Delightful Thai Ladies – And Logic
Last winter in Thailand, I had looked into the music of Phoompeuang, a Thai country singer of the eighties. But the ex-superstar Phoompeuang had rather disappointed me.
So I say to Khun A: I checked some Phoompeuang music lately, but I feel other artists are better. What do you think?
Khun A: I like her music a lot, because she was a good lady.
Hans: Well, she may have been be a good lady; but her music can still be boring, right?
Khun A: No, she cared for her family so much, her music is very good.
Oh, Phoompeuang is good indeed, agrees Khun B.
Khun B continues: Remember the music files I sent to you recently? There was Phoompeuang among them. Actually, hers was my favourite song of that bunch.
I hadn't noticed any Phoompeuang in Khun B's music e-mail. Back home, I check her e-mail again and there is definitely no Phoompeuang.
When we run into each other a week or so later, I ask Khun B: You didn't send me any Phoompeuang, why did you tell me so?
And Khun B: Yes, true, there was no Phoompeuang song. But I sent you the Mai Jaroenpura song. And that's a Phoompeuang tune, and she sings Phoompeuang style.
I check the Mai Jaroenpura song that Khun B had sent me. It is completely different from Phoompeuang's music.
Back in Germany. Khun C has lived there for some years, and now she will apply for a local driving licence.
She already borrowed a small exercising gadget from her driving school. The device presents her with traffic rules questions and a multiple choice of answers.
That's easy, smiles Khun C: I will play with this gadget as long as needed until I finally remember the correct answer to any question – even if I have to click a million times.
What, I say? You try to memorize correct answers question-by-question? That's no good: You have to learn the rules, to understand the rules, and to apply the rules to any situation. Then you can easily answer any question – from the machine, from the exam sheet, as well as on the road.
Khun C gives me a reproachful look and changes the topic.
But when we run into each other a week or so later, Khun C decides to pick up the topic.
Khun C goes: You told me that I should learn and understand the traffic rules instead of memorizing individual answers to individual questions. I asked some of my Asian friends around Germany about that.
Her Asian friends are mostly Vietnamese restaurant owners; successful, wealthy, and driving about town in high-legged city jeeps.
And, says Khun C, my friends told me that it makes no sense to learn and understand all your traffic rules. They all studied for their driving exam the way I do: repeating the questions again and again – until you know by heart every single answer to every single question.
Look, Hans, she says, and her voice lowers and her reproachful look comes up again: Learning rules, understanding rules, and then applying those rules – that's very much a European thing only.
What Khun C says is very much representative of local attitudes.