“Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.”
– C.S. Lewis
“And TEFLers have the sort that often borders on hysteria.”
Humour and the TEFL Lifestyle
Well, to be accurate, the TEFL lifestyle didn’t suddenly become silly – it has always had elements which were daft to the point of surreal – expectations which include teaching classes of really mixed ability groups (with some students who don’t even know how to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in English and others who, embarrassingly, speak it better than you do), organising ‘workshops’ for a hoard of hyper-active kiddos without so much as a finger puppet in the way of materials, and – true story this one – teaching literature in a department which has no actual books whatsoever. Yeah, you gotta laugh.
A Healthy Dose of Daftness
So, no excuses and no justifications for a little corner of the site dedicated to a bit of nonsense. Money may make the world go round, but a dose of daftness can keep you sane. Well, semi-sane, at least.
Click on the image above or the link below to hop to a page of memes dedicated to the TEFL lifestyle, some choice excerpts from that classic of English language teaching, “Mastering the Idiosyncrasies of the Syntax, Grammar and Idioms of the English Language By Means Of Illustrated Tales Demonstrating the Functions Thereof for Continentals and Other Persons of the Foreign Persuasion”, and any other nonsense examples of our razor-sharp wit which might occur to us.
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.”
– Paulo Coelho
Now, isn’t that the truth? And if it isn’t the actual truth, it’s most probably the justification you give your loved ones (and yourself) for wandering the globe year in, year out, in search of TEFL gigs, so, either way, it’s definitely a keeper and possibly worth considering as the quote to add under your digital signature when you write emails to the folks back home.
And, let’s face it – there are times when we get to feel just a little bit smug over our choice of lifestyle. If your provenance is more northerly regions, and you’ve landed a job in hotter climes, then the feel-good moment often arrives when you’re sunning yourself on a sugary-sand beach, whilst it’s pelting down grimy winter rain back home. Need you be reminded that such moments really ought to be accompanied by Instagram and Facebook photographic proof in order to maximize the gloat factor? No, I didn’t think you did.
The Night-Life Beckons
And of course, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down; while back home they’re sitting watching Coronation Street, clasping a mug of hot tea to their breasts, and a lousy hot water bottle to look forward to at the end of the evening, you have a balmy evening of exotic entertainment beckoning to you. It’s undeniable – the attractions of a twinkling-in-the-dark foreign city after working hours are multiple, however, it shouldn’t be forgotten that they aren’t entirely without the odd risk to health and wallet.
As a seasoned traveler, you might be tempted to forego the cautious checking and double-checking of your home nation’s foreign office web-site for potential dangers abroad, leaving such caution to the worry-warts who venture nervously abroad for a fortnight once a year. And well you might – after all, you’ve probably been doing the whole globe-trotting malarkey for a long a time, and have managed just fine to stay out of trouble up till now. Add to the equation that teachers are naturally a very sensible bunch, with TEFLers well-known for being particularly judicious, everything I’m about to write probably falls under the heading of ‘bloody obvious’, however, just in case you’re new to the field, or just happen to be that one-in-a-million EFL professionals who does not possess commonsense in industrial quantities, I’m just going to state the bloody obvious.
Let’s start off on a positive note – by day or by night, some of the regions of the planet which your friends and relatives back home might well assume to be very risky, especially these days, are actually safer – in some cases, much safer – than your home town. Concrete example? The UAE was indicated as the nation with the lowest rate of violent crime in the world in the 2014 Social Progress Index, which, even leaving a good bit of a margin for unreported crime, still translates into a place which is far from being riddled with risks. That said, even in the ostensibly safest places on the planet, applying a wee bit of commonsense, especially after dark, is never a bad thing.
Know the Local Culture
Here’s a possible rule of thumb – could you give a half hour talk on the laws, customs and culture, including the religious mores, of your new country? If you can’t, then quite possibly you might not have a total grasp on what will pass as acceptable or even legal behavior. Some tourists spend months swotting up on the do’s and don’ts of the countries they’ll spend barely a few days in; it’s not totally out of place to suggest that, when you arrive in a new country to live and work, spending a little time to form a general idea of how to keep out of trouble before hitting the town isn’t a such a bad idea. Just in case, rather than hitting the town, you ought to be tapping it. Very, very discretely.
