Friday, September 07, 2007


“Wer you cam pohm?” An almost musical, Thai accent-voice came from behind me.

“I don’t wanna look. I don’t wanna look. I don’t wanna look.” I said quietly to myself. I have answered this question a million times and when I entertain it; the conversation will not end as soon as it should. I will not entertain it this time. No! Period.

“Hey you! Wer you cam pohm?” the voice seem closer now. But I’m determined not to look behind. Maybe he’s not talking to me anyway although I’m the only one on this bench. Queen Sirikit Park got lots of foreign joggers in the afternoon, so maybe he’s asking somebody else.

I tried to ignore him. All I wanted was to enjoy this horrible vegemite that one of my readers in Australia sent me. But I’m really sorry – it’s already half the bottle but it still tastes like dust! *smirk* Shall I give the rest to the “wer-you-cam-pohm” guy? – I looked behind me…oh shoots! I said I won’t!

“Wat you eet?” he said smiling. I didn’t answer. “Wer you cam pohm?” the dreaded question came again.

“I’m Thai.” I said in English.

“You not look lai Thai people.” he said like I’m bullshitting him.

*See?* This is why I always avoid this question. I know how to answer it but people seem to have a hard time comprehending it.

“Roo krub. Pohm pasaa Tai dai krub.” (I know. I can speak Thai )*teasing him with the weirdest accent I can muster*. “I’m also Belgian” I continued like I was talking to a 2 year old.

He gave me the “I-didn’t-f*ckin-understand-what-you-just-said” look so, I enunciated “BEL-YIAM” in Thai accent. He got it! Whew!

“You not look lai Bel-yiam people.”

*See?* I told ya -- This conversation won’t go anywhere and I bet his next question is if I like Thailand.

“You lai Thailand?” *Aha! See???*

I’m really determined to finish this conversation…so, I stood up…raised my right hand to my chest and sang: “ประเทศไทยรวมเลือดเนื้อชาติเชื้อไทย เป็นประชารัฐ ไผทของไทยทุกส่วน…” [The Thai national anthem]

I think I embarrassed him. He walked away.

And I forgot to give him the horrible vegemite!


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LOL. Any chance you'll do a podcast with you singing the Thai national anthem and maybe other ASEAN national anthems?

Manami said...

next time if anyone asks you that, just speak Thai back to em, perhaps with some sorta slang that is known only to thais? And seriously, is that how they speak English?? Japanese people with no English education speak English funny too. Its okay though. I used to speak REALLY REALLY bad English myself.

Manami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manami said...

Roo krub.Pohm pasaa Tai krub

LOL. for a moment, that registered in my mind as 'I know. I am Thai language'.

EoNe said...

LOL..we Msians have this phrase ..." What to do, makan roti lor " have to face it ..whether you like it or not :)

Nice blog ...i miss my Malaysia Truly Asia ..u-huh >

aries said...

wahahaha didn't get "wer you cam pohm" meant at first.

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

@ Misterhubs...yeah, it occured to me. But Sofia and Morgan don't want to, I don't want to sound like a cocoloco talkin by myself. LOL

@ Manami...I speak Thai with a really weird accent. Even my French have German accent and my German vice versa. LOL. Thais have a standard tone in pronouncing English words to be understood.

@ Eone...thanks for the first comment. I don'r know if you're new here or you're a regular :-) Your comments are appreciated and always welcome.

Malaysia is quite a special the way, after a month of house arrest...I'm goin to KL. That's next week!!!! Wooohooo! Anything you want me to visit and blog it here?

@ Aries...LOL. Me too, I didn't quite catch it when my Filipino friends here in Bangkok say: "Ken ay tok tu you?" LOL!

Thanks for the comments guys.

Q The Conqueror said...

LOL @ the "Ken ay tok tu you".

In the Phils, when people hear someone talking in English (no matter the appearance), they try REALLY hard to talk in that same language, most especially if you speak it with an accent. My big mouth got me into this situation a lot of times, once when I was getting my passport and another time inside a restaurant, when I was speaking to my companions in English.

It was pretty funny to hear them struggle then breathe a sigh of relief when I started speaking Filipino. Hahaha.

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

@ Q... that is so true dude! Why does the English language horrify a lot of people? But when I try in French, it's just so-so. It's English that drops the bomb!

Jeff said...

Was in KL last weekend and partied at Zouk and Heritage Row. You should blog about whether you can get a taxi for less than 10 Ringget. A taxi asked me if I liked living in Bangkok and I said sure, the taxis use there meters. He responded that is was a holiday, I asked which one and he said "Saturday", Roads are difficult. (The roads were empty).

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

@ much as I would like to blog about those dang KL taxis, I can't at the moment. We have enough hate emails from Malaysia when we disprove Kinabalu as the tallest in the region. LOL

Those taxis actually pissed me so much, I bought a car in KL!

Carlos Javier said...

WAHAHAHA! This was sooo funny! HAHAHA! And I can actually sympathize, since I ALWAYS hear "Wer you cam pohm?" whenever i'm in Thailand too! LOL. It seems its a common question for foreigners huh?

And I agree with MISTERHUBS. I think I wanna hear you sing the Thai National Anthem too! Heheh. :))

curbside_puppet said...

That was funny! At least you haven't experienced a "give me money" pleas from street kids from Manila!

Twisted Tomato! said...

Weird but true. I'm not a Eurasian but during my visit in 2004, at the Vimanmek Mansion, I was bombarded by questions by the Thai ladies (tour guides)when they realized that I'm from the Philippines. I guess that's just one of the downsides when your'e in a foreign land...well, except in the U.S., a multi-racial country, where I never experienced being bugged. Although I experienced one time being shouted at by Afro-Americans "Kuya! Kuya! Kamusta!" (Brother! Brother! What's up?!) to my surrrppprissseeee...

Twisted Tomato! said...

And uhhh...forgive me for asking...What is a vegemite? (duh...i'm being ignorant again hehehe)

MischMensch said...

Haha well Eurasians speaks some languages with different accent. My German has French accent in it my Swiss friends told me and my Malay sound nothing like a Malay and my Chinese is not lively enough

Linepigen said...

my usual response is just to say "no speak thai" when I want people to go away. Never considered doing the national anthem.

Have a friend who's chinese. She's been to Thailand a couple of times, and she always come home pissed because nobody will believe she's not thai. "U sure U not Thai?" ..uh yes?

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