Thailand

Random Encounter Monday: No. 2 – The Pharmacist.

“May I help you, sir?” The pharmacist had seen me looking lost around the narrow aisles of our local Boots.

I was there looking for a specific protein powder. I explained this to the Pharmacist. She looked puzzled.

“Protein powder?”

I nodded vigorously. I told her that it was chocolate flavoured and made by an Australian company.

“Australia?” she asked, her confused frown getting deeper.

“Yes,” I said, “the place with the kangaroos.” I did a little kangaroo hop to show her what I meant.

She looked scared. I realised I was losing grip on the situation and needed to refocus.

“That doesn’t matter” I said, “I need protein powder”. I then mimed drinking and then flexed my right bicep and showed it getting bigger with my flat left hand. She reached out nervously and touched my tightened muscle.

“Very good, very strong”, she said with wide-eyed, forced emphasis – I could tell she was wondering how to call security without agitating my clearly demented state.

“No” I said, “protein powder – after work outs.”

As if a switch had been flicked, realisation dawned on her.

“You want pro-teeeeeeeen pow-deeeeeer!” she said.

She laughed in embarrassment, so did I, so did the three other customers. Communal embarrassed laughter is a very Thai trait.

Two morals.

One – I am an ass.

Two – pronounce things with a Thai-English accent.

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18 thoughts on “Random Encounter Monday: No. 2 – The Pharmacist.

      • Thought I would share I was in a small city in China call Xiamen due to it still being developed the locals don’t speak English. So I needed medication and google doesn’t work in China I was trying to explain to the pharmacist I needed some thing for a bladder infection while trying to be lady like. She had very limited English skill and there no great apps that work. Eventually I pointed down there hopped around like in pain and she said oh no we no sell pets here. I said no I showed her a toilet sign I pointed down there and made like I’m in pain then she was like no we have no wee wee place. I’m so close to giving up walking away when another lady goes I can help I speak english.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ohhhh, yeah. Been there, done that. Dear god, it’s interesting how things are pronounced. In Thai often the last syllable is emphasized, so that’s why we get tax-eeee, com-pu-teerrrrr and so on. I actually pride myself in understanding “Tinglish” and yes, I realized I just jinxed myself. Damn it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 36 years ago when I moved to Vancouver and encountered my first large number of Cantonese-speaking people, it literally took me weeks, if not months, to accept the fact that they weren’t really angry at me, they just always sounded that way. And of course Mandarin-speakers always sound to us English-speaking Canadians like they’re asking a question. To this day, the act of communication in Vancouver is one of the favorite topics for comedians of virtually every nationality, and it’s absolutely amazing watching each of them with their unique take on the situation.

    Like

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