Five Ways to Tell You’ve Acclimated to PC Thailand Life
Ants in your Pants?
Or anywhere else for that matter? Either way, it’s not a problem. This took me a while to notice, but a few months ago I realized how far I’d gone. Pouring myself a bowl of cereal from an open box and I noticed a hoard of ants starting to make their way out of it. I sat for a moment watching them, then poured the milk, and ate my dinner. In America, I would throw the box away. In Thailand, I don’t think twice (it’s alright).
Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang
I remember when I first came into this country and asking my language teacher what the white splotches were on the faces of the kindergarten students. Sunscreen was my first guess, but it’s actually unrubbed-in baby powder (or bang in Thai). I once hated the mere sight of a bottle of baby powder because I didn’t like the smell. Then I came to Thailand and with all the different varieties and uses, it didn’t take long before I was using baby powder post shower with the best of ’em. As if I’m not white enough already.
Bringing Sexy Back
When speaking Thai with friends and they ask you questions or you’re affirming something, you can grunt in confirmation much like you would in the throes of bow-chicka-wow-wow. Apparently this is even more hardcore in Isaan, but my Thai people are all about their ugh-ugh-ughhhs. Living with Thai people for almost ten months now though, I find all kinds of crazy sounds flying out of my mouth without thinking beforehand. My English totally sucks now too, some Thai words have just totally replaced English ones. Whatever, ughhhh nah-le.
Don’t Wanna Be,
all by myselffffffffff. I used to enjoy sitting by myself in a room, master of the little universe. Now, pretty much anywhere but my bedroom, I want to be where everyone else is.They want me to sit in the comfortable spot-like in the AC room or at the front table- but I find myself gravitating back to where the rest of the group is. I usually get admonished a few times to go to this place or the other, but for Buddha’s sake stop leaving me by myself! Unless it’s in my room, in that case, go away, it’s dangerous, no trespassing, my room is farangland as far as I’m concerned.
Oh, you’re going to be ten minutes late?
That’s ok, I haven’t left my house yet. Thai Time is a fluid concept that takes a long time to get the hang of. Generally, when someone tells me to be somewhere at a certain time, I don’t start getting ready until that appointed time. I’ll show up typically ten-thirty minutes after that and still be one of the first ones to arrive. I got a bit of a shock to the system with the ‘program’ at Elephant Hills and they actually wanted me to be there when they told me to be there. Even when I was ‘on time,’ all of the other teachers would be there, waiting, already. There’s a whole forthcoming post dedicated to this piece of Thai culture, but as every PCV knows, finding yourself tuned to ‘Thai Time’ is a venerable sign of success.