Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 89

  • Written by Dana
  • June 25th, 2005
  • 6 min read


JUST FIGURED IT OUT

Month: May
Temperature: Center of the Sun
Humidity: Supposed to be only 82% but that's a lie.
Sounds: Only two–soi dogs panting and soi dogs dying.
Place: An open air bar in South Pattaya.
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Principals: Dana and an Australian.
Beers Drunk: Four–Dana one; Aussie three.

Dana: I just figured it out. . . . !

Aussie: What mate?

Dana: I just figured it. . . out. . . !

Aussie: I'll have another beer darlin' Nok Nam Nim Plop Rim Putt. . . . . .

Dana: I just figured it out matey.

Aussie: It's mate you dumb Yank.

Dana: Sorry!

Aussie: Figured what out?

Dana: I just figured out why so many Thais have an attitude problem with schooling.

Aussie: Beers on me–want one?

Dana: Listen to this–this is a like some kind of social commentary breakthrough.

Aussie: Pass the nuts.

Dana: No, listen to this–my last girlfriend's name was Ratharawarin Pichaironnarongsongkhram. Her nickname was Ram. And her best friend's name was Napakapapa Sirivadhanabhakdi and her nickname was Di. And her sister's husband's last name was Snitwongse-Na-Ayudhaya. The maid at the AA Hotel with the big pimple on her nose who delivers the Snickers bars every day at 5:15 said I could date her if I could spell her name. She said her name was Sruangsuda Sutithamrongsawat which she delivered to me in an unintelligable accent. I assume her nickname must be Wat but I quess now I'll never find out. More pussy I won't get. Her supervisors name is Picharnmeth Jungrungreangkit and her nickname should land on Kit but somehow is Poo. My present girlfriends name is Nappassorn Ithisarnronachai and you would think her nickname would be Chai but it is Nap for some reason. Anyway I'm not really talking about nicknames here. Her sisters first name is Khemasorn and she married a guy named Jesadaporn Supornsaharungsi and his best friends name is Rattaphumi Pattanapongpanich and he works for a guy named Apichatpong Rattanajerungporn who owes money to a guy named Phutanet Srirattanawutthi.

Aussie: We've got blokes like you in Australia. We put them in hospital.

Dana: No listen. . . I'm on to something here. . . !

Aussie: Did you at least try?

Dana: Try what?

Aussie: To spell her name.

Dana: Whose name?

Aussie: Miss Big Pimple.

Dana: Who?

Aussie: Jesus mate–the maid at the AA Hotel with the big pimple on her nose who said you could bang her if you spelled her name!

Dana: No.

Aussie: Why not?

Dana: That's not the point. . .

Aussie: It bloody well is the point–haven't heard about the monkeys and the typewriters have you?

Dana: What?

Aussie: It's common knowledge–put a coupla monkeys on a coupla typewriters and give'em enough time and they'll bang out Shakespeare. You should have at least tried–you might have gotten lucky.

Dana: No listen–I'm on to something here. And by the way I'd like to see the monkeys that could pound out names like Suksawat-Na-Ayudhya and Sarthastahuchana and keep a straight monkey face. Maybe these gifted Australian. . . . Are you from Australia or New Zealand?

Aussie: This is why we drink. . . Australia.

Dana: Anyway, maybe these gifted Australian monkeys can stumble across names like Romeo and Juliet but I don't think we are going to see any hairy fingers keyboarding names like Siriwattanaphakdee and Chongchakrabhandhu and Kanchanahatthakit. No–listen to me mate: I'm on to something here.

Aussie: I get it–you are talking about where the Thais get their nicknames.

Dana: No. No. Forget the nicknames. I'm not even sure about that stuff. Sorry I even mentioned them.

Aussie: Ok. Want a beer?

Dana: No–listen; what I am talking about is why the Thais sometimes have an attitude problem towards education. In just the smallest social circle you can imagine we have Sruangsuda Sutithamrongsawat and Picharnmeth Jungrungreangkit and Nappassorn Ithisarnrongachai and Khemasorn Supornsaharungsi and Jesadaporn Supornsaharungsi and Rattaphumi Pattanapongpanich and Apichatpong Rattanajerungporn and Phutanet Srirattanawutthi. Did I leave anyone out?

Aussie: You forgot Ram otherwise known as Ratharawarin Pichaironnarongsongkhram and Di otherwise known as Napakapapa Sirivadhamabhakdi and Eer otherwise known as Want A Beer?

Dana: Thank-you and let us not forget that the Deputy Mayor of this fine town is Wattana Jantaworanart and the Mayor of this wonderful burg is Niran Wattanasartsathorn.

Aussie: I knew that–want a beer?

Dana: No, I do not want a beer; thank-you very much–and are you listening?

Aussie: Yes you damn Yank I am listening and I probably could have spelled Sruangsuda Sutithamrongsawat the name of the Snicker's Bar maid at the AA Hotel with the pimple on her nose and be banging her in the towel room right now instead of waiting for you to sneak up on the point of all of this.

Dana: Ok–here is the point.

Aussie: Want a beer?

Dana: My point is that when three year olds in Thailand are first confronted with their names and told that they must learn how to spell them it isn't the same as when three year olds in other countries are first told their names and encouraged to learn how to spell them. What is your name?

Aussie: Want a beer?

Dana: Your name is 'Want a Beer'?

Aussie: No–it's Da Mac.

Dana: Exactly–a total of 5 letters and two of them are the same. Probably only took you a week to learn to spell it by scratching in the sand outside your bilabong.

Aussie: My what?

Dana: Never mind. But imagine if you were three years old and you were told that your name was Uttawadee Rattanapaibooncharoen and your mommy's name was Buachompoo and your daddy's name was Watcharapong and your grandmother's name was Napakapapa Vithayachockitikhun and your best friends name was Watcharapong Amrattanachetchaem and the name of the revered monk at the local temple is Dhammawatcharaphan and now we were going to learn to spell them. You'd be four years old by the time you accomplished this herculean Thai feat and you would be completely traumatized. You'd have accomplished brain fry at age four that most farang college students don't reach until age twenty. And at age four you would also have wisely concluded with the few functioning brain synapses left that education and learning things is not a road you want to go down any further. Hurts the head. In short, you would develop an attitude. And you would not be alone. This would be happening simultaneously all over the country.

Aussie: So what you are saying is that the reason Thais sometimes have a hard time with schooling is because at a young age they are traumatized by the whole learning thing when they are confronted with the task of spelling their own and their families and friends names!

Dana: Exactly!

Aussie: Only one question . . .

Dana: What's that?

Aussie: How bad is the pimple?

Dana: What pimple?

Aussie: The big pimple on Sruangsuda Sutithamrongsawat's nose.

Dana: What difference does it make?

Aussie: Well Yank–it's 5:00 p.m. and if I hurry I can get to the AA Hotel in time to spell her name and bang her in the towel room.

Dana: Nok Nam Nim Plop Rim Putt?

Barmaid: Yes sir?

Dana: I'll have a beer!

Stickman's thoughts:

Funnily enough, writing their name in English for the first time is quite an ordeal for the young Thai student.