Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cartoon biceps and bargaining in Thai

Today is my last day in the ISDSI office, and so I thought it might be appropriate to show you the main project I have completed for actual work in my time here.  Oh right, I was working....not just running around the city shopping and eating and looking at beautiful temples!

Raise your hand if you've ever heard of a garuda.

I hadn't either until a few weeks ago.  A garuda is a mythical creature, half-man-half-bird, very strong and fierce and fights and eats dragons and serpents.  It appears on the seal of Thailand.  The director here wanted a tough-looking garuda design for their new CrossFit gym.  Here's the end result.  I spent a long time getting the biceps just right.  Apparently all men spend part of their teenage years drawing cartoon biceps and superheros, but ya know I skipped that stage of development and so it took me a long time.  He's swinging a kettlebell.  Looking forward to wearing this t-shirt!  I also worked on some other t-shirt designs for ISDSI, and did a few illustrations for my language teacher.

(By the way, if you follow that last link and scroll way down you might see me teaching a capoeira class.)

I fly out of Chiang Mai tomorrow evening, and begin the long trip home.  Of course it will be sad to leave, I really love it here and have enjoyed learning the language and exploring and feeling like I really live here for a few weeks.  But on the other hand, I look forward to getting back home and working on what's next.

I had a great moment last night, empowered by language and a wee bit of cultural understanding.  I had met up with some girlfriends for a Thai massage, and then had to get way back across town to go to the evening Walking Street market one last time.  Armed with my newly-learned Thai and some bargaining skills, I asked a couple of tuk-tuk (motorcycle taxi) drivers how much it would cost to get a ride to the Tha Phae Gate.  They conferred and said 100 baht.
"Paeng maag!" I replied (too expensive!)
"Mai paeng!" they came back (not expensive!)
"Hahaha!  Mai bpai!" (I'm not going)..and I smiled and walked away and crossed the street to flag down a rot daeng (red bus taxi).  I asked the driver...and got a ride for 40 baht.  That's more like it.

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