Thursday, December 8, 2011

Smarter Than Your Average Bear

We've been in Phuket for a few days now, and will in fact be attempting to head from Phuket to Krabi tomorrow via ferry... But itinerary aside, I had a very interesting conversation with a local today, one worth sharing.

We took a speedboat tour of the Phi Phi islands today (very stereotypical tourist, but still really friggin' cool.). Our tour guide was a young Thai man not much older than I am, I'd say mid-30's at most. While many of the tourists on the trip kept t themselves, I took the opportunity to talk with him.

Turns out, he's been working boat tours for almost 20yrs. He likely left school prematurely when he left his family to move to Phuket and support himself. While not traditionally educated he spoke Thai (obviously), Japanese, Korean and English fluently and is currently working on his Russian. How many of us can say that?

He also, if given the opportunity to talk, had much to say. Most of the people on the oat, either from lack of english or lack of interest, or both, paid no attention to what he had to say. From stories about his past, to how he lives now, to where he was with the tsunami it in 2004, he was a wealth of knowledge. He also wasn't shy about telling you what cultures were the worst to work with. Interesting, very interesting.

Point being, it's easy to become frustrated with cultural differences and language barriers. But it's no easier for those on the other side. And just because you cannot you don't speak the same native language does jot make either superior.

Oh, and you never know when someone is judging your culture, so tread

PS. Wear your sunscreen when near the equator...

- Typos courtesy of my iPad


Lora Abernathy said...

You never know what journeys people have had. Good for you for asking and for showing him kindness and respect when many have probably just overlooked him.

Ara said...

You know, that's a good point. I think everybody needs to remember this.

Also...I love reading your blog & I love reading about your adventures on this trip.