|Thai to English.....it's a challenge|
You know what it is like when you are dealing with the phone company or maybe even a credit card company. You spend hours on the phone talking to multiple people just to find yourself chasing your tail. Customer representative number one listens carefully to your problem and they assure you that it has been fixed and you shouldn’t have another issue. You hang up feeling accomplished until the next bill comes and you realize that nothing has changed. You call back. This time customer representative number two tells you that what you need is completely impossible or at least that is what you think he said because you are having a really hard time understanding his thick accent. You hang up and call back another day because surely if you had a hard time understanding him then he probably did not know what you were asking in the first place. The third time you call you get someone who is definitely located on the western hemisphere and with hope rising you begin to explain your troubles. Just when you have found a sympathetic ear and your problem might be resolved you get disconnected…ARGH!!!!! Have you been there? Can you feel your blood pressure rising just thinking about it? Living in a foreign country is like this on a daily basis. In the last week I have experienced all of the above scenarios a couple times over.
Translating life from Thai to English makes everything a challenge. The language barrier plays a huge role in the difficulties we experience but culture is also involved. Here in Thailand saving face is extremely important. If you ask a Thai for directions to a specific place they will smile and graciously tell you where you need to go, however, it is quite possible they have no idea what you are taking about. Even if they do not know where to go they will make something up so that they will not be embarrassed. Now I don’t want them to be embarrassed but I do not want to drive off a cliff either!
These things have the potential to get me a one-way ticket to the looney bin! Honestly, I spend most of my time exhausted. It really is pathetic that I need a vacation after simply running an errand.
God is definitely teaching us to live one day at a time. We have to depend on Him to help us navigate the chores of daily living. Never before have I had to pray, “God I need your help to get through this,” while I am at the grocery store! As silly as that may sound it really is a gift to need Him so much. He is showing Himself strong and helping me accomplish the little things and He is keeping me out of the looney bin when things fall apart. I pray my life show His presence in all the details. Maybe life here will get easier and such difficult circumstances will not be required to foster my dependence on God. In the meantime, I have got a lot to learn and you can bet that naps will be a priority.