i give up. i will never attempt to speak thai again. it just gets me in one mess after another.
maybe you remember a while ago, when our mâe bâan and her husband took it upon themselves to get us a dog. cuz they just knew we needed three. well, i haven’t told you the ending to that story. according to them, that dog was bad. she had a bad heart. and they meant the kind of bad that may or may not be repairable with an exorcism so they took her away. we didn’t put up much of an argument. because she truly was trouble. and he assured me she would be okay, he was taking her back to where he got her and she wouldn’t be killed. p’khao and p’jim felt so bad about this dog that they really, really wanted to get us another dog. but i nipped that talk in the bud. i told them that two dogs was enough for us. no need to worry about . that we were happy, happy, happy with two.
harry & ginny*
it appears that the only part of the conversation that was understood was the part about the 2 dogs.
our internet has been down for what seems like an eternity. and it took twice that long to get someone out to the house to fix it. they’re diagnosis – we pay for 8mb speed and only 2mb speed is available in our neighborhood. so we jammed up the line. it took several months for the line to jam up, but finally it happened. and for days i called the adsl hotline. and chose to push 2 for english. because my techno thai isn’t all that. and then i was put on hold. for just a second until i was disconnected. we did make a few trips out of the house for necessities and the like. and on one of those trips we made our way to the tot office. where they promised our internet would be up in 1 hour and in our 2 1/2 years here we’ve come to understand that 1 hour means they’re not gonna do anything. which is exactly what happened.
and then i made a break through. i chose to push 1 for thai. and i listened closely. and managed to get through the thai language gauntlet and talk to a real live person. who spoke no english. but i persevered and got the promise of a technician coming to the house. and when that didn’t happen the kids and i visited a different tot office. and i talked to the right person this time. because she told me the adsl hotline secret – for when we have another problem. and she also got me in touch with a technician. who appeared at our house this morning. and fixed our internet. after clearing out the clogged up lines. i guess 6mb of extra speed over several months makes quite the mess.
i’ve moved on from the talking of thai to the readin’ and writin’ of it. but right now it’s not so much reading it or writing actual words. right now i’m working through the learnin’ of the alphabet. it’s no easy task. there are way more letters than i think are really necessary. 44 consonants!! really? and 2 of those are obsolete – but i still have to learn them? nutz. and many of them make the exact same sound. exact same. and which one you use depends on where it falls in the word. it would be like having two different letter ks. and for the word kite you would use one, but for the word park you would use a different one. even though they sound just the same. and it’s not just 2 letters that sound the same, in some cases it’s 3 or 4. i won’t even go into the three classes the consonants are separated into. because i’m not really sure exactly how that plays into the whole reading thing. but i do know it’s important.
and 32 vowels. 32?? you know how in english we learn the 5 vowels (and sometimes a 6th vowel – depending on how you feel about y) and we learn they can sound many different ways depending on what’s going on in the word. you know, an added e in the word makes the vowel sound one way. or two of the same vowel together make the vowel sound another way, etc, etc. they’ve avoided the need for those kind of rules, because they have an entirely different set of rules that involve a different vowel for any situation. there’s a final consonant? then use this vowel. there’s no final consonant? then use that vowel. it’s a long vowel? then you need this vowel. oh, it’s a short vowel? then this is the vowel you should use.
as of today, i’ve been taught all the letters, but i haven’t memorized them all just yet. i’m really close though. in the next week or so i should move on to the putting together of the letters to form words. if my head doesn’t explode first.
recently, it’s been brought to my attention that animals speak in different tongues. and i had no idea that one country’s animal onomatopoeia isn’t the same as another. for example, an american pig goes “oink, oink” while a japanese pig goes, “boo boo”.
this discovery was made when a thai friend was talking to me about a rooster and it’s incessant “ake-e-ake-ake”-ing. rooster in thai is gài dtua pôo. and i didn’t know that. so when she was telling me the gài dtua pôo woke her up going “ake-e-ake-ake” i assumed she was talking about a charlie horse in her leg aching and waking her up. and what a good laugh she we had once we figured out how silly i am. i immediately came home to google this and see what was up. sure enough, roosters around the globe speak many languages.
and because i would hate to think i could have stopped you from the same embarrassing situation, i’m sharing my new found knowledge. one day, you’ll thank me.
plus, i found this way cool website where you can hear different animal sounds. but i’m not 100% sure of the accuracy. i don’t agree with all the sounds they say the animals that are american make.