There probably isn’t a woman on the planet who hasn’t had it drummed into her since girlhood that the world is a dangerous place, especially after dark, and who consequently doesn’t know the golden rules off by heart: avoid walking close to dark doorways, walk with your keys in one hand and your cell phone in the other, and, safest of all, arrange some sort of buddy system by which a pair or a group of friends keep an eye out for one another, to name but three. All well and good, but if your current social circle in your new country of residence is restricted to the one friendly colleague of your own age-group who you grab lunch with once in a while, the whole buddy system solution might not seem terribly workable.
Rather than wait for the relationship with the pleasant colleague to bloom into full paint-the-town-together buddy-ship, why not make use of one of the social networking sites for ex-pats, such as Internations or Meet-up, with the precise intention of finding some gal-pals with similar interests? Be pro-active in proposing that you all take a bit of care of one another, by arranging lifts, taking turns being the designated driver, taking turns the being stone-cold sober Responsible One, double-checking safe arrivals, etc.
It really, really is worth asking around for a trusted taxi-driver, tried and tested by those who’ve been there longer than you, and who can be counted on to turn up when he’s supposed to, not to rip you off by grossly inflating the fares (not everywhere in the world do taxis have meters), or by taking you on an unnecessary extended version of your trip which you, with that just-arrived look on your face, did not ask for, drives calmly and carefully in a vehicle which does not have tyres ripe for bursting or an engine ready to conk out on a busy motorway, and, if you’re a woman, can be relied upon to keep his hands to himself. You might have to arrange your own social life around his availability to a small degree, but depending on where you are, the alternatives could be pretty dire.
Drinking and Driving
While we’re on the subject of getting around, it’s worth remembering that the penalties for drunk driving vary from country to country, and in some places are extremely severe, even when the alcohol in the blood is only a teeny bit over the established limit. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that in some countries, most notably Saudi Arabia, residents are expected to be totally dry – even just being caught in possession of a bottle of booze can have horrific consequences. Karl Andree will be spending Christmas at home this year, but a couple of months ago, his situation was looking dreadfully bleak. The 74 year-old spent a year in a Saudi jail, and had a 350-lash public flogging on the horizon until British PM David Cameron managed to intercede on his behalf. Many of the other nations with an alcohol ban are not EFL destinations, so not a concern to your average TEFLer, however, a few are – Kuwait, Brunei, Libya and the Emirate of Sharjah (something to keep in mind if you’re living in the UAE and travelling with alcohol in your car).
Punishments around the world for drunk driving can be very severe, whether the nation in question has outlawed alcohol consumption or not. Consider the following examples:
If you don’t manage to obtain the intervention of your Prime Minister or President, you could face 10 years in a Saudi jail. Plus a public flogging. You also get fined several thousand pounds, but I reckon that would be the least of your worries at that point.
China has to be one of the biggest TEFLer employers, so huge numbers of colleagues are either working there already or are planning to do so. This country also comes down very heavily on drunk driving, and will mete out life sentences in prison to those injuring others or damaging property through DUI.
In France (yes, France!) too you can end up in the clinker. Not less than a year behind bars, plus a fine, plus the withdrawal of your driving license for up to three years.
Not a key TEFL hot-spot, by any means, and I can’t honestly say I’ve met someone who has taught there, but there are TEFL jobs on offer, so it’s definitely worth pointing out that El Salvador has the most severe penalties on the planet for DUI – death by firing squad, even when it’s a first offence.
The sensible thing, of course, is to get clear, detailed, up-to-date information from a reliable source regarding the country you’re staying in, focusing in particular on the limits of alcohol permitted by law(if at all) and the potential penalties you risk facing should you get caught breaking those laws, preferably before a drop too many has clouded your capacity to make wise decisions. While you’re at it, it might be worth double-checking what is and isn’t tolerated even when you aren’t behind the steering wheel of a car. Take Dubai, for example – you can get arrested for making a spectacle of yourself in public whilst under the influence.
