Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Night in Thai

Woke up around 7 from a long satisfying nap and after some self-maintenance I headed over to Think Park for some Mama Pad with A & Eak (pronounced Ache). I wasn't even that hungry--believe it or not, I believe I'm still hungry from that bowl of rice last night--and yet they shoveled four containers of Mama Pad into me and gave me one to take home, too. Cost to me: zero dollars.

(Except that time isn't free, I know--but I enjoy working with them on their English).

I enjoy giving them free English lessons (well, I guess I received about 80 Baht worth of Ramen noodles and cabbage tonight). A speaks pretty well, can understand well, his grammar and pronunciation are not great but he knows so many words and can get complicated thoughts across. Among the complicated things he shared with me tonight: his sub-standard grade point average while he was a student at a technological institute in Bangkok; his younger teacher friend who has problems with his students' discipline; and the fact that he is cheating on his wife.

And I now know the Thai slang word for "mistress": "geek." (That's what it sounds like, anyway).

Did I mention that I've known this guy for about a month, I see him for about an hour once or twice a week, and that there is a small chance I would not recognize him in a crowd? But now I know he is having an affair. What a crazy person.

Eak, on the other hand, has atrocious, atrocious English so far. He has just started, in fact--never took it in school, but he is trying to learn with me. Today we learned things like "How are you?" (which he still has not mastered) and the difference between "I" and "you." I do not know whether he will ever get to the English level where he can tell me about his extramarital dalliances...but if he can get to a point where he can answer my question of "How are you?" without just nodding and smiling, then we can call it a success story and feel good about ourselves, I think.

I'm Ramen-heavy. My mother will be surprised to hear this, but I think I actually ate too much Ramen.

Consider this: between the ages of 8-12 (is this accurate, Mom?) I ate one packet of Maruchan Ramen (or Top Ramen sometimes) soup, either Oriental (Blue), Pork (light red), or chicken (orange) flavor every afternoon of every day, seven days a week. That's one pack of Ramen noodle soup every day for four years, without ever missing a day (seriously--not an exaggeration). I would put my Ramen intake at over 2,000 packages of Maruchan and Top Ramen, easy.

So for me to say that tonight I ate too much Ramen--well, you should know what a surprising and dramatic statement this is for some of my family members.

Does anyone want this Mama Pad that's in my fridge?



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