Kun Kao Jai Passat Anggrit Mai Ka?

Kun Kao Jai Passat Anggrit Mai Ka?

Posted on 27. May, 2009 by in language, Missions, Thailand

When was the last time you felt helpless?

Being in a different country can give you that feeling. Especially if you aren’t just in tourist areas.  You can’t find your way to the grocery store by yourself, and once you’re there you can’t read the labels and things look unfamiliar, and if you’re looking for something specific you don’t know how to ask anyone, and once you check out you can’t understand the cashier and you dumbly hand over what you think is enough money to cover it and just hope they give you correct change.

This kind of experience is frightening and exhausting. It can also be really frustrating. Especially when you’re hungry, choose something from the menu that looks ok, and it doesn’t taste like anything you were expecting. You end up disappointed, tired, and frustrated with yourself, and/or the country you’re in.princessnatt

We really don’t find ourselves in this situation very often. We are fortunate to have stepped into a supportive family that helps us with everything from getting dinner to shopping for a silly costume. Our Thai friends from the center have been incredibly helpful (as well as our foreign friends). Anytime we have a big chore to accomplish (like buying a refrigerator), we make a call or two, and someone is available to help us out!

But it makes me think of the “foreigners” in the US. There are tons of refugees and other internationals in Fort Wayne (and other cities) who are feeling like we do. The food they see in the grocery store isn’t what they’re used to eating, they don’t understand the language yet, they don’t have the concept of what a good price for different items is, they don’t know how to pay their bills, or sometimes even how to use all the appliances in their new house!

Are we helping them? When I see how willing the Thais are to go out of their way to help us, I wonder how many “foreigners” in the US have these kinds of friends? How many Americans are willing to give up half of their day to be available to a foreign friend who needs help going grocery shopping?

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Kun Kao Jai Passat Anggrit Mai Ka?”

  1. Lori

    27. May, 2009

    Welcome to culture shock! But seriously, you make a great point; I’ve often thought of how difficult it must be for foreigners living in the U.S.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dad and Mom Ruggles

    28. May, 2009

    We never gave it a thought about how hard it would be to get anything done in a foreign country.We take for granted that they would understand us and we them.We feel for you and pray that you learn the language in record time.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge