Breakfast Prawns, Kiwi Cake & my translator

Day 2:

– 10am – 5pm Ponds workshop brainstorm

– Arrive at location – fabby posh Spa selected to inspire creativity

– 13 people, all women – all Thai (except for me)

– Have to remove shoes and leave them outside – am internally relieved I gave myself a pedi two days prior

– Steamed prawns are served for breakfast (gulp)

– Client and agency partners begin to present – in Thai

– My planner starts translating into my left ear as we sit at the back of the room

– I miss every third word

– I nod and smile a great deal and make furious notes on the (thankfully) English documentation

– Break off into groups. My group goes between speaking in Thai and English so I get about 50% of what is going on

– Sometimes I say something and they stare, smile and carry on talking in Thai

– Menu comes around and we have to write what we want for starter and main. Everyone else has written in Thai so I can’t copy to avoid standing out too much. I chose spring rolls and Teryaki chicken

– Driver shuttles us to restaurant where we all sit on long table and chat. I totally bond and have a ball with three fantastic girls who were just brilliant and so interested in my life and what I thought of Thailand

– I am the only one eating greasy spring rolls – everyone else (average weight: 45kgs) is eating the same dish: fruit salad with lettuce

– I get served fish? Too scared to say I asked for chicken and just eat it. It is piled with chilli. I scream internally but sip water like a lady. I will NOT be the lame farang (foreigner) that can’t take a bit of ped ped (hot hot)

– Back to workshop for more body-language reading and frantic whispering with colleague

– Short break for kiwi cake, sandwiches and apple tea

– Meeting carries on untill 6:38pm and aircon vent is blowing down my back and my pashmina is behind the clients chair

– The final strategy is quickly explained to me and everyone thanks me for coming along………..

– They are all unbelievably polite, respectful, genuine and immaculately groomed

– I know I am going to be OK but feeling rather over-whelmed with language barrier at this point

– It’s 8:36pm and I am off to bed

Ra dtree sa wad (good night)


3 comments so far

  1. Burchell on

    If you need tips on how to look like you understand a meeting even though it is in another language then look no further than old Burchell here. I am the master of looking interested-and-understanding-but-intimidating-enough-to-not-be-asked-anything.

  2. Lisa on

    nice work girl…aren’t you glad you gave yourself that pedi? but…best you fast forward your Thai classes a bit 🙂

  3. Andrea on

    You are my hero, Bo.

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