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.
Ironically, sometimes it still lands flat.
No matter how many languages you say it in.
Sometimes it's a matter of context.
Even if the photos might not be exactly right.
There are times the message is very very clear.
It's easy to figure out where you might want to stop in.
You will certainly have Uniforgettable experiences.
And be sure to try some chocolate collon. It's really tasty.
And, finally, enjoy some soap that promises to "Cleanse your skin as natural rule."
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.
Other Posts in the Thailand Series: