January 9, 2009

English as a Second Language

In Bangkok and loving every over-the-top minute of it. My attempts to be a bona fide blogger have failed miserably. I am too enchanted to take time to go back to my room and 'blog'. I'd rather just sit on a street in this, the craziest, most harried of Chinatowns and just watch and smell.

I'm well aware of the whole hilarious concept of Thailish and the silliness of Asian translations of our tricky Anglo-Saxon tongue. I've always thought it a little mean-spirited to point such things out, until I actually came here and got to experience such unintentional poetry for myself, e.g.:

+ "We want to welcome guests, so we spray our lobby to smell like Frankenstein" (translation: Frankincense)

+ "I hate Sky Crappers" (Said to me while staring out at the dazzling night skyline, and yet, what a perfect word!)

Of course, in my atonal attempts to count from one to ten in Thai, I sound all kinds of hilarious and inappropriate. Everyone smiles and praises, "You know Thai so well, good for you." But then you meet someone honest who points out that you didn't just say "Four" but that you said "scrub" and that when you try to pronounce "Nine", you are actually saying something a little bit naughty.

So, how about we all laugh at one another and call it a day?

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