Girls, Girls, Girls
Gents, this one is for you. Women nowadays tend to be pretty aware of the hazards of not keeping their eye on their drink, but if you’ve landed a teaching post in South East Asia, even though you may be a big, burly bloke, leaving your drink unattended, or just letting yourself go and getting thoroughly tanked up in the wrong company while in search of a bit of R & R, could turn out to be a huge mistake. Who isn’t aware that girls working for night clubs earn their money by convincing you to buy them mind-bogglingly expensive drinks? Well, maybe some tourists – certainly not worldly, well-travelled TEFLers. What you might not know is that in some places, for example, in Thailand, some of the girls are willing to take it one step further, and will spike your drink, get you thoroughly incapacitated and then clean you out. If you don’t fancy coming to several hours (or days!) later, with your cash and credit cards gone, then take advantage of the fact you’re not trying to cram the fun and games into a week’s holiday, but can afford the luxury of taking your time to get to know which areas and clubs should be avoided like the plague.
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape”
God knows, TEFLing can be awfully hard on the ole physique. Without even getting into the less than state-of-the-art medical facilities one is often forced to rely on, the dramatic change of diet, climate and environment which comes hand in hand with TEFLing abroad for a living can knock your organism for six.
It’s none too gentle on the psyche either, it has to be said. The job often requires an individual to repeatedly subject him or herself to a combination of classic stress factors, such as moving home, changing job, living far from loved ones, financial instability and consequent concerns, and integrating oneself into new cultures on a fairly regular basis. Just one of those challenges is enough to send a person into a tizzy – your average TEFLer abroad deals with the combination of all of them many times throughout his or working life!
So, what to do when the TEFLing has started to take its toll, and you’re feeling a little ragged round the edges?
Yoga might well be the answer.
When East Met West
The precise origins and age of yoga are in themselves subjects for debate, however, charting the introduction and influence of the Eastern philosophy in the West is much easier to do, as it occurred relatively recently, though perhaps not quite as recently as one might think. Long before modern-day rat-race-runners halted in their tracks and turned to the East in their quest for inner peace, Norbin Chunder Pal, a graduate of the Bengal Medical College, published in London A Treatise on the Yoga Philosophy, under the anglicized version of his name, N. C. Paul. The year was 1851.
If you’re struggling to imagine stiff and starched Victorians trying to get into yoga poses, it’s because they didn’t – Paul’s book focused on explaining, from a scientific view-point, the physiological effects of yoga on the human body, including the decidedly spectacular phenomenon of a Punjab yogi’s capacity to ‘suspend life’ and survive a 40-day live burial; the book stimulated theoretical discussion, not actual practice, among its readers, who were, it has to be said, mostly from the press and the scientific community. So, although he may not have been responsible for hoards of New Age Victorian ladies busting out of their whale-boned corsets to salute the sun, he can certainly be accredited with getting the West talking about yoga for the first time.
About forty years later, a swami called Vivekananda made it to the USA and, once there, wowed the audiences at the Chicago World Fair with his exotic robes and turbans, and an undeniable stage-presence, getting a two-minute standing ovation just for his five-word opening: “Sisters and brothers of America!”. He too avoided trying to coax his listeners into tantric poses, but orated his way into their enthusiasm, speaking to them of Hinduism, Buddhism and harmony among religions with such eloquence that the American press nick-named him ‘the Cyclonic Hindoo Monk of India’.
From Treadmill to Transcendental
It wasn’t until the early 1960’s that yoga began to be practiced in the West on any real scale. No longer merely a subject for polite conversation, yoga was launched stateside primarily by an American called Richard Hittleman who’d completed his apprenticeship in India, and who filtered the religious element out of the very spiritual practices he’d learned from his guru, and made it palatable to large numbers of more secular Americans by focusing on the physical benefits to be had.
By the time Swami Satchidananda, sitting on stage at Woodstock, in 1969, had half a million very mellow young people chanting ‘Hari Om’, Westerners had finally got off their horsehair-stuffed armchairs and were able to sit cross-legged on the floor. Not only that, many of them had learned to maneuver their limbs into yoga poses, and some even to meditate. It is rumoured that about half a dozen or so of them even managed to locate their third eye during those halcyon Age of Aquarius days.
During the 1970’s yoga went mainstream, and yoga studios started popping up everywhere, although the general vibe was perhaps more Lycra than cheesecloth. The many benefits of yoga were at last available to those not graced with being born in the shade of an ashram, and, increasingly over the decades, yoga has come to be seen as one of the most effective antidotes to modern, post-industrial societal stress. Even if you never do quite manage to figure out where your third eye is supposed to be, the slow-stretching, non-traumatic postures and positions of yoga can do wonders for those destined to spend their working days hunched tensely over computers.
