All Hotels Are Haunted

1408_50Before I explain this, I’ll first let you know that:

Some Hotels Are Filled with Whores

I want you to imagine the front desk area of a nice four-star hotel. It’s not your typical well known brand name hotel, but it’s of the same cleanliness, smell, tone, and familiarity. You booked your room through a very popular online travel website and you booked it at a price that wasn’t outrageous but almost too good to be true. So, you’re at the front desk and you hand the front desk agent your credit card information and your passport. She smiles and asks, “How are you?” Just like any nice front desk girl would do. Then something catches your attention out of the corner of your eye. On the couches in the large open lobby, are young, very attractive, half-naked girls. They’re not sitting on the couches but rather rolling around on them, laughing, and massaging each other on them. They fill up the whole lobby. They’re having the time of their lives and they’re the only guests there. No men. Strictly hot young women. Then, as you look back at the front desk agent who is now asking you to follow her as she personally takes you to your room, you notice that she’s not wearing any pants, but rather just a swimsuit bottom. When you get to your room, the entire back wall is a mural of a naked woman. Suddenly, it all starts to make sense why the room you booked may have been so cheap, had such good reviews, and also had rooms available by the hour.

This happened to me in Bangkok, Thailand. I stayed there for two nights. Other than the fact that my bathroom was all glass doors, it was a perfectly nice stay. I was never pressured to “bang” anyone or even told that it was an option, but it didn’t take long for me to piece together all the clues. I enjoyed my stay but this may have been a little awkward for a family.

All Hotels Are Haunted

To quote 1408 (possibly the greatest hotel horror film below The Shining), “Hotels are a naturally creepy place…Just think, how many people have slept in that bed before you? How many of them were sick? How many…died?” I’m not trying to get too metaphysical here but rooms hold more than just objects. It doesn’t matter if you believe in ghosts or not, some crazy stuff happens in a room that different people sleep in every night and none of them call it home. How many people do you know who suddenly get sick when they’re on vacation? It’s not necessarily that they caught a sickness or that their body doesn’t adjust well to new places, it could be something else. Hotels are a hub for thousands of uncomfortable vacationers. That discomfort resonates.

Now, let’s think about people who stay in hotels in general. Mostly innocent travelers, and then a few people at a rough time in life, and then probably some crazies who could be doing anything from planning their own suicide to trafficking sex. Even though most people you know are nice and normal at home, they might change when they’re in a transitional period or traveling. Now add in all the freaks and the criminals; the odds are not in your favor that everyone staying in your hotel had good intentions while there. Bedrooms that aren’t loved like a home are often treated badly. Even though rooms don’t have feelings, the people in them do and those people leave remains. I’m not talking about dirt or anything physical, but more like an aura. That aura lingers and hotel rooms are like a petri dish of every aura that’s ever entered it. Point being, chances are something dark happened in your hotel room and the room will always know what it was.

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Understanding Police 10 Codes

For a few jobs in the past I had to use a two-way radio for communication. Signals were often weak so we had to use clear and quick ways of talking to each other. So, we used codes. Specifically 10 Codes (Police Codes). I was never actually trained as to what any of them meant and had to figure them out from context.

The obvious and most used was 10-4 which simply means, OK, or Copy. I used these codes so often that I found myself using them outside of work and in my everyday life. At first it was on accident or as a joke, but eventually I discovered other co-workers doing the same thing. We actually found them quite useful a lot.

So, I decided to look up their official meanings. If you ever find yourself needing to use walky talkies (or speak in code) for communication, it might be useful to know some of the basic ones.

10-4: Copy, Understood, Acknowledge, Affirmative.

10-1: Bad reception, unable to copy, change location.

10-9: Repeat. Unable to copy.

10-20: Location or “What’s your location?”

10-21: Call by phone.

The rest are almost strictly meant for police or emergency situations. It seems that each section of 10 (0-9, 10-19, 20-29, etc.) are in their own category with some overlap between categories (I’m not sure, that’s just what it looks like).

 

Here’s the list.

