This week’s Monday’s Momma comes to us from Thailand. She’s a funny lady who tells us a little about things getting lost in translation.
Lost in Translation
I had IVF treatment, was pregnant and am raising a baby with my wife in Bangkok, Thailand, which is approximately a million light years from my little Scottish hometown. Oh, and my geography isn’t great.
I thought I had adjusted well, having been here for 3 years before I started on this journey. I was wholly unprepared for the new cultural differences which would present themselves.
- Telling someone they’re fat is not taboo.
‘ Wow, you got your hair cut,’ carries similar weight to ‘Wow, you got fat.’ I knew this but was still surprised that when I was six months pregnant, complete strangers would stop me to point out how fat I was.
2. Some Thai people assume foreigners are crazy.
My cleaner saw that we (when I was seven months pregnant, and she saw me every week) had installed a crib and decorated a nursery. Her response:
3. Pregnant people are seen as very delicate.
I had to work really hard to convince my wife I wasn’t going to lose the baby if I lifted something or kneeled. Then I realized that I could have a nine month excuse not to clean the house, so I stopped trying.
4. People have different ideas about health and safety.
This is not limited to Thai’s. Plenty of Westerners think it’s a great idea to have their first go on a moped in Thailand. Wearing shorts and t-shirts. With their kids. With no helmets.
5. They have their own set of weird stuff they do to kids.
No cheek pinching or hair ruffling in Thailand, which are also pretty odd, if you think about it.
6. School photo days could put ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ to shame.
Who wouldn’t want to remember their 4 year old child wearing more make-up than a $10 stripper?
I think the biggest thing which I wasn’t prepared for is how bizarre some of our own cultural ideas and practices are, when seen through someone else’s eyes. Christening gowns (‘Boys wear this? Boys?’), the Easter Bunny (‘It’s a giant rabbit that lays chocolate eggs?’) and the tooth fairy (‘A creature sneaks into a child’s bedroom and buys their old teeth?’) have all, rightly raised an eyebrow here and there.
What are some odd cultural differences you have come across?
About the Author
The Mama from “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows” survives, sweatily, in Bangkok Thailand with the Mummy, the Baby and the Dog. The Mama is a part time amateur blogger, a part time teacher and a full time toilet humor enthusiast. She started writing “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows” as a way to share the funny which happens to her family on a regular basis and give other exhausted parents a laugh or two. She trained for a year as an illustrator in kindergarten and decided to put these hard earned skills to use with this blog. She loves connecting with people from all walks of life- be sure to stop by www.pooprainbows.com and say hi! You can also connect with the Mama on Twitter and Facebook: Poop Rain