20 January 2013

Things That Probably Don't Happen At Your Preschool (Part 2)

Last week was traffic and bicycle safety day at Asher's school. I'm not really sure what all they talked about because Asher said that he had a hard time understanding the policemen.

I think they learned a little about road signs and maybe how the policemen direct traffic. During the busiest parts of the day in Bangkok policemen will be at most intersections stopping traffic during green lights and generally adding to the chaos in the streets. Maybe now the preschoolers understand why?

After the safety lecture they all headed outside to practice what they had learned. Asher evidently had fun waiting for his turn to ride the bikes.

They practiced safely crossing the road (or maybe they let the bike riders get an early start on scaring pedestrians dumb enough to try and cross the road).

There were also stoplights and different traffic signs set up around the courtyard, so I think they had to follow directions and try to not break any of the rules. Asher was unclear as to whether or not traffic violations resulted in needing to pay a bribe.

Overall it seemed to be a fun day and Asher really liked it because there was very little time spend learning to write Thai letters that day.

The odd part of the day came out later on when he kept talking to me about the policemen and their bags. I finally asked him what he was talking about and this is what he says: "Well, Khruu Wen (his teacher) told us that if we stood up or talked while the policemen were talking they would hit us with their stick and put us in their bag and take us away."

Asher sort of scoffs at this sort of thing and doesn't fall for it, but it's a pretty normal for people here to tell their kids things like this. We have a friend in a different part of the country that finally realized one day that all of the children in her church were scared of her because their parents had been telling them that foreigners bite kids.

Just another day at school, living in fear of policemen sticking you in a bag for standing up when you are supposed to be sitting down.

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