Day 2: Orientation. Pimsuda filled our brains ’til bursting with Thai history, culture, customs, philosophy, religion, government, and geography. And then we asked annoying questions about food and girly men. The latter of which seem to be much prettier than the average Thai woman, or at least much more well-groomed/ fabulously accessorized.
Our Thai language lesson was 2 hours, and equally as cranially explosive. Our teacher, Orasa, was amazingly patient with my tone-deaf-ness. I’m getting the hang of it; or at least figuring out that a big fat grin + hand gestures gets me farther than attempting to butcher the language. 5 tones mean that words phonetically spelled the same have different meaning depending on their tone. These subtle nuances in tone explain why Becca ordered a boob from our waitress rather than water.
I find myself wishing I knew how to communicate with people better, but at the same time I’m enjoying the freedom of ignorance. I can lowball the crap out of vendors (bargaining = best game ever), and if I do anything wrong, I can just smile and play dumb American and everything is A-OK!
And although many Thai claim that they know English, it’s more of a vague knowledge of Engrish. Accordingly, there is a daily bombardment of hilarious t-shirts, signs, and misunderstandings.