10-0 Caution
10-1 Unable to copy — change location
10-2 Signal good
10-3 Stop transmitting
10-4 Acknowledgement (OK)10-5 Relay
10-6 Busy — stand by unlessurgent
10-7 Out of service
10-8 In service
10-9 Repeat
10-10 Fight in progress
10-11 Dog case
10-12 Stand by (stop)
10-13 Weather — road report
10-14 Prowler report
10-15 Civil disturbance
10-16 Domestic disturbance
10-17 Meet complainant
10-18 Quickly
10-19 Return to …
10-20 Location
10-21 Call … by telephone
10-22 Disregard
10-23 Arrived at scene
10-24 Assignment completed
10-25 Report in person (meet) …
10-26 Detaining subject, expedite
10-27 Drivers license information
10-28 Vehicle registration information
10-29 Check for wanted
10-30 Unnecessary use of radio
10-31 Crime in progress
10-32 Man with gun
10-33 Emergency
10-34 Riot
10-35 Major crime alert
10-36 Correct time
10-37 (Investigate) suspicious vehicle
10-38 Stopping suspicious vehicle
10-39 Urgent — use light, siren
10-40 Silent run — no light, siren
10-41 Beginning tour of duty
10-42 Ending tour of duty
10-43 Information
10-44 Permission to leave … for …
10-45 Animal carcass at …
10-46 Assist motorist
10-47 Emergency road repairs at …
10-48 Traffic standard repair at …
10-49 Traffic light out at …
10-50 Accident (fatal, personal injury, property damage)
10-51 Wrecker needed
10-52 Ambulance needed
10-53 Road blocked at …
10-54 Livestock on highway
10-55 Suspected DUI
10-56 Intoxicated pedestrian
10-57 Hit and run (fatal, personal injury, property damage)
10-58 Direct traffic
10-59 Convoy or escort
10-60 Squad in vicinity
10-61 Isolate self for message
10-62 Reply to message
10-63 Prepare to make written copy
10-64 Message for local delivery
10-65 Net message assignment
10-66 Message cancellation
10-67 Clear for net message
10-68 Dispatch information
10-69 Message received
10-70 Fire
10-71 Advise nature of fire
10-72 Report progress on fire
10-73 Smoke report
10-74 Negative
10-75 In contact with …
10-76 En route …
10-77 ETA (estimated time of arrival)
10-78 Need assistance
10-79 Notify coroner
10-80 Chase in progress
10-81 Breathalyzer
10-82 Reserve lodging
10-83 Work school xing at …
10-84 If meeting … advise ETA
10-85 Delayed due to …
10-86 Officer/operator on duty
10-87 Pick up/distribute checks
10-88 Present telephone number of …
10-89 Bomb threat
10-90 Bank alarm at …
10-91 Pick up prisoner/subject
10-92 Improperly parked vehicle
10-93 Blockade
10-94 Drag racing
10-95 Prisoner/subject in custody
10-96 Mental subject
10-97 Check (test) signal
10-98 Prison/jail break
10-99 Wanted/stolen indicated

How to Teach English (ESL) Online With or Without a College Degree

A few years ago, I was waiting for a public bus that was late and the girl sitting next to me started FREAKING OUT because she didn’t have her laptop with her. She kept telling the other bus people that she couldn’t be late for class because she could lose the client. “Is she a teacher or a student, and who refers to either one as clients?” I thought. Nobody seemed to care or pay attention except me. I wanted to figure out what she was talking about.

I asked some questions but she got defensive (I’m pretty sure I came off as creepy rather than concerned or intrigued). All she told me was that she was a teacher online, her students lived in different countries, and it was super important that she wasn’t late for class.

Once the bus arrived I left her alone and never saw her again, but, after that incident I was determined to figure out how she was doing it. Although I never figured out exactly how she did it, I’ve discovered a method that matched her situation.

Cafétalk.com

Cafétalk is an internet service that allows anyone to teach private lessons through skype. It’s not as simple as creating a profile and clicking a button, but, it’s not too hard to get started either. You have to talk to an administrator and go through an interview so they can determine what you’d teach and whether you’d make a good tutor or not. Most of the lessons on Cafétalk are language (mainly English), and most of the students are Japanese, but depending on your teaching niche, you can find the right students for you. The students on the site range all ages from different countries who want to learn anything from playing guitar to origami.

Once you’ve created a profile (account), you have to be a unique and reliable teacher in order to gain the attention of students. There are plenty of students on the site but there’s also a ton of extremely qualified teachers too. If you’re a beginner with very little teaching or tutoring experience, it’ll be hard to get going. You’ll have to market yourself, have interesting lessons, and of course, BE THERE ON TIME.

