Good Morning Everyone!
What have you got planned for today? A lazy Sunday is on the cards for us. I’ve just made a light breakfast for us of scrambled eggs and bacon on toast. Josh is now playing with his lego, Rachel is asleep and Steve is doing his make-up…. no, only kidding, Steve is in the shower. A perfect opportunity for me to blog.
We had a lovely day yesterday. I met a friend in the morning, Thess, who lives down my street. She has a little girl called Lucy. So we took the kids off to play and we had a good chinwag together about everything under the sun. I didn’t get my 2 hours of peace to read in the afternoon (I got 20 minutes!!!!) but never mind, Josh and I made popcorn together and then sat and ate it on the kitchen floor. Steve was out flat hunting. The lease on our apartment runs out in July, and we would like to move to somewhere bigger. We have lived in the same place for 18 months, which is a long time for us. We get itchy feet really quickly. It’s a lovely apartment, but we also need to move nearer to Josh’s school. I took the kids out for a walk in the evening to see if we could find any cats in the street. Josh didn’t want to go, but as soon as I proposed to look for cats, he couldn’t get out of the door fast enough (meaning he suddenly wanted to go and nothing could hold him back)
We’re off to look at flats again this morning. Sunday is usually a quiet day in Bangkok, so we are going to take the car out in a little while and drive up and down some streets that we have targeted. Then we’ll have a snack for lunch in a little restaurant we know. One of our favourite dishes is gung chair nam plaa, or raw prawns marinated in fish sauce, and this place does it particularly well. They serve it with slices of garlic and fresh lemongrass. Delicious - if you like raw fish, otherwise, it’s probably your worst nightmare of a dish.
We have a new lady joining our team tomorrow. She used to work on our team, then was tempted away by a glamorous new marketing job in a different company. But, she was later told that the department she had moved to was going to relocate to Singapore. She didn’t fancy the move to Singapore, so she asked us if she could come back. She is going to help us with all the team administration, so I will have more time for teaching.
She is called Pichaya, but her nickname is Noon. Most Thai people have nicknames. Thai names are traditionally very long, so most people use their nicknames in daily life. Some are really interesting. For example, there is a guy at work called ‘Foremost’. Now, Foremost is the name of a brand of milk in Thailand, so we (me, Sam, Rob and Tom) were very intrigued to know if there was any connection. Sure enough, there was. His mum used to drink Foremost milk when she was pregnant, so she decided to call her son Foremost. Some nicknames are obvious. Another guy at work is called ‘Neung’, which is the Thai word for ‘one’, so he is the first born of his siblings. Nicknames like Top, Best, Champ, King, and Win are popular as they have positive connotations. But there are some more intriguing names, like ‘Q’ (is this from James Bond?), ‘Pod’ (like pea pods?), ‘Klang’ (a noisy child?) and ‘Apple’ (parents addicted to fruit?). In one team, there is a ‘Boy’ and a ‘Man’, which can be amusing when they refer to each other.
Josh and Rachy have nicknames. Josh is called ‘Nong Jom’, which means ‘warrior’ and Rachel is called ‘Nong Moo’. Moo is the Thai word for pig, and Rachel was born in the year of the pig, but she was also quite a round baby, so the nickname ‘little pig’ suited her quite well. Moo is quite a common nickname, as is ‘Pla’ (fish) and ‘Gai’ (chicken).
There are a lot of conventions surrounding names and their use. ‘Nong’ is the word you use to refer to someone who is younger than you, or who is lower in social rank. The way to get the attention of a waiter or waitress in a restaurant is to shout ‘Nong, ka’. The equivalent to use for someone who is older than you, or who is your superior at work, is ‘Pi’. So going back to Neung, he is a team leader so most of his team call him ‘Pi Neung’. People only use these forms of address once they know the people quite well. If you don’t know someone, you would normally use their full name and address them as ‘Khun’ which is a way of showing respect. So everyone refers to my boss as Khun Chris, even though he is a westerner.
I don’t have a nickname. Do you? Do you like it? Do you have any special rules concerning names in your country?
OK folks, that's all for today. Speak to you soon,
Down my street – in my street
Chinway – a talk, chat
Everything under the sun – lots of different things
Flat hunting – to look for a new flat to live in
Itchy feet – the desire/need for change
Siblings- brothers and/or sisters
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