A surprise visit from my partner, Laos! We had traditional Lanna style photos taken. So much fun! This week I learned all about foods and flavors. I could read more items on menus and customized my dishes. Laos and I ate delicious khao soi (curry soup), northern minced pork cooked in banana leaves, and spicy chicken bamii noodle salad.
I learned a new phrase – “Dern chon dern.” It is similar to the expression we have in the states, “Paycheck to paycheck.” I asked 3 different people their opinions on this phrase. All of them agreed that it is somewhat common to go about daily life this way. It is not looked down upon. One person estimated that about 80% of Thailand’s middle class operate in this way. One discussion veered into human rights. We talked about the idea of democracy, and how the meaning of freedom is characterized in Thai and American cultures. Two of the people I talked to said that they believed that women in Thailand have a better chance at earning more than their male counterparts. I found this all to be very interesting and in alignment with my new favorite word ความคิดเห็น (quam-kit-hen). It means “opinion” and literally translates into “think, see” with the word “quam” turning the verb(s) into a noun.
I discovered more parts of the old city. I visited many lovely wats (temples), but this week I was more allured by everyday architecture and ordinary things I saw on the street. I was inspired by the combinations of colorful kitch, and modernized ancient customs that are around every corner.
Updates this week:
- Found a new apartment in the old city!
- Attended a Thai Toastmasters Club meeting and spoke briefly in Thai to an audience. I took on the official job of being the “ahhs, umms and errs” counter and also gave a speech! (spontaneity points LOL!)
- First time to pay a local fare price for the songtaew!!!! AKA treated like a local!
- Learning more grammar rules and gaining a better grasp of complex vowels, consonant clusters and tones. Currently reading short stories in Thai.