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February 15, 2006

Not Lost in Translation

The most hilarious thing happened last night. Saundra wanted to have dinner on the beach in honor of Valentine's Day, and to check out the beach spots. Moira and her mom, Cecilia, were going to meet us. So Saudra and I walked down the road that Nang Thong Supermarket is on, passed the Happy Lagoon resort (where I had a great shake during beach cleanup last year...it is now totally landscaped and creatively lit, complete with a replica James Bond Island tower, and Fred-Flintstone-Inspired faux-rock seating), and checked out the Nang Thong Bay Resort restaurant.

Which was completely blowing me over, because not a brick of it existed this time last year, and I have certainly crossed over the rubble of land several times during beach clean-up. But now it's a swank resort, suitable on-the-beach lodging for the likes of my parents, with a beautiful pool.

Anyway, we get to the restaurant and it is huge, over-lit, and FULL of older white tourists, all dressed the same in their Reyn Spooner "travel shirts" and pleated pants (no offense, Dad). Not a single Thai in the place (except for the staff). So we're starting to double-think our choice for dinner. As we are standing there, stupified, at the obvious seG. ation, and the prospects of getting anything interesting to eat there, the hostess says something in Thai that I didn't understand.

Well, much to the woman's horror, Saundra did understand after three years in Thailand, even though she was as fair skinned as the rest of the farang (foreigners) in the place.

The woman had sighed, in a plain speaking voice, "Where the hell are they going to sit?!" while she was standing right next to us. Thinking we couldn't understand a word.

Saundra looked her in the eye and smiled, and said in Thai, "Well, we haven't decided yet, can we have a look at the menu?"

And the hostess buried her face into the menus she was holding and I just realized that Saundra had busted her at talking behind our backs right in front of us! It was HILARIOUS. I laughed way too embarassingly loud because she was So. Busted.

Needless to say, once we realized the food was all farang food (spaghetti, German stuff) for three times the price of any other restaurant, we bugged out of there, found a way to meet Moira and Cecilia, and went to the next place up the beach (also brand new, and where we used to dump the trash we collected from beach cleanup), which was wonderful. It was quiet, each table a little picnic bungalow. Saundra made sure we ordered in Thai style, with a sweet dish, a spicy dish, some fish (served whole) and all of the balance a proper Thai meal requires. Delicious, and inexpensive.

At the end of the meal, after we all had been talking for hours, Saundra suddenly looked at Moira. They hadn't officially met before, but had exchanged some email about some projects. Saudra said, you're not related to Kestral are you?

And Moira and Cecilia freaked out.

It turns out Saundra used to work with Moira's cousin at an outdoors school in Santa Barbara. Saundra's Nature Name was Thistle, and Moira's cousin was Kestral.

Kestral told Saundra to look Moira up in Ban Nam Khen when she arrived a year ago, but Saundra blew it off. I told her she must be meant to meet Moira, because here the introduction was put straight into her hands!

Not a bad Valentine's Day overall....but I am really disappointed G. couldn't have been here to experience it, too.

Posted by sedda at February 15, 2006 02:10 PM