Lost & Found in Translation Chapter 1

Updated 2013-08-30 07:21

Lost & Found in Translation

Chapter 1

It was all started when I was a young chap, freshly graduated, willing, ambitious and a first time visitor of Thailand and as I remember, it was the Summer of 1987 when I arrived at the old Don Mueng airport .

Those were different times, there was a huge crowd just outside of arrival terminal lounge, pushing and dragging every single passenger coming out of the gates and offering them all types of "decent" and "indecent" services.
I needed a taxi to get to my hotel, but most of the taxi drivers were trying push me and drag my luggage away, while trying to convince me in a strange language, a mixture of;

"hey you...then a long speech including a strange sound of ...pai...pai...pai in Thai language .... some hand and head shaking ...then pai...pai...pai and then some strange hand and finger signs... yes....no....dragging...pushing...speech...pai ...pai...pai...yes...no.....ok " .

In those days there were no meter taxis in Bangkok and most of them were non air conditioned "Nissan blue birds" and you literally have to bargain with the taxi drivers in some sort of language which could be understandable for both parties, so me and my going to be driver chose the same strange language as described above ( this time I find it strange because I learnt and picked the above language so quickly that I was surprised by myself), which was more like a single sided bargain, because I had no idea what we were bargaining for and I was unaware of the distance from airport to my hotel. So I trusted the driver and my instincts and hop in his taxi and said pai...pai...pai (strange isn't it?).

Bangkok was a very different city then, there were no over head bridges or highways but traffic was as bad as now, so we took off from Don Mueng airport and off we go towards the main city "Krung Thaep" in Thai language or "City of Angels" in English (as Los Angeles in U.S.A).
The radio was on and a song of one of the most beloved singers in Thailand, Mr.Thongchai Mcintyre aka " P'Bird" called "SABAI " was on, and then there was that word "SABAI SABAI", which was repeatedly sung by the singer in this song which pushed me to ask the driver, and I asked him :"Hey what is "SABAI SABAI", what does it mean? and then I repeated it twice or Thrice, he seems to understand my question, trying very hard (obviously in Thai), but he was just out of the words, how to explain it to me so, after a lot of singing and head shaking he gave me my first lesson of Thai language and said SABAI SABAI...Happy Happy, this was the new meaning and beginning of a new chapter in my life .

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.