Afternoon lessons at a school in the Thai capital of Bangkok were summarily cancelled ALL LAST WEEK, after they fell victim to the notoriously-loud activity of Cheering Practice, in preparation for the School Sports Day, which will take place on Monday.
Aside from the lessons scheduled to be taught by the school's resident foreign teacher, that is.
Moys Kenwood told how the relatively simple task of 'shouting for your favourite team' - a normally rather obvious thing to do - was taken to its extremity as hundreds of children, fresh from the rigours of cramming down a near-inedible lunch, were forced to bellow, at the tops of their voices, for either the green, violet, pink or orange teams, each and every afternoon.
Several inane chants were practised, and Mr Kenwood later explained how this rhythmic chanting gradually permeated his entire being, leaving him shellshocked when he arose the next morning. Said Mr K:
"When I awoke each morning, I found that the cheering and chanting was still going on inside my head, just as The Damned had been, thirty years ago after I saw them at Hull City Hall. The amps were so loud, that all I could hear for a week was 'Just for you, here's a love song!' They were brilliant, The Damned! But not so much the damned cheerers."
The cancellation of lessons for seemingly trivial reasons is not uncommon in Thailand. Last term, an entire morning was washed out when a soft drinks company gave a presentation to promote a new orange drink, and the whole of Christmas Day was taken up with recreating what Thais think goes on in western homes during the festive period, regardless of the fact that:
a) they are mostly Buddhists and don't celebrate Christmas, and
b) they have never even heard of Jesus Christ, and think Santa Claus is the Son of God.
Do you need a 'c'?
"All of the Thai teachers sent their students outside to cheer, but I was exempted from this, and had to continue attempting to teach English 'conversation' whilst battling against what sounded like a packed Wembley Stadium at an England v. Scotland match."