Teaching on the top floor of the school, at the end furthest from the stairs, a bee flew into my classroom not long ago. Nothing unusual in that you might think, but this bee was big. Seriously big. There are probably light aircraft smaller than this bee. The children shouted ‘peung, peung’ (Thai for bee, bee) and dived under their desks. It was at this point that I noticed there was no desk for the teacher and mild panic started to set in. It struck me as unseemly to pull a student out from under his desk so, in a lethargic sort of way, I flapped my arms at the monster. Lethargically because it was so damned hot and this was a classroom with no air conditioning, open to the elements and therefore made the greenhouse in your garden seem cool at the height of a British summer. To my surprise, the bee flew out of the door. I was, of course, surprised that it managed to squeeze itself through the doorway. A couple of minutes later, I heard the children in the next class shouting ‘peung, peung’ followed by the scraping of chairs as they pulled them out of the way in order to dive under their desks. After class, I made my way along the corridor to the stairs, passing the last class to the shouts of ‘peung, peung’ and, you guessed it, the scraping of chairs. I was almost knocked over by the teacher as he made good his escape.
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