Monday, November 28, 2011

How To Be Thai, Part II

A smaller portion this time. Please enjoy, ladies and gentlemen, the second part of how to be Thai. Ooh, I sound like a presenter now.

That's not spicy
A fair amount of Thai food is spicy. I'm currently in 'middle school' of spice. I love it when Thai food is being served at an event and they've supposedly "toned down" the spice, but the poor folk trying it still tear up from it. I laugh a bit…on the inside.

 Be jealous. I'm jealous. Ladies and gents, this is street Thai food. My hubby says it's delicious and I believe him...I'm hungry now.

That's cool
When someone thinks something is cool, in English we'll say that's cool, awesome, sweetand so forth. In Thai they'll say something that sounds very similar to the English word "knee." It's not really a word, just a slang expression. If you say this when around Thai folk, you'll get brownie points. Of course, you'd have to say it in the correct tone---third tone in this case---considering there are five tones in the Thai language. Hmm, I'll see if I can find you a video of someone saying this expression.

No touchy
No matter your age, as long as you're younger you should not touch an elders head out of respect.The head is considered the most important or sacred part of the body.

There was an incident that I happened to touch Thanik's fathers head, just to fix his hair. After the fact Thanik informed me I normally shouldn't do that, but it's alright considering I did not know that to begin with. Thankfully his dad is very chill, too. Nevertheless, it made me feel a bit shameful afterword.

More bowing

This isn't specifically Thai, but I'll enlighten you for funzies.

Let's say you're having family over at your house and your aunt is laying on the couch. When walking past, you should bow slightly out of respect. Don't fret though, this is only applied to family gatherings, perhaps a get-together with friends, that sort of scenario. So don't worry about bowing at everyone in a crowd.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How To Be Thai, Part I

In the previous post, How To Be Asian, I covered some basics. As you know (I hope) not all Asians are the same, so let me break down some basics on how to be Thai. I was surprised how many unique qualities I came up with, so as to not overload your brain I'll split it in two parts in true Hollywood fashion (get it?).

Being polite
Thai folk have a special way of being polite in addition to their please and thank you. A lady will say "ka" and a gent says "krub," which sounds like crab at the end of a sentence. You will hear these expressions most often if he/she is talking to an elder. Considering there isn't anything like that in English, I'm still getting used to it. Sure I can say ma'am and sir, respectively, but if I said it as often as I would say "ka," people may just question my education.

In the video below you'll get to hear what "krub" and "ka" sounds like. If you're interested to watch the whole video, you can learn how to introduce yourself in Thai, although the lady doesn't go into explanations about the correct tones to use…Enjoy!

When greeting, saying good-bye or saying thank you Thai people will bow. A Thai bow sort of looks like they're praying. This is so engrained in me now that I sometimes instinctively want to bow to people who aren't even Asian. I have done this honestly, but thankfully with a mere slight bow of my head and not a full on praying session. There are some rules of when and when not to bow and whom to bow to, but I won't fuss about that.

To all fellow folk who are married (or not) to an Asian, you must do this too right--bowing to a non Asian?

 (Picture from this blog)
 Adorable. She's even wearing traditional clothing.

The sniff
To show affection Thanik will seemingly sniff my cheek. Basically, he presses his nose against my cheek and, you know, takes an intake of breath when moving away. I'm sure a picture or video would make a lot more sense. In any case, the first time Thanik did this to me I did ask, "Why are you sniffing my cheek?"
Moral of the story, if a Thai friend does this to you, it's their way of showing they care. Aww.

American fried rice
It came from Thailand.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How To Be 'Asian,' Some Basics

Since I've been with Thanik, naturally there are habits that I have picked up and are now apart of my normal routine. I'm merely listing out things that are, shall I say universally Asian, therefore, not specifically Thai. I will do a separate post on things I've found to be more 'specifically' Thai. Good times, ya.

Perfecting the "squat"
I had wondered why Asians in particular seem to prefer this stance (?). The reason is quite simple as I learned from a friend, Satoshi; to keep clean. He too found it curious why we, Americans, sit directly on the ground since it's dirty. Haha, in any case, I have adopted this way of sitting and find it quite comfortable.

Take your shoes off, thanks

It did take me awhile to get used to this one. Now of course my eyes twitch a little bit when my sister, for instance, comes over and forgets to remove her shoes at the front door until I politely remind her to do so.

Believe it or not, Asian men tend to demand/want more attention comparatively to American men. This one surprised me when Thanik and I started dating. Honestly because of him, I have in turn sought a lot of attention out of him. Here is a great example of how we are:


Perfecting rice cooking abilities
Speaks for itself.

Showing respect to elders

This is a bit of a no brainer, but I do feel that this non spoken rule has a--stronger enforcement for the Asian community, so to speak. I'll delve into more about experiences with Thai folk in this situation in the next post.

Asian food preference

This can depend on each individual, but in my case I prefer Asian food over American. Because of this it can sometimes be difficult to eat out with the hubby since I'd rather not eat at, well, any American restaurants. Ironically perhaps Thanik is peachy with eating almost anything American.


I am still working on this, but I can hold my own pretty well. Thai people really only use chopsticks when eating sushi and noodles, otherwise they use a fork and spoon. Did you catch that? Not all Asians use chopsticks to eat [everything]. Amazing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Conversation With Ra

My sister's cat Ra has to be one of the most entertaining felines I've come across. Below is a short real life story of a---moment in Ra's sometimes bizarre life. 

Amachan is in the restroom getting ready for bed when Ra saunters in and proceeds to complain.

Ra: *stares at Amachan* Meow---meow.
Amachan: What Ra?
Ra: …Meow.
Amachan: *has homemade facial that smells nice/delicious in hand* You can't eat this Ra.
Ra: Meeeow---Meow---Meow.
Amachan: This isn't a treat Ra.
Ra: *stubborn* Meow.
Amachan: *leans down and whispers* Ra, go ask mom for a treat…Go on, ask mom for a treat.

Ra seems to take a few moments to ponder, then exits the bathroom. After a minute or two, Amachan really does wonder if Ra went to mom.

Amachan: *calls out* Hey mom?
Mom: Yeah?
Amachan: Are you in the kitchen?
Mom: Yes.
Amachan: ...Is Ra in there?
Mom: Yes.
Amachan: Is he whining at you?
Mom: ..Um, yes.
Amachan: He wants a treat.

Yes, this tale surprised me too. I'm going to see if I can convince Amachan to occasionally film Ra for mine and your amusement.

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