Notes from the TEFL Graveyard

Wistful reflections, petty glories.

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Location: The House of Usher, Brazil

I'm a flailing TEFL teacher who entered the profession over a decade ago to kill some time whilst I tried to find out what I really wanted to do. I like trying to write comedy (I once got to the semi-finals of a BBC Talent competition, ironically writing a sitcom based on TEFL), whilst trying to conquer genetically inherited procrastination... I am now based in Brazil, where I live with my wife and two chins.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Contrary to a common misconception, TEFL has not finally got the better of me and forced me into an early retirement consisting of crafts, art therapy and medication in an institutionalised environment, life has been tossing me hither and thither with almost reckless abandon. The upshot being, I'm back, and this time I mean it.

Back from Campinas, which turned out to be a costly move on so many fronts, but now firmly ensconced in a rather fetching house with a big yard, a generous barbecue area, electric lighting and running water.

Again, it's election time, and our new neighbour is one of the chosen ones who drives around town with wedding disco speakers tied to the roof of his car urging us all to vote for his candidate - luckily, I can't vote being a foreigner, so a) I can safely ignore him, and b) no one can blame me when it all goes tits up.

A woman called today to do a pre-election survey. One of the questions was, "Is there any candidate you look at and think, "No way"? I mumbled that, no, I didn't really have anything against any of them.

What I wanted to say in the real world was, "Yes, that gibbering little chump Mendes, who, when he isn't gibbering, is wearing the grin of a man who's just won a particularly closely contested farting competition."

But alas I didn't, meaning that the opinion poll results are now irreversibly skewed, so it's anybody's election.