how i love that word. i think it’s the added “j” sound on the end. it seems to be so fitting. so complaining that “j”.
and what do i have to whinge about? just last saturday i had wine and real wisconsin cheese. today i had a mani/pedi – my first one since moving to thailand. we’ve got food on our table and everyone’s healthy. what complaints could i possibly have? handily enough i have a list.
having to depend on songthaews and tuk tuks to get around is getting old. fast. it means i’m out the door super early and don’t return home until way too late. with lots of time sitting around in between.
i’m tired. getting out the door super early means getting up and ready rediculously early.
language. in the past few days i’ve managed to get 75% of the drivers i’ve had to deposit me in the wrong location. and one was left with the impression my husband had died.
rugby game. i was unable to get a ride to c14′s first rugby game. which also meant i was left at the school waiting – with a11 and s9 – for him to return from his game. we got home after 7p. we left before 7a. (it could be argued that this is just an example of #1, but i think it’s worthy of it’s own line.)
the fact that i am able – with no extra effort – to store an entire meals worth of food in my teeth. and rice fits nicely in the brackets. and i live in asia where rice is a staple.
the common thread of most of my whinging is the lack of a car. it is much easier to get around with out a car here than it would be in the states. at least the areas i lived in – they did a poor job of the whole public transportation thing. but it’s still limiting to be dependent on songthaews and tuk tuks. tomorrow night is the dinner get together/party thing. i’ve got nothing for it. i’ll have to make an early morning grocery run. i think i’ve worked out how i’ll get there – it’s the getting back that might be more difficult.
but for tonight i shall think happy thoughts and go to bed.
today, while michael and i were out running some errands, it acid rained all over our windshield. kind of freaky, huh? michael was quick to point out it wasn’t acid rain. it was antifreeze. which it seems isn’t supposed to spray all over your windshield. so we called the mechanic. who sent out his speak thai only mechanic helpers. he let michael know they were on their way and might be calling us if they get lost. which he realized might be a problem – seeing as how we don’t speak thai all that well. they made it all on their own and popped the hood and sure enough, no suprise, the radiators all wonky. well, really worse than wonky. it’s broke. busted. sick. i expected them to try to get the car to their shop, somehow, in some special thai way. i was even looking forward to that. but, instead, they did a different special thai thing. they removed our radiator – right there in our driveway.
the busted radiator
our radiator’s better side
and they took it with them. leaving us with a promise to return tomorrow with a repaired, or new, or some kind of alternate radiator. so in our driveway sits our car.
with a radiator size hole under the hood.
and being the pet lover that i am, i washed down the driveway. doing my best to get rid of any and all signs of deadly radiator fluid.
it seems google thinks we’re thai. which means any and all things google related – like blogspot – think we’re thai. we’re not thai. we can’t even read thai. which is a problem. because we can’t read any of the clickable spots. not even the one that might be the one that we should click to get all things google to produce text in english. i am now reaching out to the smartest person i know – ahem, that would be you – for help. please.
oh, and kind of the same, but not really, msn seems to think i’m spanish. anything msn related comes up in spanish for me. i never should have claimed to be trilingual.
“you keep using that word. i do not think it means what you think it means.” inigo montoya, the princess bride
one of the first phrases i learned to say after i arrived in thailand was “excuse me” or “i’m sorry” and i’ve said it a lot. everywhere. all over the place. all the time. any time i felt i’d made some sort of error – which, really, was every time i had any reason to interact with anyone. you know, accidentally bump into someone, “excuse me”. not moving fast enough to get out of the way, “excuse me” i didn’t understand what was said and had no idea how to communicate that, “excuse me”. and the list goes on and on. today in language class i learned that i hadn’t exactly been saying what i thought i’d been saying. instead i’d been saying, “i farted.”
a good week i’ve had
something to do ev’ryday
occupied is good
not a thai master
but simple conversation
am able to hold
ask for directions
order at a restaurant
give some opinion
need to be braver
and try to talk to locals
i want to improve
i am enjoying my thai class very much. but still have a great deal of difficulty using what i’m learning. i know i need to and that i won’t ever be fluent if i don’t, but i have this thing about not wanting to look like a fool. i am taking baby steps – i order in thai at the food stalls and am understood pretty well, i sometimes have to repeat myself 2 or 3 times but i get there, and only once have i ended up eating something that i know i didn’t order – but it was good. of course, i have no idea what it was so i couldn’t order it again.
and, this just in, i’ve gotten word that company might be coming my way. to see me. here. in thailand.