Friday, July 25, 2008

The Phone Call

At lunch today, Caroline was telling me about her place in Bangkok. She rents a room for 1,500 baht, which explains why Noreen was so appalled that I pay 6,000 baht for my place. Unlike most Burmese migrants Caroline has mostly Thai neighbors.

“So I have a lot of privacy,” she said. “Thais don’t care what you do. My people, they’re so nosy, always come to see what you do, see a man come visit and talk who is this man, is he good, just talk talk.

“I think Thai people, they are higher developed than Burmese.”

I thought of yesterday’s dinner in the Burmese hood with all the neighbors sitting in the doorway staring at me while I ate.

This morning I started regretting giving my phone number to Lad and Bot. Someone kept calling at 7:30 this morning. I picked up, thinking maybe it was Caroline since we had arranged to meet up this morning and go to her drop-in center together.

“Hulloooh?” I said, trying not to sound sleepy.

I heard a bunch of Burmese chattering on the other end and occasionally, the word “English.”

“Nnghh…” I said. “Hullo?”

More Burmese chattering, probably about how they didn’t know any English and couldn’t communicate with me, which didn’t occur to them before they dialed.

I hung up on them and tried to go back to sleep, but they called three more times, and I hit “ignore” three more times. It was too early for me to find any humor in the situation. In their hands, my phone number had turned into a toy that they were determined to break before 9am on Christmas morning.

When I saw Caroline later she said she had met those guys at the market on her way to town. They told her they had tried to call me this morning but didn’t know how to speak to me in English.

No. Kidding.


Ebony said...

i dedicated this video to myself on my blog, but i think it's funny to imagine you reacting this way to those calls:

Justina said...

"I don't like people playing on my phone!!"