After many months of procratination, my husband has finally talked me into putting my writing to some good use and starting a blog. I normally write unpublished novels, but he tells me, “What’s the use of writing something if no one ever reads it?” So I’ll go ahead and start writing publicly and hopefully without our two-year-old interrupting me or stealing the keyboard and writing the blog himself.
Besides mothering a two-year-old and an eight-year-old, I teach English to a group of Chinese kids in the evenings. This is a joint venture, as my friend Rosy teaches one group Chinese writing, while I teach the other group English, and then we swap groups. That way, the kids get an hour of each language and their parents keep them out of the house for an additional two hours after school.
Last night, I was writing the words on the board as the kids were coming in. Each one asked the predictable question, “Kian mai?” (Do we need to write this?) and I would answer, “Kian.” (Write). Several more kids came in, each asking the same question, and getting the same answer. Finally, the little girl in the front row asked to see the marker. I gave it to her and she wrote เขียน (write) on the board under the list of words.
It’s kids like this that grow up to be president.
Language note: Thai does not have “yes” or “no.” You have to repeat the verb (write) or negate the verb (don’t write) when asked a yes/no type of question.