WhyThailand?

WhyKohsamui  Japanese only

Go Samui
Samui Day 1  
Samui Day 2
Samui Day 3
Samui Day4-1  
Samui Day4-2
Last Day 5
GoodByeDay  Japanese and English

FullMoonParty

Koh PhaNgan

Full MoonParty

The episode 1
The episode 2
The episode 3
The episode 4
The episode 5
The episode 6
The episode 7
Thai English Japanese and English

CopySoft
Thai Japanese only

   Episode Thai English 

帰りの航空機の中でバンコクエアーウエーズの機内誌を読んでいたら、面白い記述がありましたので紹介します。(抜粋)

English which a Thai speaks is very interesting. Such an article writes it in the Bangkok airways magazine.  (Extraction)

As any new tourist walking around central Bangkok with map in hand soon learns, it might be safer to carry a signboard around that begs: “Take me for a ride.”  At least most of the touts can't read English.

I was lucky, however. Local girls leapt to my rescue every time. They shooed away the “friendly” young men, took me to the right bus stop, put me on the right bus, and sometimes even dropped me off at my destination.

And all that with a smile and very little spoken English.

The process was always the same.

“ Hello.” I would hesitantly approach a mixed crowd of boys and girls. “Can you speak English.”

“Sa-peek, sa-peek,” would go the refrain. A lot of giggling and nudging later, one little girl would invariably be pushed forward.

  “I can sa-peek a litten,” she'd say “I - want - to - go - Bang - Bua ' Thong,” I'd reply, or to the airport or Bang Na or wherever I happened to be going that day. "OK. Please wait a momen’ please." She'd step back into the gang to discuss which bus I should take, and then emerge again a minute or two later with pen and paper and the bus numbers I needed.

She'd read it out to me in English just in case I couldn't read English numbers, and then smile and step back into the warm protection of her friends. 

 After this happened a few times, I approached a single young woman hoping she would “sa-peek English”. It worked like magic! That's how I met Khun Nalinee, for example, a young dancer and dance teacher. I'd been to see the zoo on the top floor of the Pata Pinklao Department Store, and discovered when I emerged that it was already dark. Then my bus to the other end of town - Samut Prakan - didn't stop despite my frantic dashes into the road to intercept it. After my third such adventure, it dawned on me that perhaps I was at fault.

  So I turned to Nalinee. She smiled and said, “So-lee. The bus does not stop here. You have to go to another bus stop for this bus.”

 Seeing my sheepish look, she quickly added, “Please wait a moment.” She turned away to speak into her tiny mobile phone and then was back with me in a couple of minutes. “I go with you to the bus stop. Please come.” And she stepped onto a bus that had just pulled up. She bought my ticket and we went on for about 10 minutes before disembarking.

As we waited at this next bus stop, I asked her where she was headed.

“To my house. It is near Samut Prakan.” We exchanged phone numbers and compliments. “You are so sliml” You have beautiful eyes!”And then we climbed onto the right bus. She started teaching me the Thai alphabet and asked me why English was so complicated.

 “What do you mean?” I asked. “'Lie means this lie,” she said, pointing to a glowing electric bulb. “And it means ‘lie’ , to eat; ‘lie’ , in weight; I ‘1ie’ you; and so many other things.” Ah! Now this was a problem I could resolve, and I set about doing so with relish. “May I meet you sometime to practise my English with you?” she asked afterwards, in flawless English. “Of course,” I replied instantly.

 She came over the next weekend and I accepted an invitation to her hometown for Songkran.

Since then, we’ve been to Sukhothai, Krabi and Koh Samet together. Next month, we plan to go to Koh Samui on a holiday. Oh yes! I've also been a guest of honour at her dance performance and have visited her classes.

   The next guardian angel was Khun Neng. Neng was a human resource assistant at her office and, on my lucky day, she'd been to meet her friend at Don Muang Airport. She took me to Bang Bua Tong (a 90-minute bus ride) before getting on another bus to go home. I discovered this only later when I knew her better. Since then, she has travelled with me, translated for me and even signed as my guarantor for a hire-purchase. In return, I've helped her draft official letters and listened as she held forth incessantly on her boyfriends.She took my advice and quickly dropped an Aussie lad who was out for a good time of another sort from what she had in mind.

    About a month after I met Neng, I was strolling near the Grand Palace when I met Khun Maem, a singer at a karaoke bar. She stepped in just as a tout was about to take me for a long, long ride. In England, she would have been a little old lady brandishing her umbrella at the bad men. But this was Thailand, and a few tough words together with a measured smile got the message across. The tout dematerialized before my amazed eyes - and I hadn’t been able to shake him off for an hour before that.

    Shrewd enough to see through my well-rehearsed “Help me, I'm lost” act, Maem put me on the right bus, told the lady conductor where to drop me off, and told me which bus to take from there.To top off her good samaritan act, she also gave me her mobile number so I could call if I got lost again, or just to tell her when I reached home safely.

    Later, when I was house-hunting, Maem not only did the rounds with me, she also negotiated vociferously on my behalf, reducing the monthly rent by 2,000 baht. I was so thrilled that I hugged her. Pleasantly surprised and gratified that her help meant so much to me, she brushed off my thanks brusquely and said I was like her family, and I had to meet her more often. And now I dol Partly for the delectable som tam, or spicy green papaya salad, that she unfailingly conjures for the pleasure of her and her grandmother' s guests. She has also introduced me to the little song taews, or private buses, that provide seamless transport all around Bangkok.

     After meeting Maem one day, I took the wrong bus. Instead of the yellow board, I took the red board. How on earth should I know that? I should, Khun Poo told me later, in rather strict tones. Poo was a primary school teacher. And she has taught me the colour coding of the Bangkok buses as well as provided further lessons in the Thai alphabet. My contribution to her life, in return, has been negligible. She suffers me in much the same way that she suffers her students.

     Khun Salita and Khun Nut, though, are very different. Salita works in a posh hotel and Nut is a student from Chiang Mai who hopes to work in the tourism industry. Both of them regularly come to me to learn English and, in exchange, sometimes teach me Thai.There are many others whom I have, regrettably, lost sight of. Some have been too busy to return my calls or perhaps hey do not like to be constantly reminded of their “little nameless acts of compassion and of love”.

     For someone who doesn't know the language or the turf, I now get around quite a bit in Thailand.The more so since I realized that the city is full of angels and, if I’m lost, all I have to do is look around helplessly and I’ll hear the rustle of wings. Soon after, a competent pair of hands will descend to lead me safely home.

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