Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 379
Hello monger kats and admiring kittens: today if you combine the titles of the two essays you get Doo Foo Poo and Whiff-Whaff. I'll bet you do not get that from your published authors. When is the last time Steven King or that Clancy dude ever wrote anything with the words Doo Foo Poo and Whiff-Whaff? You have to read Internet authors to get that kind of literary pleasure. Anyway, enjoy.
"The sport of ping-pong was (has) also been called whiff-whaff, table tennis, flimflam, parlour tennis, gossima, house tennis, and Netto." —
Erin McKean (WSJ). So let us make a list:
Holy Other-Word Batman: imagine how many other words there might be in the Thai language for pretty much everything. Just like the Eskimos have lots of words for different kinds of snow there must be more than just farang for farang, or to make it more sporting; fleecing-a-farang. Luckily I'll never know 99% of this stuff because I am not Thai fluent but most farangs who say they are Thai fluent will never know this stuff either. This is the behind-the-curtain stuff that all languages have. Local linca not available to non-native speakers. So I think there are two kinds (two measures) of language fluency: what we will call practical fluency (you know just enough) and what I call 'shaving-the-cheese-thin' fluency. I don't believe most non-native speakers of any language can ever learn to 'shave the cheese thin'. Native speakers do it instinctively.
I once pointed to my heart and said to Fa:
"There is only on Fa."
I meant this in a friendly, possibly humorous, and adult sharing way. We had known each other for years. She could have said 'Bagwan' but she didn't. Instead, in perfect English, she said:
"I know my Dana."
Not quite the same. Languages are full of 'not-quite-the-sames' or 'same-but-differently-worded'. This is what they never tell you in language classes, and this is one of the things that makes talking to native speakers in their language a challenge. You say something in 'practical' Thai and they respond in 'same-but-differently-worded' Thai. Good luck interfacing with people different from yourself and learning all those fascinating things about a different
The notion is little examined and never dealt with in an honest way by the vermin selling 'learn-to-speak-a-language' courses that just want your money. This liberal notion that by spending ten years trying to learn a language that you will learn all about the culture and the oh-so-special people is an idea that you couldn't kill by driving a stake into it. It is the same as telling a person thrown into the middle of an ocean that he/she is going to learn all about fish. Nonsense. He/she is not going to learn everything about the fish and make lots of fish friends: he/she is just going to drown a pointless lonely death.
I don't think I would ever want to have Thai fluency that included all of this behind-the-curtain stuff. I just want to be happy and have fun.
DOO, FOO, AND POO
Sometimes the personal and the Kingdom experience overlap: no philosophy here or even a specific-to-myself comment, just a practical observation. In almost all cases, when you and your Thai girlfriend first meet in an adult way, the first thing she does is look at your equipment. Like a farmer faced with plowing a tapioca field, she wants to know what the tractor has for parts. She wants to feel confident and happy about the tractor parts and you want her to feel happy and confident also.
To wit: I am considering having a testicular sac lift and testicle botox injection procedure surgery. You can call this cosmetic surgery if you want to but I prefer to call it necessary surgery. At my age a little lifting and a little filling could only yield happy results. You can't make a first impression twice and I want my Thai girlfriends to smile when they see me. I can't be the only one in this situation and I am certainly no psychic island, so I would welcome speculative or surgical anecdotal advice on this. Perhaps Stick could sponsor a Stickmanbangkok.com department that speaks to issues of the tribal elder (aka elder monger). Something simple like Elder Monger Health Issues: Surgical and Otherwise. Send in your ideas to Stickman and he will have his crack office female staff (Dooma, Fooma, and Pooma: nicknames Doo, Foo, and Poo) filter and winnow. The crème-de-la-crème will then be sent to me via Dana Enterprises.
Have you ever thought of what kind of farang club slide show you would like to see at their next meet at the Henry J. Bean restaurant in Pattaya? I have. How about a lecture and two hundred slide presentation of before-and-after testicular sac lift and testicle botox injection surgical events? Now you know what the arrow feels like when it is about to hit the bulls eye. Bliss. Personal bliss and cathartic emotion entwined like two Isaan minxes mud wrestling in a Russian bar. Imagine, a room full of elderly farang expats with their tails still wagging looking at 15'x12' screen pics of surgically altered testicular sacs and testicles. Add a few drinks and hope and you would have screaming, yelling, and fist pumping. They have seen the future and it is a good thing. High and tight. Excitement and happy smiles for their girlfriends also. Ladies of the commercial kind excited about tractors with parts you can hit with a stick.
So, like I said: sometimes the personal and the Kingdom experience overlaps. No philosophy here or even a specific-to-myself comment, just a practical farang elder observation. If your balls hit the water when you sit down in the bathroom at the Mothership you may need to tuck them up. Tell me what room you are in at the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok and I will bring you flowers. And if your Thai lady of the hour or night thinks of sun shrunken Isaan prunes when she looks at your balls, maybe you need to consider some botox injections. Just sayin'.