Tidbits of Thailand

24 December 2007 § Leave a comment

The Thai language is really beautiful. There are five tones (low, mid, high, rising, falling) and the script has over 40 characters (i think) and many of them are very similar. It would be a very difficult language to study in depth (though not as much as Mandarin, i think, because the characters are made of an alphabet, not words).
Here is the extent of my Thai:
Sawatdee-kaa! Hello!
Korp kun kaa. Thank you.
Sam Three
See* Four
Sip Ten
*most recent addition

The most recent thing that has caught my attention about Bangkok is that i never see any old, junky cars like in America. They all drive really nice cars, and if they are older models, they don’t look abused. I’m not sure why this is, but my current theory is that only rich people drive cars, and then they take really good care of them. I was expecting the compactness of Europe in the roads and transportation here, but that’s not the case–the roads are wide and the vehicles are as large as in America. They do drive on the left, which was intriguing to me; upon further research, Thailand, Japan, and Indonesia are the only countries that drive on the left without having ever been under British control.

I don’t think i’ll ever get tired of Thai food. It’s so delicous, and there is such variety. However, some of my teammates have eaten fried grasshoppers and crickets and maggots and squid and other creepy crawly or equally disgusting things, and i declined partaking in these. I do think it’s important to be open to trying extra-cultural foods, but i would not seek them out and buy them. I would only eat them if i had to–like if a host had specially prepared them for me, and would be absolutetly offended if i did not accept his hospitality.

I love being in a different culture, but i also feel sorry for the Thai people that my team has been around for the first few days here. I’m sure we’ve made some atrocious mistakes. There have been several times that i’ve forgotten to “wai” back (the hands-together bow greeting, similar to our handshake), or i’ve touched someone’s head (the highest, most respected part of the body–not to be touched unless given permission), or i’ve been too respectful to people in positions of service. We will learn, we will learn.

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