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English Babble

Hobo Travel Tips
By Andy the HoboTraveler.Com

ISSUE:  087
DATE:  September 10, 2002
TIP:  English Babble
LOCATION:  Satun Thailand

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How to find people that speak your language.

There are more people in the world that speak
Chinese than anyone, but the common language
for traveler is English. So you see Germans, Swedes,
French, and many other countries speaking to the
locals in English. The know they have a better chance
of finding a person that speaks English to help them than
their native language.

South America and Central America was lots
easier on the language problem. I could apply myself
and learn more Spanish. Plus there is a lot more
Latinos that speak English than there are Asians
that speak English. The languages are so much
different the learning process is about 10 time
more difficult.

But I still need to talk English.
There is a need for common ground.
A few words or a desire to talk the other persons language.
I am in Thailand right now, and there are a few
people that speak simple conversational level

I think too much....
All my friend say this to me all the time.
Even people that are not my friends.

So I am in Thailand thinking.
How do I find people that speak English?

Thinking did not help, than by accident
and bad manners maybe on my part
I found the solution.
I am meeting people everyday now
that speak a little English.

I talk to them in English.
I babble.

I think a person that walks up to foreign
person and just starts talking in their
native language is rude.

The have no ability to empathize with
the world, and expect everyone to be
like them.
Very self centered and egotistical.

This is where comments or ideas
like the “Ugly American” comes from
or is derived. From people that demand
and assume that the whole world should
care about them and help them in the
language and in the way they want...

Huh... Hey you.
You are not in Kansas.
You are in Thailand.
You are a visitor in their home.
Why would they speak your language?

I am hard pressed and think the comment
the “Ugly American” should be the “The Ugly
Tourist” or something other than American.
The world is 97 percent travelers and tourist from
other countries and maybe 3 percent Americans.
I do not care what statistic you can quote.
They are wrong. There are very very few
Americans tourist.

I meet about 1 American every 2 weeks here
and hundreds of people from other countries.

I by accident, and sort of bad manners found
a way to discover who speaks English or
is studying English.

People want to practice the language they
are trying to learn. So people here in Thailand
that are studying English would like to talk or
practice their English.

In South America I had a 15 minute rule.
OK... I will talk to your in English
for 15 minute, then I have to go. There
was that many people that came up and wanted
to practice their English.

The people here are more reserved.
The do not just start talking to me,
and the culture or customs on how to talk to
people are different. The way they open
a conversation is different.

I think the line between playing with people
and being mean and abusive is a narrow.
Have fun, but do not make fun of people.
Just because they do not speak your language
doe not mean they are stupid.

I walked up to a donut stand in Ranong.
It is early and I am very happy this day.
I am pointing at the donuts, and saying.
“How much?”
I am also holding up fingers, and pointing
at my money, and doing a regular mime

I learned the price with signs, and sometime writing
down the price how much. I begin a
dialogue with the person behind the
pot of boiling oil with donuts bubbling

You are kind of cute.
I am sort of bored today, and
walking around Ranong. Do you want
to come along? We can have fun.
I will eat your donuts.
I will go to the internet cafe right now
and come back.”

OK... She does not understand a
word so I say,
“I love you too.”
Ahhh she smiles.
I am making progress.
The word LOVE is universal.
They hear that and laugh.

I am being nice, and the girl really is
cute, and I am saying to her what I would
say if she spoke good English.

To empathize and to be rude.
You have to always remember, and
be sensitive to the other persons situation.
I am totally aware she does not speak
or if she does speak English it is probably
just enough to tell me the price of donuts.
I am careful. I do not want her to feel
stupid or that I am making fun of her.
I am playing with her.

I am playing with the girl and having
fun. And laughing in serious. But in
total acceptance that she probably does
not speak English. I am NOT expecting
an answer. I am a “Handsome Hobo”
and not the Ugly American.

She start to pick out donuts and place
in a bag for me.
I look at the donuts and say,
“That is a baby.”
I go on and hold my arms out saying.
Pretending I am fat. Saying in
hand language. I want a FAT donut.
I keep talking and rattling on.
I want a big one, I want one that
has grown up, and is fat. I am hungry
and babies are not good.
I am hungry.

She put in one extra...
Hmm.. Something worked.
I got one extra for the same price.

I made a friend.
She knows and can feel me.
She knows I am having fun.
And give me a donut to say.
that she understand me.

She is saying,
“I understand we do not speak the
same language, but thank you for
having fun and buying my donuts.”

She waved at me or nodded her
head as I pass from that day on.
I had a friend. Because I played.
But I also talked out loud in English.

I am on the bus to Hat Yai.
There is a man. He is looking at me
like he wants something. Sort of like
he is looking for the toilet, but he is looking
at me. I have no idea why. He does
not look like a Lady Boy. But I am thinking
and wondering to myself.
What doe he want.

He get brave and start to talk English.
As the conversation proceeds he
tell me he seen me walking around Ranong
and saw when I purchase the donut.
He says,
“You not want baby donut !”

He was an idle person sitting in the area.
He heard me speak English.
He also saw me be playful and fun.
He now felt SAFE to talk with me, and
that I would be nice.

So in the end. If you want to find people
that speak English Talk and play with the
people. One person may get brave, and talk
with you, and you have a new friend.

Just last night a young woman. Spoke
her first words of English to me. I have seen
this girl for 3 days. She sits in the small food
restaurant where I eat KFC chicken wanna
be that is very tasty. I had no idea she knew
even one word. I would sit there and talk
in English and Thai with the lady Ronnie
that sells the tasty chicken.

She decided to try to speak English.
I will guarantee her vocabulary is 20 time
bigger than mine. She has probably studied
English, and all I have is a dictionary.

I am finding people daily now that speak
a little English. Enough that with the words
I learn in Thai and the words they know.
We can give it a try at a conversation.

So I walk around and
Someone overhears the words.
Decides I am a good person.
Starts a conversation.
I now have friend, and someone
to guide me down the path.

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X was HERE!

Life is good.

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the
On year 5 of Hobo trip around the world.
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Hello, Here is a Travel Tip written by Andy of English Babble