บัว is a lot easier than เอลิซาเบธ
Most Thai people all have a short nickname because their real names are often long. For some Thai people who have been exposed to western culture my name is easy, and for others it’s very difficult. In Thai language there are a lot of sounds that aren’t in English, but one English sound that doesn’t exist in Thai is th. In Thai th sounds like t (hence Thailand doesn’t sound like Thigh-land). My name here is written เอลิซาเบธ which is pronounced aeh-li-saa-baet. No th sound, only t. Nevertheless, people everywhere like to shorten my name.
Thai nicknames mean something that is usually a characteristic of the person, and some are really hilarious. I have been asked what my Thai nickname was. I have had people call me E, because it’s easier, and others call me be my title of teacher – ajarn or kru.
A woman who was showing me houses gave me the Thai name Faa, which means sky. I liked that a bit, but thought it wasn’t quite right. While drinking a Sambuca at Coconut Bar on Ko Bulon with Chi (he told me Chi means brother of Che Guevara 🙂 and Rain (not Fon -Thai for rain – but Rain), they asked me my nickname. I said I’d been called Faa, but wasn’t sold on that name. I asked them what they thought might suit me better. We went through a variety of disagreements until we reached a consensus. A few names were immediately nixed. They suggested Manao, and I do like the way it sounds, but it means lemon or lime. I thought with Manao, people would squish up their face like they’d just bitten into something sour when they’d say my name, um, no. Finally, we all agreed on Bua. Bua or บัว means lotus flower. I am quite happy with this. I would like to be a blossoming lotus.
Whoa, there is a huge crowd of Thai tourists that just arrived for a New Year’s party on the beach. I’m glad I have my bungalow, but it will certainly be loud. Oh well, it’s New Year’s Eve and it’s not like a have anything to do tomorrow.
New Year’s resolutions: Be more creative and take classes – some ideas: art, pottery, painting, weaving, writing, improv even. Learn Thai. Continue doing yoga and go to more classes. Meditate. Create the atmosphere so my soul mate comes. It’s time. 2012 is the year, or Sabaii dii pii mai 2555 (Buddhist time). In Thai 2 is pronounced song, and 5 is pronounced ha. Now it’s year song ha ha ha – I guess it’s going to be a good year for music and laughing.
With my new nickname บัว (Bua), I welcome 2555, its resolutions and pleasant surprises from the Land of Smiles.