Yoga: what’s in it for you?
A faster metabolism
Better sleeping patterns
Calms and de-stresses
Protects your joints
What’s not to like? It’s certainly worth giving yoga a bash just in case it turns out to be the answer to your bodily and spiritual issues, though strictly speaking there should be absolutely no bashing going on whatsoever, which is probably one of the main reasons why other less spiritual fitness fads have come and gone, some even revealing themselves to be rather detrimental to the health (remember the jogging craze of the Eighties? Everybody and their eighty-year-old mothers were slipping on lime-green or canary yellow, high-cut, nylon running shorts and pounding the pavements, and, tragically, many of them didn’t live to rue the day they suddenly took up vigorous exercise after a lifetime of sedentary behavior), while yoga has had an enduring appeal over the decades – it’s undeniably gentle on the heart, joints and muscles, as well as being soothing on the psyche.
Hitting the Yoga Mat
Well, perhaps not so much hitting it, as lowering yourself gently on to it.
If you’re keen to get started, ideally, you will want a good yoga instructor to guide you serenely towards inner peace and a more supple and flexible physique. Yoga schools and personal yoga teachers can be found just about everywhere on the planet, though, as always in such things, if you can get a recommendation from a very satisfied and observably chilled-out, loose-jointed client, it’s always better than just walking into some unknown yoga centre which you just happen upon.
What if your TEFL post has taken you well and truly off the beaten track, and there actually is no yoga instructor, much less yoga centre, in the area?
If you take it easy, listen very carefully to your body and to any warning signs it might give out in the form of twinges and overly-taut muscles (a word with a doctor would also be advisable, if you want to be 100% sure that there are no contraindications for you, though the doctors you can now access probably have a very limited idea of your past medical history – still, you might want to try and fill him/her in as best you can so they can advise you), there’s always the Internet.
Not quite the same thing as having your own personal guru lighting candles and incense, and talking you quietly through the process, but the computer monitor does give off a bit of glow to create a smidgeon of an atmosphere, and if you stick to your guns about never, ever pushing yourself further than is totally comfortable, a chirpy, gently encouraging YouTube yoga instructor surely has to be better than sitting on your bum in front of the TV all night – at least to get you started.
Naturally, yoga has a great deal more going for it than mere body postures – the physical aspect is, I am told by an actual yoga instructor, just the preparatory phase for the main event, which is, of course, the meditation. I’m not even going to begin to suggest that YouTube videos will get you lost in transcendental meditation…but you never know…so here are a couple of links to YouTube pages with some videos which might get you started on breathing exercises and meditation techniques. The only real risk with doing these unsupervised is that you might just fall asleep. And since TEFLers can sometimes be a bit sleep deprived, that’s no bad thing.
Even if you are dependent on a video guru, once you get the hang of asanas (yoga positions) and work out an effective routine, you can get yourself outdoors and find yourself a pleasant spot to go through your moves – a beach at dawn or sunset, a desert dune, a grassy meadow or a wood all suit the purpose perfectly.
And who knows, the next job posting might be somewhere that actually has flesh-and-blood yoga instructors. You never know – by the time your current contract runs out, you might be ready to give up the rich and materialistic TEFL lifestyle and run off to join an ashram.
There comes a time when every cell in your body is screaming at you to head for the door and to the nearest airport. What do you do? Give in to the feeling and run like hell, or try and stick it out?
The expression ‘doing a runner’ actively enters into your vocabulary usually about the same time you take up your very first TEFL position somewhere very, very far from all that is familiar, which, you will shortly discover, also includes the Western concept of workers’ rights. It’s not unknown for a freshly arrived TEFL teacher to hear, in fact, that the position he or she has just landed, had become available because someone else had ‘done a runner’. This act consists of dispensing entirely with letters of resignation and working one’s notice, but simply heading off into the night in a hastily flagged-down taxi, clutching a suitcase or two containing all one’s worldly possessions and wearing a wild-eyed expression interrupted only by a newly acquired tic.
