Friday, July 25, 2008

The Lazy Saturday

Woke up this morning very slowly. The weather outside was gorgeous – overcast and cool, for this place anyway. I haven’t needed to turn on the AC yet this morning. I had a hard time getting out of bed because I didn’t really know what to do all day.

From my living room balcony, I can see the corner of a shimmering aqua blue swimming pool in someone’s back yard. I look at it every day, to see if anyone is using it, because there’s nothing I’d like better than to live in a swimming pool for the next six months. This is surely the hottest country in the world.

As far as I can tell, this neighbor of mine with the swimming pool has never used it. It’s gotten to the point that I’m no longer convinced that it’s a swimming pool, except that I can see the house reflected in its surface, and when the sun shines in the afternoon I can see its ripples reflected off the house. It’s torture. I want to scale their wall, jump in and start splashing around. In this picture you can see it in the lower left corner. I'll try to take a better picture on the next clear day.

Oay called me this afternoon with a phone number for her friend, Mary, who might be willing to be my Thai teacher. This has been a source of constant debate for the last week: Where can I take Thai classes?

Oay suggested that I take a Thai class with Burmese migrants, because there are plenty of schools in Mahachai that teach that crowd.

“But I don’t understand Burmese,” I said.

“No problem!” Oay said. “Teacher speak Thai!”

Well, I insisted that if I was going to pay good money to learn Thai, my teacher was going to at least speak English well enough to explain Thai to me.

“Maybe I have neice,” she said. “She in high school. Maybe she teach you.”

Just because someone is actively studying English in school doesn’t mean they speak it any better than an adult.

“I ask her make time teach you.”

I told Oay that I wanted a real teacher, not some poor teenager who got her arm twisted by her aunt.

So this afternoon, at Oay’s urging, I called the mysterious Mary, who was expecting my call.

“Hello?” I said. “May I speak to Mary?”

A man’s voice on the other end said, “Thai thai thai thai.”

“Mary,” I said.

“Thai thai thai,” he said. “Thai?”

“Mary, please,” I said.

“Mary?” he said.

“Yes, Mary.”

“Hallo?” said a woman’s voice.



“Are you Mary? I am Justina. Friend of Oay.”

“I don’t know.”

“You are Mary? I am friend of Oay.”

“Sorry. Don’t know.”


The man came back on. “Thai thai thai. Sorry. Thai thai thai. I don’t know you.”


All I can say is that Thai people are really nice about wrong numbers. In the U.S. it would’ve been, “You got the wrong number, lady.” *click*

This poor couple actually tried to conjure up some English to explain to me that I had the wrong number. They were probably smiling the whole time, too.

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