastard

I received a couple of strange comments to a posting, a few months ago, one of which threatened to reveal my name and the school that I worked at. I suspected who wrote it, but simply deleted it without much further though. Internet grudge wars are tedious, and stupid, and time-consuming, and stressful.

Then, just now, checking out the now-defunct message board, I found the following messages left for me -- this isn't all of them, but this is the best.

This is actually from somebody who was in one of my stories; I only referred to him as a "weasally old English bastard" and the events concern the complete disaster of my employment by a small Language school in Desolationgrad, Russia - actually the thriving metropolis of Togliatti.


Basically they promised me employment in one city, gave me employment in another, failed to register me properly, stuck me in an office where no one spoke English, and then let me go very suddenly after 6 weeks of conflict with them and the students despite me trying to make several attempts to give proper notice, etc.

Without further ado, here is the message from the Weasally Old Bastard himself.

Don't want to blow your cover Mr S*****, but my memories are somewhat divergent from yours, but then "a weaselly old English guy"
would probably have lapses of memory, right?

I seem to recall that you left the first interview with tears in your eyes.

I also seem to recall that I gave you the contact for your next job in Samara with (your current employers) and ensured that you were offered the job using my contacts with the school and with their Head Office back in Moscow.

One thing that struck me about your printed reaction to your leaving is what you wrote yourself "This was the third job I'd been let go from in less than 12 months"

Did that tell you anything about yourself as a teacher?
Probably not from the "further adventures of a Tefl teacher in Samara" that you published.

You know, S****** , there are events in our lives that intelligent people learn from. Now that a few years have passed I hope you have started learning.

The OldEnglishBastard

I posted the following reply:

RE: Song of the Volga Boatmen
Yes, Pete, I certainly did have tears in my eyes -- enraged and helpless as I was, having allowed myself to be fucked over so completely by a couple of worthless shit sacks like you and Golovanov.

You might indeed have recommended I contact my current employers, after your many vacillations and weasally excuses, but my mentioning you as a reference got me nothing but a tired sigh and a chuckle from "R. J." Your history with them needn't be re-hashed here. On my first day in Samara, when we were at the embankment, you spent some considerable amount of time denigrating them, trying to convince me the school you worked for was better and singing the praises of "family-run operations." In this case the family was straight out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but hey.

And I seem to recall you were fired from the same shitty little institute a few months later, and, after failing to find other work in Samara, went to work in Moscow, where you were also summarily ripped off by shitty employers. You think you'd have a bit more empathy.

And I notice you don't deny anything I said in the story, you merely add a few details.

Oh, but believe me, Pete, I learned one VERY valuable thing -- NEVER, EVER AGAIN will I go blind into a situation without enough money to tell my employer to fuck himself. (Or herself.) Along with whatever weasally English toadies they happen to have dug up to act as official brownnoser.

Then I started a website, so my experiences could serve as a cautionary tale to others, especially newbies who are the most vulnerable.


So yes, it's safe to say that I got a lot out of the experience. Perhaps I should thank you. Who knows where I'd be otherwise.

Golovanov was wise enough to get out of English teaching after the incident with me; but his partner still lingers on, and only after numerous Internet complaints by the teachers they fucked over are they running anything like an honest school. (I'm sure you read on ESLcafe about the incident of the guy who got his head cracked in but was denied medical insurance by them.)

I have no desire to get into an Internet name-calling contest, but you are certainly aware that your past employment and behavioural history is just as bad as any long-time English teacher. I understand that you're now in Saudi, or some other middle Eastern country where English teachers go to die quietly, hopefully not in a position to help your employers screw over any new teachers.

And if you are trying to convince me, or my Internet readership, that you are NOT a weasally English bastard, might I suggest that these insipid threats and condescending cliches are not the way to do it.

Additionally, I hope getting away from all the vodka has done you good.

S**** (AKA English Teacher X)
Samara, Russia

Ain't No Cure For The Summertime Blues

So it's summer, and of course the Russian girls aren't wearing much.

But, like, I'll be walking down the street and see some blonde honey-dipped thing with enormous sunglasses, huge tits sticking out of her tiny halter top, six-inch stilettos, and a skirt that barely covers her bellybutton.

And then I get a little closer and realize she's like 13 or 14.

Do these girls have parents who actually take them to the store and buy them these clothes?

"What a country!" to quote Yakov Smirnoff.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tanned and Hungover

It's really hot, as I mentioned, so we spend most of the time laying on the beach drinking beer. That's better than hanging around nightclubs and pool halls drinking beers, probably, because when I stumble into work hungover on Monday, I'm nice and tan and healthy-looking, instead of all pasty and puffy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's Not The Heat, It's The Stupidity

A month ago we got a mutant snowfall that knocked down trees -- now it's in the 90's every day. Great weather for hanging around the beach, of course, but I've broken out in a heat rash all over my shoulders and crotch. Probably related to the fact that there's no hot water in my apartmet this week.

They've got the problem of dishevelled-looking people going into bowling alleys under control, thank God, but still have streets that look like an artillery-testing range and no hot water for most of the summer.