The reason for your predecessor’s hurried departure doesn’t usually tardy in becoming apparent, and quite possibly you too will be the proud owner of a nice, new tic before the first month is over. On the other hand, you may turn out to be made of tougher stuff altogether, and find that it only requires drinking yourself into a stupor every evening to make it through the days and the nights. Which is great. Truly it is. Unless the over-priced booze starts to take its toll on your liver and/or bank balance, and you end up having to borrow money from your new colleagues in order to eat, in which case, you might be forced to face the reality – it’s not working out for you.
Sake, absinthe, whatever – it can all look very appealing when you’re feeling down.
DISTANCE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Making oneself utterly miserable in order to earn a living is, unfortunately, the unavoidable lot of many human beings; the fledgling tic in your right eye could quite easily have been acquired in Manchester or Arkansas, or whichever city you left behind you, starry-eyed at the thought of decent money in an exotic setting. However, back home, at the end of a cruddy working day, chances are you had caring relatives or a set of good mates ready and willing to listen to you letting off steam, to make you a cup of tea, buy you a beer, or to remind you that Mad Men is on the telly later on (let it not be forgotten that, depending on where you end up TEFLing, you might not even be able to rely on having any delightfully brain-numbing decent TV to fill your evenings). More importantly, back home, if your employer really pisses you off, you’ll have various avenues of recourse open to you to protect and to compensate you, whereas where you’re at now it’s quite possible that however rotten a deal you’re being dealt by your employers, there is little, if anything, you can do about it.
TEFLING can mean self-containment to the nth degree
It would be disingenuous to claim that lousy and dishonest employers are to be found only in foreign climes, because nothing could be further from the truth. Likewise, it would be inaccurate to imply that all TEFL jobs will end up making you rue the day you signed the contract. However, the sense of isolation from the emotional and social buffer of family and friends, combined with the deep frustration of having very few legal options open to you, should things not work out as well as you’d hoped, make all the difference between a professional disappointment on your home turf, and one somewhere overseas.
No TEFLer ever went on strike. Ever.
THE HUMANIST MIND-SET
It’s easy to take for granted the laws protecting workers’ rights when you’re a great-great-great-great-great grandchild of the Enlightenment, with a strong sense of individualism in your DNA; it’s understandable not to fully grasp how collectivism, the basis for all the key non-Western TEFL destinations, translates into what you can and cannot expect from an employer-employee relationship, until hit with the reality of not being able to do absolutely anything from a legal stand-point about some grossly unfair event; it’ll be tempting to write off all obstacles you come up against as being down to your employer being less than honest, less than fair, less than decent. The difficult part is trying to figure out if you and your individualistic brain can survive in a collectivist society without damage being done to your physical and mental health, and coming to terms with the simple but harsh reality that, outside of the West, your rights as a worker simply do not have the same weight as they would back home.
On the road again?
RESIGN YOURSELF TO RESIGNING?
Whilst not advocating doing runners as a solution, especially since they leave dirty great holes in your curriculum vitae, it might be worth pondering whether certain foreign countries are really destined to be anything other than potential holiday destinations to you, and whether you might not be happier and healthier sticking to TEFLing in nations which the Enlightenment, well, enlightened, because, at the end of the day, a job which costs you your mental and physical well-being is really not worth it.
Realistically, nobody wants to accumulate industrial quantities of kitchenware when they’re quite likely to be packing their suitcases and hopping on a plane to a new destination at the end of each year. You may even be the type of person who would consider the purchase of a wooden spoon as something decidedly superfluous. However, if you ever did get the urge to invest in something for the kitchen other than one-plate-one-fork-one knife-one-glass, one truly worthwhile little gadget which really deserves to be invested in is the blender.
Uh huh. And what is a blender exactly?
Well, it’s a largish, jug-shaped contraption with a blade thingy in its base, which smashes up fruit and veg, reducing it to a semi-liquid, pureed kind of consistency. The resulting mush is called a ‘smoothie’ these days.
For the uninitiated – what a blender looks like
Right. I can just about wrap my brain round that highly technical explanation, but why exactly do I need one, and why would I want to consume ‘mush’?
Well, to get straight to the point – smoothies are awfully useful in keeping fit and healthy.
Vitamins, minerals and fiber, associated with good health and a longer life expectancy, are to be found in fruit and vegetables, especially if consumed raw. And since most of us don’t consume the seven-a-day portions we’re supposed to, and since a blender allows you to cram huge amounts of fruit and vegetables into your body without it feeling like you’re stuffing yourself with foods you might not feel like or even like that much, using your blender to make home-made smoothies is a great way to make sure you’re getting the optimum amount of nutritional goodies.
