Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Commute

So, there are some people that I met with at the Learning 2.011 Conference that are sharing their commutes to work. I have decided that I would share mine as well. This year my commute is much better than last year. I live in the same spot but I have different transportation. Last year I had to get up at 5:15a.m. to get ready and be waiting for the school bus. Yes, that is right, I rode the school bus. I live about a 20 minute fast walk from school, but since it is so hot and humid here I don't like to walk because then I get to school all sweaty with all the stuff that I carry.

Cold water shower at school
 There is a shower at school but I don't want to shower there since I bought a hot water heater and pay extra, for my room I rent, to have it. Plus, there are no sidewalks or cross walks, so walking is a risky business. Even just waiting to cross the street when I go to the grocery store people almost hit me. I will be standing almost in the gutter in the grass, not on the side of the road and people in their crazy driving trying to get around others will come very close to running my toes over or hitting me. Another problem is when it rains it creates huge puddles and some streets flood and I don't want to walk through that (not always possible to walk around) and get dirty and muddy before I get to school. I don't dare ride a bike since my back would be to traffic and again I don't want to get run over.

The School bus
So, anyway last year I rode the bus to school. The people at school liked that I rode because I kept everyone in line and helped out. Towards the end of the school year though the bus driver started coming super late or not at all and sometimes I had to walk to school if I could not find other transportation. I did not enjoy that so this year I found a lady who has a car service that picks me and takes me to and from work. I can also sleep in because since it is only me I don't have to go very far and don't have to get up early like last year when I was first one on the bus. I am not a morning person so it is nice to be able to sleep in some. I leave my room about 7:35ish if I have eaten breakfast after coming back up to grab my bag. I have always been a breakfast person but here it depends. If it is the owner's Mom, who is a very old lady then I eat in the dining room while she eats in the kitchen. She gives me crackers because I don't think she thinks cereal is enough. I am not allowed to cook though, so cereal it is. We can't communicated well because I don't speak Chinese or Malay and she doesn't speak English. If the owner or company is around I grab an apple to take with me since I am supposed to wait until they are gone to eat and I would be late.
First, out the door of my room

Through the front door & gate
My spot where I stand outside gate
Out the door of my room I go and down the steps and through the front sliding door and gate over it. Where I put on my shoes and walk to the end of the driveway and through the other gate. They have gates over every entrance here and bars over all the windows in this town.

New House being built

Back of building where I get my hair cut

Once I am through the second gate I wait until my ride comes to get me. Across the street they are building a new house. To the right is a strip mall (they call them shop lots) where I walk to get my hair done. While it is hard for me to just rent a room with all its limitations and rules, it is convenient since I don't have a car and they don't have public transportation other than cabs which are almost impossible to get a hold of. I am also in walking distance of a restaurant, grocery store, ATM machine, and place to get massages.

Waiting to get out in traffic. In walking distance is grocery store & restaurant I eat at sometimes.

Can either be crazy, busy or only 5 second wait. Gas station has ATM.

Where I stay is not far from the main street. It is a tricky street sometimes I only have to wait 5 seconds to cross and other times 20 minutes. Same with my ride when she pulls out into traffic.

Out in traffic now.

More Shoplots
We always hit it just right so we never have to wait.

Going across the river. Pipes go across here. 
 We cross a river and there are several pipes that go across in metal braces. They break often. Usually it is only for a few hours, but once last year it was for a whole day. I was able to shower because there was still water in the tank where I stay. I also have a large plastic garbage can filled with water just in case. We ran out at school though early in the day and the toilets were gross. We normally walk across to the MPK stalls to eat but we had to bring in food from a place that was not affected.

Going towards down town.

We are turning off to industrial section. This is a local school.

Past another local school.

My school is behind trees. Next to welding shop. Across from a car repair shop & MPK stalls where we get our lunches.

Once we get out into traffic it is just a five minute trip to school. Once at school if the bus driver or Director of Studies has gotten there first then they open the big gate and I don't have to do that.

This is the building where the school I work at is located. We don't have the whole building.

These front three rooms on the bottom left side are three of our classrooms. The upper floor is dorm rooms for a local college.

These 3 rooms are our classrooms.

I go past the three classrooms and around the corner to the back of the school.

Down the walkway past the new portable building that our library is now in. Last year I shared a desk with 3 others teachers and rotated rooms every class. This year I have my own desk now that the library/prayer room is in the portable building and only rotate rooms for some classes.

Library/Prayer Room

Coming around the corner to the back of the school.

The first entrance  on right is the room where my desk is located. There are two more rooms pass my stop- another classroom and the office.

Another classroom- this is where I shared a desk with 3 teachers last year & another teacher had a desk

 This class is also the boys changing room since it is right next to the boy's bathroom. So, I always had to move when it was time for them to change ( not that I wanted to be in there while they were changing.)
The office

After signing in at the office I backtrack to my stop.
This is my stop. 

Looking up at the boy's dorm.
My room is passed the girls bathroom, so it used as the girl's changing room for PE. The room at the end of the hall is our computer room.

Can be convenient or noisy since it shares a wall with my room.

This is the room I have this year. I have a curtain over the door for when the room is used as a changing room.

This is the desk I use. I got a new one because I was using student desks but with the increase of students I had to give them up. I also got a new book case so I no longer have to pile all the books, etc on the desk. I like a clean desk. I also got a new to me, old computer for use. We all have our own computers now, so we don't have to try coordinate things like filling out the Report Cards on the server. My one poster from "The Lion King" in Singapore.

That concludes my morning commute. Going home my ride uses a different route.


  1. Wow, so interesting! Thanks for posting. What is an MPK stall? I enjoyed the photos of your ride in the car, and seeing what your school looks like.

  2. MPK stall is run by the Malaysian government. I am drawing a blank at the moment what the letters stand for. Anyway they are open air stalls that have food that they make right there. If you go to January 2-9, 2011 under Flooded Streets there are pictures of the stalls across the road. They aren't close ups though, so I will take some close ups and share. I ate there all the time last year, but this year someone found a worm in their food so I am doing other options for food. We still take students across though because that is where they want to go and we don't have many choices.