Believe it or not, the original englishteacherx.com website will soon live again. . . unless of course I get too busy hanging around the beach drinking beer.

Monday, May 21, 2007

You'd Think There Would Be A Little More General Hysteria

Somebody apparently got shot while we were hanging on the embankment last Friday – it was about two a.m, in a sparsely populated café, and a group of basketball players went over to have words with some bikers who were squealing their tires and making a lot of noise and smoke, and it turned into a fight – naturally our bets were on the big fucking basketball players. They started rumbling, and the basketball players (about four of them) chased the (two or three) bikers around the side of the café, and then we heard, “Pop, pop. Pop. Pop pop.”

“Was that a gun?” I asked.

“No, it wasn’t loud enough. Probably firecrackers.”

“No, no way, guns are a lot louder than that.”

”Well, shit, I fired my dad’s .22 at Christmas, it sounded pretty much like that.”

“Anyway, people would be screaming and stuff if somebody got shot.”

Then the basketball players came running back around the side of the café, and one of them was bleeding heavily from arm; one of the bikers had a chair and was screaming and chasing the other basketball players away with it.

“Those basketball players have suddenly become oddly conciliatory,” I pointed out.

“He must have a knife – I guess he stabbed that guy. Or maybe the metal leg of the chair cut him.”

“Or maybe he shot them! What the fuck was that popping, isn’t it logical to assume that was a gun, in this situation?” I insisted

“No, no,” said the English and Austrailans. “Don’t be silly. This isn’t America.”

“Man, plenty of my students have guns,” somebody pointed out.

The bikers finally retreated, leaving their bikes behind, which the basketball players knocked over and started jumping on.

We later walked back behind the café, and sure enough, there was a guy laying there in a puddle of blood, a woman crouched down cuddling his body.

“You’d think there’d be a little more general hysteria, though,” said somebody.

“Yeah, you would.”

Two ambulances and a police car finally came; we watched from a cafe nearby as the ambulance took the guy on the ground and the guy bleeding from the arm away. The ambulance didn’t have any lights on and wasn’t going particularly fast as it left.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mid-Life Crisis

I'll be 38 soon. I've been pretty moody lately; I think I'm having a mid-life crisis.

Most guys deal with their mid-life crisis by having an affair with a younger woman or something, or becoming an English teacher in some stinking hellhole country.

So what am I supposed to do? That's been my whole adult life.

I could become a dentist, I guess.

"Dentist X" -- nah. I'd probably get arrested for molesting my female patients under the anaesthetic anyway. . .

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Twist On The Old Vomit Story

Last week we were at a nightclub and saw an English groupie we knew, and she she was there with a couple of her friends (neither of whom spoke any English.)

One of them was depressed and upset because she'd come home and found her husband in bed with another woman -- naturally she decided to get drunk and English Teacher P ended up taking her home, where she promptly vomitted all over the place while he was having sex with her.

Ah, but I've heard this story before, you might be saying. Ah no, read on.

Then, the next day, she wouldn't leave -- he kept making excuses about having to go to a lesson, but then she kept showing up again later.

A few days later the English groupie explained what the problem was -- turns out that the girl had told him she'd only have sex with him if he agreed to by her a new mobile phone (a $200 model) but his Russian not being particularly good, he'd just said, "Da, da, da" and gone ahead with it.

Naturally he says he's not going to buy her a phone. I can't blame him, I'd say the vomitting probably makes any previous deal null and void.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Relaxing Walk In The Woods

Sometimes it's nice to go out into the country a bit and get away from all the hustle and bustle in the city.

The unconscious drunks are so much more attractive out there.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Suckiest Part of Living Abroad

The suckiest part of living abroad is watching it all just turn into some generic mess that looks just like America. I went to one of the new shopping malls today, and except for the fact that there aren't as many clinically obese people, and the fact that some of the signs were in Russian, I might as well have been in Iowa City or Spokane.

Still no Starbucks yet; coffee shops have really caught on in Moscow and St. Petersberg, but (fortunately) not really out here in the provinces. There's a big glitzy one right up the street from my house now, but it looks like it's empty most of the time.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

No Wonder They Lost The Cold War

I always sort of expected Russians to be tough-ass people with incredibly rugged constitutions; and I guess they are pretty tough, in a lot of ways, but I'm amazed at the things they're complete weenies about.

It's spring now, but not particularly warm -- in the 40's, Farenheit, and about 10 C. The central heating has all gone off, though, and man you should hear them bitch about how cold it is in the classrooms -- they sit there with their coats on, shivering.

If you open a window to get some fresh air, they act like a dirty bomb has gone off nearby; they're convinced that drafts cause everything from common cold to herpes.

You'd think they would be inured to cold, like people in Thailand are inured to heat; if it got below 90 F, Thai people always thought it was freezing cold. Russians are so bundled up and central-heated all the time, they're actually whimpering pussies in the face of real cold.

Another stereotype shattered, courtesy of English Teacher X