Every Day

I truly learn something every day.

There are many ways, many methods, many stimuli. Knowledge seems to come at me from all angles, like would-be tacklers on an Aussie Rules field.

Yesterday I met a chap in a nearby bar who I've only met once before and had talked with (or is that more correctly listened to?) briefly. He and I were the only expat customers, so to be polite I felt like I should ply him with a few questions. He is the sort of guy who doesn't ask questions, which is nice, but is also off-putting for a quiet soul such as myself. He is a teacher, so of course I foolishly made the assumption that he, like almost all other expats I meet these days, teaches English as a foreign language. He sneered down his nose at me and made me feel a little embarrssed for making such an assumption. He has, he announced for all to hear (even though only I was listening) a first class Honours degree in Pure Mathematics. He taught high school maths in the UK for 20 years before moving to Thailand which he now calls home. He is doing a short stint of work here in Vietnam where I live.

So I learnt rather a lot very quickly about this person. The new knowledge killed off some feeble and wrong headed assumptions I had made. I'll let you in on a little secret: because he is a loud talking non-questioning type, he seemed to me a tad full of himself; but as he also looked a bit rough and ready, with broken dirty fingernails and a tattoo, I had thought for sure he would be a builder or plumber or the like by trade, now teaching English because he is a native speaker. My prejudices perhaps? Not sure. But my mistake anyhow.

He also revealed he had a BEd, an education degree, so was somewhat contemptuous of the expat type I had pigeonholed him as: those who come to Asia and teach English with no other qualifications than native speaker and thick skin.

There you go: learn something every day.

I need to learn. I love to learn.
61-65, M
May 20, 2012