Written by Angela
I am a music fan. I wake up with a song in my head every morning. I used to manage bands as a living… and the only Thai song I have learnt to recognize and occasionally sing in my sleep goes a bit like, “Do do do do tim tam”. This song makes me think of chocolate biscuits constantly. Clearly those are not the official words, but more of a DIY translation. In fairness, we’ve all messed lyrics up in our own language, let alone in Thai (apparently “the easiest language to learn in the world” according to someone who had made no-attempt-to-learn it and needed-a-stiletto-to-the-face.) But I digress…In all honesty who knew Whitney was saying “…and the chains of Amistad couldn’t hold us”? What about that Cuban classic “One Ton Maria”. Can anyone actually tell me what they say at the end of “Love Shack”? (Privately, you can ask me what I hear in David Guetta’s “Titanium” ‘cause that’s not really for public consumption. *smirks*)
One striking anomaly for me is the feet thing. Thai etiquette states that feet, as the lowest part of your body, must never be pointed at anyone and are basically not to be messed with. This rule seems to have bypassed my students. They swarm, mosquito like, around my lower phalanges, touching anything and everything within their sticky, very limited grasp. (Even my butt is not off limits to their greasy little 7year old mitts.) However, it seems they are most fascinated with my toe ring and red toe-nail polish, therefore feeling the need to rub/touch/hold them to ensure they are real. I need one of those fake tennis racquets to keep them away. Strange little things, kids.
One of the things I am in awe of about Thailand is the ability of Thai’s to juggle 57 different things on a moped. You will appreciate this, fellow chickies…having read my blog about trying to learn how to ride the afore mentioned death trap moped. I have seen whole families; Mum, Dad, 3 kids and the dog happily trucking down Main Street. The transportation invention I most like is the highchair adaptation…a cane high chair-like structure that is placed between the driver and the steering column. The “hiwheechair” apparatus is designed for kiddies that are too small to hold on to something for themselves, so they don’t falloff and hurt themselves. Pure genius.
Last week someone called me a balloon chaser. It’s kinda an insult I guess. See, in Thailand when it is your birthday, you shout! That’s the good news. The birthday (bar) girl puts balloons up so everyone knows it’s her special day and it’s an open invitation for free food. That’s right...anyone can join in the fun – even if you have never met the (bar) girl before. Also, good news. Essentially a volunteer can dine for free a number of times a week by being a “balloon chaser” or, as we kiwis like to say, “a bloody scab”. Oh well…I’m ok with that if the food is good!
‘til next week….
“If you see, in any given situation, only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it.” - S.I. Hayakawa.
Angela is a fearless and tireless ambassador for all that is good in this world – especially if it involves wine and cheese. This self confessed hedonist is taking a break from her life of international fame and fortune to volunteer in Phuket for 6 months with a charity called Phuket Has Been Good To Us. Although she has lived in some fabulous other countries, she is a first time migrant to Thailand, having previously visited a number of times to work on her tan and learn how to drink from buckets.
Angela asserts her right to be identified as the author of this work. All copyright and/or pictures are the property of the author.