Sawadee ka! (Hello!) The past few days, I’ve been experiencing the languages (obviously), foods, & cultures that Thailand has to offer. It’s been a fun adjustment living here so far. Welcome to the life of the Thai!
One of the biggest adjustments is that I’m working with 2 language barriers over here: Thai & Thai sign language. This has presented a huge communication struggle seeing as I speak English & know American Sign Language. But I came prepared for the challenge! I’ve written out some Thai terms I can speak ( I use the term speak very loosely. It’s almost laughable) and Thai words that I’ve learned how to sign.
I got the chance to use some of this very limited knowledge the other day. I was at the coffee shop and ready to pay for my bill so we could leave for field service.
I told the waitress “Kep tang ka” (which is probably highly inaccurate) but she realized that I was trying to say “Bill please.” So she understood my bootleg spoken Thai & brought the check to me! Woot woot.
Onward to field service!
Later that day Br. Kurt Christie took Palore & I on a return visit to a deaf Thai woman.
She saw us at her gate and came over. Most of the Thai signing I didn’t understand but some signs are the same or very similar to ASL. I was able to introduce myself and show her my sign name. Kurt explained that Palore and I were friends visiting from America. He also had the chance to show her the video about ‘How Do You View The Future?’ In Thai sign language from the JW app.
Jehovah also blessed us with the wonderful friends in the Thai Sign Language Cong who have been a tremendous help in teaching us the language. Some of the friends here even know ASL which helps us bridge the communication gap even more. It’s so beautiful having the deaf friends introduce themselves to us after the meetings and try to answer our questions about Thai signs. I’m in love with their language already despite not knowing it yet. 💕
I was able to comprehend only about 40% of the meeting tonight but something is better than nothing. Yay for small sign language victories!
Something else I’m feeling very victorious about is the fact that the food here is pretty good. Some foods are a little strange but I’m getting used to them. I ate the Thai version of Lays chips the other day. They tasted good.
The next day I had tasty fried rice with a refreshing coconut smoothie.
The most adventurous thing I’ve eaten here so far has been the rambutan. It’s an exotic fruit grown in Asia. You peel the red outer layer and eat it. If a grape and a pear were cross breed it would taste like rambutan.
One night we went to an outdoor street market that served a variety of foods and drinks. I had bruschetta and mango juice. Weird combo I know. But it was awesome!
We got to be a little fancy the other night at an Italian restaurant (yes they have Italian restaurants in Thailand). Our American friends, the Christies and the Greys, who currently live here took us to the Wine Collection. The food & drinks were so delicious!
My pasta and wine was great. Palore’s pasta was a little too ‘phet’ (spicy) for her. Thailand’s description of spicy is apparently on another level than American spicy.
Between the intense humidity, heat and spicy food it has been vital for us to stay hydrated. Sis. Cat Christie told us to drink at least 2 huge bottles before we leave everyday. It’s just a way of life when you’re staying in Thailand.
Crowded public transportation is also apart of the culture. Packed trains, buses & trucks are very common for the Thai people.
Also motorcycles and scooters are everywhere! They don’t restrict sidewalks just for walking so cars and motorcycles will often whiz by while we’re walking. The traffic is crazy almost all the time so most people just walk wherever they can.
I know many of you reading are concerned about the safety of me and the sisters I’m traveling with but so far we have been safe. Jehovah is looking out for us and making sure we have the best possible experience of Thai life while we’re here.
Sending love from Thailand.