A small forewarning, this post has no direction and is likely to be all over the place, kind of like my mood at the moment (but in a good way). First things first, improper grammar makes me cringe, except if it’s my own. Also, there’s nothing like a good spelling bee that impresses the pants off of me. Put the two together (grammar and spelling) and you’ve got my brain all hot and bothered. Now add in the fact that I’m learning a new language. It drives me crazy that I mess up sentence structures. It’s one of my motivating factors for studying so much. Well friends, I’ve got good news. Thanks to the lovely people in the Peace Corps Thailand IRC (essentially our library) I will soon be receiving Thai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken Thai by James Higbie and Snea Thinsan. Just the way to get me randy. I’m literally counting down the days until I can expect to get it and then devour it.
The other nerd factor is hard to admit in open forum. Obviously the only people who actually take the time to read this blog are people who already know how much of a freak I am, but it’s still difficult to put it out there in print. First step to overcoming a problem is admitting you have one, so, here we go. Hi, my name is Erin, and I’m a Harry Potter-oholic (-insert dull, ‘Hi Erin,’ here-). Since I was in sixth grade, I’ve been obsessed with all things HP. While never going down the dark, twisted path of costumed paraphernalia, I was one of those people who waited outside Barnes and Noble from 6pm until midnight so that I could get my copy as soon as possible. One year, I even went to a party and ignored everyone else after I got my book so that I could read it. God, I’m such a freak. Now being the ripe old age of 22, I have grown out of it a neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet-noi bit, but I definitely still read all seven books at least once a year (don’t worry, I’ve already done it once for 2011). Well friends, if you haven’t guess by now, I think you’re a silly ba-ba-bo-bo. I now have, in my possession, my very own, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows………in Thai.
Before I even came to Thailand, I made a goal to read Harry Potter, in Thai, before my two years of service ended. This might seem like a silly goal, but I think it’s a legit one. I mean, it’s not like it’s War and Peace (something that I haven’t even managed in English yet), but harder than ‘today, I went to school and then came home with Meh’ (my current reading level). The funny thing is, when we had our mid-training interviews, I mentioned this goal to our Cross Cultural Coordinator and she asked me whether I though this was a realistic goal………….um, excuse me? This was probably the worst possible thing she could have said to me…or the best. Nothing gets me more amped up then someone asserting that I can’t do something. Way to go Adjaan Suchawadee, you just lit a fire under my ass in the name of reading Thai (which might have been her strategy all along, she’s sneaky enough to pull something like that off). Since getting to site, reading has become my number one priority for my SDL and I’m FINALLY starting to make some progress. Well, enough that my cockiness has encouraged me to buy Harry Potter. Phew, thank you language gods for your assistance on that one.
In other news, I went on a bpai tiao today to another province, I think it was Suphanburi? Anywho, what I thought was going to be a legit pickup for school uniforms or something of the sort (my Thai isn’t that great still) actually turned out to be a pizza and Tesco Lotus run for me and two other school peeps. I’m not complaining. I engorged myself with delicious farang food and the Thai mothering instinct of ‘feed-the-farang’ was in full force. (Like that alliteration? I know I did.) The reason that I mention it though is not to discuss how much I’m missing cheese, pizza, or anything else of the sort (oh but I am), but to point out the awesomeness that is about Pittsburgh, PA. I know, I know, I couldn’t wait to leave and am ready to spend the rest of my life traveling the world being a hobo, but there are times when I get a little taste of home that make me proud of where I’m from.
There are a lot of really cool things that have come out of the ‘City of Bridges.’ It’s the birthplace of the Mr. Yuck sticker, the first emoticon (thanks CMU computer nerds!), Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, the awesome sports teams Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers (oh my), um me, and of course, Heinz Ketchup. There are all kinds of stories that go behind Heinz and believe me, I’ve heard a decent amount of them being a history major at Pitt. As a child, there are a few cardinal rules you’re taught to abide by: hate the Cleveland Browns and almost anything to do with the city, you must own an authentic Terrible Towel and know the respective ‘Here we go Steelers, Here we go’ chant, and, of course, it is a sin to consume other tomato sauce products not produced by Heinz. Now throughout my travels, I’ve had to let this go a bit, but I always get excited when I go to other countries and spot a Heinz bottle. So, here’s my little tribute to the ‘burgh.
In ending this post, just would like to leave with a little anecdote of advice my coteacher gave me when I told my Meh that yes, I really do want to bike, by myself, to my other school, about 10ish km away (my meh wanted to make sure that I meant to say what I did say and of course, dragged poor Aom in to translate when I clearly managed to convey both my actions and feelings about the matter effectively; no, I am not afraid to go alone because I want to be independent):
Things to be wary of:
1. Dogs (duh, I’ve heard about this for months now)
2. Motorcycles (another obvious one)
3. Don’t go too far (their idea of too far is about 2km)
4. Don’t go into the jungle (um, hello, we’re living in the jungle?)
5. People on drugs (wtf????)
This is my life. Things are starting to look up.