Monday, April 28, 2008

Almost a Good Thai Greeting

Up in my little northern town I was taken to the big-time temple for a good luck ceremony. I sat it out in the back, it was too Thai for me, everyone had to wrap string around their heads from this vast trellises of string, it was all one piece.

The old uncle came back and sat with me, he doesn’t do too good on the floor anymore. We were chatting.

Two monks came over and he waived them to sit down, he’s old so he can do that. One monk was very old. I had been told some time ago how to greet monks, it’s not the usual “sawat’dee, c’ap.”

So I gave them my best “sa’doo, c’ap pom,” all proud of myself. I talked to the younger monk a little, it went good, he just asked the usual basic questions. I excused my self and quickly returned with ice water for both of them, show a little class.

Later I found out that “sa’doo” isn’t so much a greeting as a “hail, oh great one” kind of thing. Except that I said it without the tones. Each of the two syllables has a definite tone to it; without the tones it means “evil.” This kind of thing happens a lot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, god forbid I try to say something in Spanish that has a J in the middle. Ojete, meaning slow person... dumb ass... idiot. Took me three times to get my friend to understand me then of course the bastard says, "OH O-gjhgje-ete" and all that jumbled bull-ony there sounds a million times different then when I shit it out my hole. Even my best friends name I regularly bastardize as it begins with a "J". I figure they can take it until they can't and then they can shove it up their, politely tell me to just speak English.