Whoa! Back up a moment – seven-a-day? I thought it was five-a-day?
It was and it wasn’t. Five portions of fruit and vegetables were actually always indicated as the minimum daily in-take, but further research, carried out by University College London researchers using the Health Survey for England, has shown that it’s better if you down seven or more portions a day, if you want to reduce your death risk by at least 33%.
You’re beginning to sound like my mother. What if I don’t like fruit and vegetables enough to chomp my way through seven portions a day?
Enter the blender. I’ve been known to swallow an entire pineapple, a couple of kiwi, and several handfuls of berries in one sitting. When it’s all mushed up it sort of slips down the gullet almost without you noticing. Quite different from masticating your way through a pile of the unblended stuff.
Ah, wait a minute. Pineapple, kiwi, and berries? What happened to the vegetables? Surely they’re as important as fruit?
Absolutely, and, in fact, you can blend them too!
A cabbage and spinach cocktail? Sounds delicious…
This is where imagination and creativity step in. EFL teachers are supposed to have these traits in industrial quantities. You can blend all sorts of healthy food-stuffs, and throw together the most amazing combinations of ingredients that taste really very pleasant even though some of the ingredients are of the less delicious type. In other words, just make sure you chuck in enough good-tasting elements to balance out the nasty ones.
Okay, fair enough, but what has this got to do with TEFLing?
Lots. When you go off on a fortnight’s holiday to a foreign land, your organism can get stressed out by the climatic and dietary changes. When you spend years of your life living in all sorts of climates and environments, your organism has to readjust time after time. The food might not be what you’re used to, or even familiar enough with to cook with. You might just end up eating out quite a lot with consequent higher risks of getting an upset tummy. What you’re provided in terms of medical coverage will not always be of the standard you’re probably used to. In other words, your health could take, if not an actual battering, a jolly good shake-up. Eating healthily is an awfully easy way of contributing to keeping yourself in good health.
Some you’ll have to peel, some you can chuck in as it is
Sounds a bit health-freaky to me. I don’t even like cooking junk-food, much less peeling and chopping piles of fruit and veg.
Well, that’s the point – it takes very, very little time – only a few minutes. Plus, there’s no actual cooking. You just fill up the jug with roughly chopped fruit and vegetables, and press the ‘on’ button. Couldn’t be easier. And actually, there’s no need to reduce your ingredients into tiny, regular pieces – experiment with your blender and you’ll see how it can actually cope fine with quite large chunks. Also, there’s no need to peel everything – for example, I chuck apples and plums in with their peel. Just wash them properly first. Oh, but for God’s sake peel kiwis and lychees.
So, you just chuck assorted chunks into the blender and Bob’s your uncle?
More or less. You’ll need a bit of liquid, otherwise your mush will be solid enough to stand a spoon up in. You can use ice-cubes, yoghurt, or – something I like – a handful of frozen berries. You can add water if you like. It depends how runny you like it.
Okay, so give us a recipe then.
Well, okay. But first let me give you a list of suggestions for ingredients to use. Half the fun is actually experimenting with combinations, and although not every single smoothie you’ll ever make will be like nectar of the gods, some will be absolutely delicious. Honest injun.
Fruit – apples, bananas, plums, peaches, melon, watermelon, papaya, mango, strawberries, raspberries, avocado pears, pineapple, etc.
Fruit juices – citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits squeezed (do not throw into the blender whole or you’ll end up eating the bitter peel) and the juice of pomegranates
Herbs and spices – fresh mint, parsley, basil, ginger, cumin, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.
Oh! And you can even chuck in honey, nuts, dried fruits, muesli and, well, just about anything. Not chips though – healthy anythings.
Think salady-type vegetables and you won’t go wrong
Okay…so just how much do these things cost?
Actually, not very much at all. Although prices will vary from country to country, the following link will give you an idea. As you can see they start from about £23, though there’s even one listed on there which only costs a tenner (£10).
The Internet is full not only of smoothie recipes, but of entire web-sites dedicated to them. Should your TEFL imagination let you down, you can always have a look at them. But here’s one to get you started.