Friday, June 25, 2010
I am pretty sure that on any given day, I learn a hell of a lot more than my class does. I don't know if that's just life, or if it's just me. Here's what happened..
My wife won't teach me any Thai dirty words. At first, I thought it was because she was just an old prude, but then I realized that Thais don't really have a lot of curse words. Your expression or tone of voice does more for emphasis than any particular explicative that you could use. They have some, but not a great selection.
Today, one of my better students was trying to dazzle me with her latest batch of barely understandable vocabulary. After she had run out, she smiled real big and said "I speak ang-grit very well". "Ang-grit" is the Thai word for English. I rolled my eyes and said "Yes, I can see that". I then reminded her that she should practice her English every day. She thought about it for a second, and said "fuk ang-grit!" I had a moment of panic, and then calmly asked her what she had said. She smiled and replied "Chan fuk ang-grit".
Well, that's what I though she said. I figured that it would be much more fun to have an audience, if I could get her to say that again. This was better than South Park. I headed over to the teacher's office with little Miw in tow. Miss Nong happened to be in there, so I asked her to listen to Miw's latest verbal accomplishment.
On command, Miw loudly said "Fuk Ang-grit!". I looked at Nong, who looked back at me, smiled, and said "that's good". I was a bit confused. I asked Miw where she had gotten that, and to my surprise, she said she had gotten it from me. I admit to having let a few borderline words slip occasionally because no one understands what I am saying anyway, but never that one. I think Miw noticed my confusion, because she grabbed a dictionary and quickly looked up the word "fuk". In Thai, it means "to practice". When she said "Fuk ang-grit", she was telling me that she practiced her English, as I said she needed to do. I smiled and told her how proud I was of her, thanked Nong, and took a smiling little miss Miw back to class.
I guess the moral to the story is that if you really want to learn a new language, and be able to speak it well, you have to "fuk" a lot.
Posted by Don Brand at 8:36 PM
Monday, June 21, 2010
Puk turned 17 a little less than 2 weeks ago, so Roong made a video about it. Per the norm, we went to Ban-nok to eat, drink, and be merry. Until the karaoke starts, and then it's just lots of drinking. Roong has all kinds of things on her website now, give it a look.
Posted by Don Brand at 6:57 PM
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Roong has been making slideshow videos for her greeting cards and flower photos. So, I decided to make one for my t-shirts. Great tee art and banjo music. What more could you ask for? Yeah, I know, pretty girls. I'm working on it. Mobii's RedBubble
Posted by Don Brand at 8:57 PM
Friday, June 04, 2010
Every once in a while, my mom sends me a block of Velveeta cheese. I am very grateful for this because I like Velveeta, but also, it's a little bit of home, that I can't get here. Thai people don't seem to like cheese. They also apparently have an aversion to salad dressing, but that's another story. Anyway, Mom put a block of the pasteurized gold in a box with some undies, a can of Pringles, and tees, and sent it on it's merry way. About 2 weeks later, I received a notice from the post office that a package had arrived for me, but had been damaged along the way. That is secret post office code for "we opened it up, but didn't want anything in there".
I immediately went bat shit crazy. Mom sends these little treasures once every few months, and it's expensive to send anything larger than a letter from Missouri to Thailand. Also, the little shits try and charge me for it when it gets here. It's some type of import tax, but they give it a different name every time they ask for it. I have found that taking Roong with me usually solves that problem, because she out ranks them.
Back to the cheese. I went there after work, and was immediately ushered to the back to see the package. There were three postal workers standing around one of those small carts, looking like surgeons who knew the patient they were going to operate on wasn't going to pull through. It was pretty bad.
One half of the box was totally crushed. It had also been ripped open at one corner. It happened after it arrived, because I could see the Bangkok stamp mark that the tear had divided. I slammed my fist down on the table and let loose with a pretty impressive string of colorful vocabulary. I ripped open what was left of the box to see if anything had survived. At first, it was hard to tell. Everything was covered in crushed Pringles. The clothes seemed ok, just a bit oily and full of crumbs. Nothing a good washing couldn't fix. But, as I lifted them off, there was the cheese.
It was pretty bad. It had been pretty much flattened, and the box was torn open at one end. I carefully picked it up, and took the the box apart. What I ended up with, could best be described as a silver water balloon. As near as I could tell, the foil that the Velveeta is wrapped in hadn't been damaged. It seems that It was so hot wherever it had been stored, that the cheese had pretty much liquefied. So, when it got smashed, it just kind of shifted it's shape. It was hard to pick up, because it just wanted to flow out of your hands.
There was hope! So, I gave a last scowl and growl to the post office workers, and hurried home. I put the cheese in the fridge, and kind of wedged it between 2 boxes to try and give it some shape. I left it in there for 2 days to let it set again, in hopes that it would be edible.
It worked. I am munching down on a cheese sandwich, even as we speak. Everyone has heard the urban legends, that Velveeta is just one molecule away from being plastic. True, or not, it's still pretty amazing. The smashing, the heat, and everything else, didn't phase it. It tastes fine. Velveeta truly is indestructible. Thanks Mom!
Posted by Don Brand at 10:25 PM