No Smorking!

Typo or cleverness? According to UrbanDictionary.com, SMORK has 7 (count ’em) whopping definitions: 1. An Engrish term for ‘smoke’. “No smorking on corridor or Banning happen on premises!” 2. A smork is an ork that has been ignited and burned until smoldering. In the Lord of the Rings orks that were burned after battle were…

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My Thai is getting better: True or False?

I have avoided combining my first 10 months here with the time since I returned, simply because I thought saying I’ve been here 2 years total sounded bad – for my Thai that is. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself but maybe I should? Shouldn’t I be farther along by…

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What does raang mean?

It began with nailpolish. I walked into my Saturday class and was quickly engulfed by the word, “Raang!” from my J or junior students. They were shouting, pointing and generally excited as I expect from my 13-15 year olds. But after a few seconds I understood they were talking about my fingernail color. The polish…

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โชคดี (good luck), What is luck?

Do you believe in luck? Many people do. Many Thais certainly do. After all, it is one of the ways of saying good bye (choke dee). Which I have pointed out to my English classes and during my Thai studies, Westerners would never say unless we were getting ready to take a test or something.…

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Unlearning Thai

(or the quickening of my inability to retain and use properly the Thai language) I am reminded of my failings, my total fail as a Thai language learner. Payap Blog wanted me to write about my experiences taking Thai classes at PYU so I did, blah, blah, blah. Which got me thinking, blah, blah, blah,…

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What getting sick means to me

I pride myself on being a healthy person. I mean I’m not like obsessed about it but I know what I need to do to take care of myself and I do it because it feels good. And because I want to live a long life. And life is awesome so why not extend that…

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The long way around

Another crack at Spanish means a lot of things, including another crack at my self-confidence. I’ve started another Spanish class this week and so far it has been great. I’m surprised by what I do know and what I have remembered from my own studies. I also made the commitment to have fun. The stress…

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Limits of language

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein Upon reading this I can’t help but think about learning Español and pasa Thai and how through language acquisition I’m trying to expand my cultural boundaries. But when I continued to stare at the quote I realized that language is much more…

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Over my head

The two times that I have been the most distraught since arriving here has been over the language. My inability to understand circumstances has catapulted the cliché in over my head to new heights and demoralizing lows. These situations mimic things that have also happened to me in Thailand. It is not difficult to remember…

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Pôot paa-săa tai dâi nít nòi

(or: speak language thai can a little) I stopped my formal learning of the Thai language when I stopped taking classes. I stopped at Thai 2 and the classes go up to Thai 7 or 8. We were getting into reading and writing so I was introduced to the basics but haven’t touched any of…

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Pasa Thai

Sometimes I say as few words as possible to try to get away with being Thai, whether it is ordering food or getting into a songtaew; other times the vendor or mae ka will answer me in English just to let me know how badly my pasa Thai is. (Or how good their English is?)…

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Intensive Thai

I signed up for an Intensive Thai language class last week. Then yesterday I was told that there has been a mistake in processing my paperwork. Somewhere between the Foreign Language Center and the Office of the President someone read my application and glanced at my photo and decided I didn’t want to sign up…

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