I looove Thailand and I loooove Thai humor, though I make people laugh sooo much when I try to speak Thai that they almost cry ;o)
But besides this obvious farang amusement - for both the Thai person with whom I am speaking and myself - there are other moments of con-fusion, when my background cultures and the Thai person's bacground cultures just don't mesh at first meet. This usually gives rise to a moment of incomprehension, a loss for words, a despair for "how to make this right" and eventually (the patience factor) the laugh and the resolution. (OK, sometimes things are not so rosy, but I pass that... it's not my subject here.)
So, I would love to hear from both Thais and farangs about your experiences. I think sharing these moments will make us all appreciate the richness of these experiences and the good laugh will stay with us for a while ;o)
Here is one example I lived in Bangkok, that will illustrate what I mean. You will see that the true Thai hospitality and desire to help me in my quest is real...
I looove Kai Haw Bai Toey (chichken in fried pandanus leaves). I love the taste, the presentation, the sauce... In Chaing Mai, I ate this often. So when I got to Bangkok, I asked for this in several restaurants. Besides my having to repeat at least 100 times Kai Haw Bai Toey, putting the accent and tonalities where I thought they should be, then varying them so I might just get it right, and the waiter calling over another auntil the whole kitchen staff was gathered around me with question marks in their eyes, my explaining what it was in English, in French, in sign language... nothing could get me that dish... OK, I'll have something else... but one day, in Siam Square, in a small restaurant, after requesting Kai Haw Bai Toey and repeating it at least a dozen times, the waiter walked away... and a few minutes later a katoy came to the table to ask me what I would like... I was embarrassed so I pursued the Kai Haw Bai Toey request, hoping perhaps the lovely person before me would understand what I requested... I was finally relieved when she responded, "Mai Miiiii" (no have)....
I do hope to read your stories,
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As a debater, he is obviously very good in English, properly pronouncing the words.
He told us that when he first arrived in Thailand, he went to a Thai restaurant. The waiter came and he order for "Spaghetti" with the proper English pronunciation.
The waiter went "HUH?" Then he said it again "Spaghettit" Then another huh? came.
After a couple of times of repeating it, the waiter got the order and said. "ohhhhh!"
=) My friend never used the word"Spaghetti" again. He used "Sa-pa-ge-ti" everytime he ordered food.
Same goes for Sprite.... "Sa-prite"
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