I still remember my very first time visiting the Land Of Smiles. At that time, I was still a katak di bawah tempurung.
To my international friends, that literally translates to frog underneath coconut shell. It simply means that a frog that lives underneath a coconut shell will think that the shell is the world, so one who is like that frog will have no knowledge of things, events or places outside his "world". He would be happily ignorant of what is happening in the world, and would not venture outside of his "world".
A friend heard I was going to go Thailand, or more specifically Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Having been to Thailand many times, he quickly gave me some recommendations of what I must do and where I must visit when I go there.
Now this friend of mine was a Chinese educated man, so his English was not very good. Especially the way he pronounced certain English words.
Here's how the conversation went.
"Going to Bangkok ah? Must go see Thai girls."
This was his first recommendation.
"Tigers? What tigers?" I asked him.
"Oh, you must see them. Everyone go Thailand first time must see those Thai girls in action."
"Oh really?" I was getting curious. "Do they have special skills or something?"
"Wah, many lo. You should see them open the cap bottle with their you-know-what."
"You know lah, down there."
"Down where?" I scratched my head, trying to figure out what he was saying.
"Down there lah! You know? You know?"
I suddenly understood what he meant and I was amazed.
"Wow! These tigers are that good?! Can uncap the bottle like that?"
"Yeah! You must see them! And some of them have nice white skin!"
"Oh, so they are white tigers."
"No, not white. They are pure Thai girls." he said, obviously referring the word "white" to Caucasians although I did not know at that time! I think "fair" would be a better word.
"I thought you said they have white skin."
"Yeah, yeah, some of them do. But they are not gwai mui or mixed, they are true Thai girls." Gwai mui by the way, means young female Caucasians in the Cantonese dialect.
I had no idea what young female Caucasians had to do with white tigers, but well...!
Then he bent closer, his eyes wide open and whispered, "You can watch them have sex too."
Now, if I am not mistaken, I think I've watched tigers having sex on National Geographic before. Well, maybe not white tigers, but aren't all tigers the same? Do I really need to go to Thailand to watch them do it?
So I told my friend, "I think I've watched that before."
"You have? I thought you said you never been to Thailand." he frowned.
"No, I have never been. I saw it on TV."
"What?!" He exclaimed. "In which country?"
"Here in Malaysia."
I could see the disbelief look on his face.
"Thai girls on Malaysian TV! You joking, is it?"
I kind of forgotten how the conversation went after that, but the next day, when I related this to another friend of mine, I was stunned to see her laugh hysterically.
"No, you silly!" She said, "He meant Thai girls!" And she proceeded to spell the words out "T-H-A-I-G-I-R-L-S" before bursting into laughter.
"Ohh..." I think my face turned completely red at that moment.
My friend just laughed and laughed and laughed. I recovered quickly to join in her laughter.
Gosh! And to think that I left my Chinese educated friend that day with both of us not knowing what the other was talking about. What a joke!