Sunday, October 4, 2009

An Ugly Tourist Moment Averted

It was another stinking, hot day so I hopped on the scooter and went on another tour around the city. Once you travel the roads enough the pattern finally emerges from the chaos. You learn what lanes to stick to, how to dodge the tuk tuks and baht buses and you get the added pleasure of whizzing past those God forsaken tourists who thought walking around town during midday under the hot, blazing sun would be a good idea.

School starts tomorrow so one of the things I needed to accomplish today was doing a little recon to figure out where I had to be for 9:00am tomorrow. First stop, checking to see what time my Starbucks opens at. 7:30! Sweet. They already know my order there, say what you will but there is a time and a place for drone-like corporate culture. Next stop, the university which turned out to be a much longer drive than I had anticipated. No worries, arrived and then needed to find the Language Institute. This is when things get bad, I approached 5 people as I drove around this huge campus trying to find someone who spoke English, someone who might understand "Language Institute". After an hour of driving around and around, neck sunburnt, sweaty head from the helmet I almost just parked roadside to lay in the dirt pounding my fists screaming "For God sakes, English is an international language why can't YOU speak it!".

Thankfully down the road I spotted salvation, the library. You can't go wrong with asking a librarian for help, it's in their blood. In no time flat I had a map printed, arrows drawn, X's marked and I was off. Even better I found a shortcut that will shave some time off my commute when I head out tomorrow morning. Now I just have to figure out how to McGyver a cup holder for my scooter's basket so I can get "to go" and not "stay" from the baristas tomorrow.


  1. You wrote, 'screaming "For God sakes, English is an international language why can't YOU speak it!".'

    I am not sure that English is as widespread or useful as people claim. I would like to argue the case for Esperanto as the international language. It is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states.

    Take a look at

    Esperanto works! I've used it in speech and writing in about fifteen countries over recent years.

  2. Good comment by Bill Chapman :)

    The World indeed does need a common auxiliary language.

    Your readers may be interested in the following video at Professor Piron was a translator with the United Nations in Geneva.

    A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at