Cheesy Love story... and other waffle.
1. Cheesy Love stories
Am now back in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, and escaped the stifling heat for a couple of hours this afternoon by going to see a movie. It was a Thai film 'pidterm Huajy woonwai' and it wasn't my choice, a friend suggested it. But, for a thai movie, and a thai teen movie at that, it was surprisingly good.
The movie focuses on 4 people, and their encounters with the opposite sex as they fall in and out of love. One guy is hopelessly in love with a girl who shows no interest in him, another is willing to risk his steady, loving relationship for a heady night of passion on the beach; one girl is totally besotted by a Taiwanese pop star and another goes from being the class frump to having 2 guys competing for her.
An English movie with the same kind of storylines would seem cliched and overly sentimental. But there's an certain innocence in Thai relationships that disappeared from English ones a long time ago. The movie comes over as cute and funny, and surprisingly entertaining.
It brought back memories of being a teenager, drawing love hearts on plasters, having friends with lifesize cardboard cutouts of their heroes (Bros, Brother Beyond, Tom Cruise in Cocktail and Patrick Swazye in dirty dancing were the biggies in England at the time...) in their bedrooms, of 'happy hurt days' when friends plied you with booze in the hope that being drunk and puking everywhere would make you feel better after being dumped, of first dates where hand holding is still seen as a major thing, of drunken parties with college friends, of feeling in love one minute, and being heartbroken the next. It was a strangely sweet and romantic movie.
I went to see the movie with a Thai friend. He also said he enjoyed it. Any English guy who likes this kind of movie would probably be way too ashamed to admit it, for fear of being seen as gay. But, in many ways Thai guys are much more feminine than their western counterparts.
2. Understanding Thai :)
Having spent 2 and a bit months in places where hardly anyone speaks English my Thai (well spoken Thai at least) has improved quite a bit... But the rest of it (understanding what people mean when they are incredibly overpolite or have a strange round about way of saying things... trying to work out whether people are really being genuine when they invite you to do something with them and hurridly invent a reason why you probably can't...) Well... That's still as sh*te as ever. I'm still the social equivalent of a baby elephant when it comes to knowing what to say in delicate social situations.
Apart from one thing... I think I'm getting better at working out whether smiles are genuine or not and whether people are getting angry. I didn't mean to but I kind of accidently ended up putting my little theory to the test earlier today.
I was walking down the street with a friend and asked him if I could do something. He smiled as he told me that No, I couldn't.
I said it again. 'No you can't' he said, again still smiling.
I wondered if he'd change the subject. He did.
Although, the subject changed. The broad smile remained the same.
I asked again. I wondered if his voice would get shorter and sharper. It did. The smile, as ever remained.
He tried to go home. Hang on, I said. He hadn't answered my question, at least, not in the way that I was wanting or expecting him to answer it. His eyes glared. No he said, and started to walk off, smiling as ever.
It was so obvious he was getting really, really pissed off with me, and doing his best not to show it. I couldn't help but laugh. I was stood in the middle of the street doing my best not to burst into a fit of giggles.
It wasn't that I wanted to wind hmi up or annoy him. It was just that it was the first time ever, that I've been able to sense that someone's angry with me, when, to a westerner they appear to be anything but.
Normally I just see the smile, hear a calm softly spoken voice and have a confused sort of moment when I wonder how on earth someone can be saying something that seems to convey the totally opposite meaning of their smile and voice. See, westerners usually associate smiles with happiness, pleasure or liking. It's hard for us to see any other meanings. And anger is normally conveyed by a loud, shouting voice (or a slow sarcastic one.) To us, if someone is speaking normally, there's no reason to assume that anything is wrong.
But this time.. I did.. and much as I probably pissed my friend of, it felt great to realise that for once, I'd manage to see beyond the 2 lines of gleaming white teeth.
I don't think I even said bye to him. The conversation went something along the lines of 'I'm going home' 'OK.' Guess I've probably ended up on yet another friend's social blacklist, but I don't really care. In a way I feel strangley happy that I annoyed him (not because I annoyed him but, because I could see and understand that he was annoyed...) This afternoon was probably the best Thai lesson I've had in yonks.
|Create Date : 25 มีนาคม 2551
|Last Update : 25 มีนาคม 2551 22:37:51 น.
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