You don’t even need a desktop; you can do it all through a smart phone. The pay is determined by you. After a few hours of set-up and research, you could be teaching at $20+/hour immediately upon finishing your scheduled interview with an administrator. The real work comes from creating your lessons and getting your students to enjoy your lessons so they’ll come back on a regular basis. If you do this, there’s no reason you can’t make a decent income with only a few lessons a day. That being said, don’t do it for the money, you have to love your lessons. If you don’t love to teach, then I suggest going somewhere else.

How to Legitimately Teach English Overseas With or Without a College Degree

First of all, and I know this is obvious, BUT, it’s much easier to do this if you have a bachelor degree in anything especially education or English. Secondly, although you can do this anywhere in the world, even in English speaking countries, it’s much easier to do in Asia. If you have a bachelor degree, and English is you’re native language, finding a job teaching or tutoring English should be about as easy as getting an entry level job in the US. So, what I’m going to explain is how to teach English as a second language in Asia with/without a college degree.

If you go to job boards you’ll see a lot of ads and job qualifications requiring or wanting you to have an ESL or TEFL/TESL or CELTA. Although they are important when it comes to actually landing a good job they are secondary to a college degree. A four year degree seems to be an international basic. Associate degrees don’t mean jack sh*t overseas (for the most part). Tutoring is different from teaching. Tutoring can be done without any degrees or certifications. You can always teach under the table (illegally) but if you’re really serious about teaching legally with consist pay and benefits, go get a bachelor degree in something universal.

If you don’t want to do that then ignore all the ads for online TEFLs etc, and go through a job program such as ECC (http://www.eccthai.com). Although there are legit online ESL degrees out there, most companies don’t care about them unless you’ve already gone through a hands on course. Instead, for around 1500 US dollars, and about a month long training course you’ll get legitimate TEFL/TESL certification and a job at the end of it. I know people who’ve done this and they’re very happy with this method. The only catch is that the job at the end of the program has to be with the company you went through to get certified and you have to sign a year-long contract with them. This would be amazing but you’ll also discover that your company probably doesn’t pay as highly as others and you’ll want to make more an hour since it’s available. All in all though, this isn’t a bad deal because you’ll get your money back almost immediately and you can save all the money you would have spent on a university. After a year, you’ll have everything necessary to go work somewhere else without much hassle.

If you don’t want to go through a program, or get a college degree, you can get a CELTA. http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celta/

CELTA is accepted by almost every legit company as the “best” English teaching certificate. It’s achieved through Cambridge University. If you don’t have any other degree, you’re going to want this. It’s around 2,000 US dollars to get but it’s the best training and internationally recognized program. You have to take a pre-test in order to take the classes, but it’s not hard if you can read and write at a college level. The course can be be taken online but not completely. You have to spend at least two weeks doing hands on training with actual students before you can finish the program and you have to do that at one of their campuses and they don’t have too many. So, you’ll want to mentally add a plane ticket to the expense list of this method.

Lastly, I want to add that none of this is really necessary but strongly suggested. If English your native tongue that could be all you need. I gave myself a month to try the method of simply going to Asia and asking around. I did this in China, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea and was offered a job more than once to teach English to college students and I don’t have a college degree (I know that’s obvious, right?). That’s how I figured a lot of this stuff out.

I did find out that the cheap $500 or less fully online certifications aren’t complete garbage either. They’re extremely helpful and most of them have solid information and are internationally recognized. However, it’s more important that you get first hand training, than it is to have this certification. If you do have any teaching or tutoring experience, even if it’s not in English, then having this certification will be a big boost because you’ll be both certified and have first hand experience as a teacher, which are the two main requirements.

So, it’s time to either go to Asia or get on a job board. Figure out what companies are looking for. If you like adventure then buy the cheapest ticket to Southeast Asia and go. It’s much easier to land a job if you’re there in the flesh. If that seems sketch or you want a guarantee before taking the risk of buying a one-way ticket to a foreign land, then get on a job board.

Here’s two of the best:

http://www.eslcafe.com

http://www.ajarn.com

If you want to know how to teach English on-line, just wait, I’ll write a post for that. Also, if you want to know the details of how much you can expect to make as an English teacher and how much work it really is, I’ll write a post for that too.