Thailand Part 3: Please leave shoes on same shelt


The first time I came home from an extended trip in Germany, my brain went sluggish reading posted signs. Everything felt easy all of a sudden. It's funny how you adjust to the constant struggle to understand where you are or what you're ordering. (Pig Knuckle? Again?)

I've been fortunate enough to find myself in countries that allow me to struggle through communication. I'm the sort of person who is ashamed of not knowing the local language, or even more than a spattering of words in any other language than my own. I've spent whole weeks nearly incapable of communication and exhausted by the idea of trying to ask for directions, so I just didn't. [Enter typical "like a male" joke here.] I went mute for my time there and avoided talking to anyone apart from people at work or others traveling with me.

As an extrovert, those were the most difficult times, but also some of the most valuable, as I learnt what it is like to not be able to strike up a conversation with just anyone. It humbled me and taught me to have compassion for anyone who is not a native English speaker. It is with this humbled perspective that I share the following post and the endearing translations that made my day(s).

It was a monk here in Thailand that told us he spoke "Thainglish. Thai English." It's sort of like Spanglish, "I'd like El Taco, Por favor," but better. With a wide grin, he chuckled at his own pronunciations. "See? I teach Phra KK, myself, English."

Chiang Mai is ridiculously easy to navigate, even for an English-only speaker. If you learn a few key phrases and greetings, you can get around fairly easily. 

They sometimes try to make it very obvious for you.

Photo of a man peeing

For the non native speaker

Photo of a girl peeing

For the non native speaker

Ironically, sometimes it still lands flat.

Sign with Do Not Take off Shoes and a bunch of shoes there

Do not take off your shoes here

No parking in this area with a bunch of scooters

No parking in this area

No matter how many languages you say it in.

Sometimes it's a matter of context. 

Please leave your shoes on the same shelt

Please leave your shoes on the same shelt

Even if the photos might not be exactly right. 

Picture of cowboy football helmet

Leave your Scooter Helmet here. Or your cowboy's American Football Helmet. Either one.

There are times the message is very very clear. 

Sign saying to not flush tissue in the toilet

The face really captures the mood

Another sign saying to not flush tissue in the toilet

For real, though, Do Not Put Tissue In The Toilet.

It's easy to figure out where you might want to stop in.

Sign with certificate of popularity for a yogurt place

Certificate of Popularity

A Food Warehouse Stationary Sign

All of your food stationary needs

Intenstable Guest House title with a dude looking like a bro

Intenstable Guest House (bro)

You will certainly have Uniforgettable experiences.

Monk Chat description has Uniforgetable as the title

A Uniforgettable experience

And be sure to try some chocolate collon. It's really tasty.

Chocolate Collon

The Tasty Collon (Chocolate was much better than Cream)

And, finally, enjoy some soap that promises to "Cleanse your skin as natural rule."

Soap Package explaining that it adjusts the balance of moist on your skin

It adjusts the balance of moist on your skin

These small samples of Language Delights are just a few of the parts of Thailand that gave me joy. The people, the food, the coffee, the sun; it made the entire trip an experience I want to repeat many many times. In short, it made me happiness. 

A sign at a little cafe

Your smile makes me happiness

Other Posts in the Thailand Series:

Thailand Part 1: The Magic

Thailand Part 2: When Things Fall Apart

Thailand Part 4: Elephants

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