Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thai Smiles, Part 55: I Guess You Had To Be There

Giving a morning manicure along Beach Road in Pattaya

Maybe it's different with you, but it's often a mystery to me why some things that happen in the workplace are more amusing than identical things in a setting nearly the same in every other aspect.

How often have you heard something or seen something while at work and laughed out loud, but when you relate it to someone later it barely raises a patronizing chuckle?  I'll grant you that some folks tell a tale better than others and that - regardless of what they themselves may think - not everyone's even a halfway-decent comedian, but that doesn't really clear the issue up much.

All too often the person trying to salvage things lamely follows up the flopped anecdote with "well, I guess you had to be there", and, frankly, I think that has a lot to do with it.  No great debate point, but it livened up an after-dinner conversation I was a part of on Koh Samed a while back.

Seaboat touts taking a break

Part of it has to do with the element of surprise - the unexpected often being the easiest way to make this old dog laugh - but part of it also seemed to involve the regular tedium of many of our day to day tasks; in those cases humor on any level is an appreciated break, and that's where my money lies in the wager.

Running with that idea, my theory is that folks I meet while strolling around and people watching are willing to stop and smile for a picture because it's A) a break and B) it's sanuk (fun).  Of course, the less charitable might say it was just to get me to go away, but I've tested that theory often enough to be reasonably certain it's rarely the case. So there.

A local barber pauses during a client's shave

There are other examples of Thai folks finding some enjoyment or fun in what they're tasked to do while holding body and soul together here on the blog. If you're a newer reader you can learn some of the overall cultural view among workers in Sanuk Doesn't Just Mean "Fun" , among go go boys in Camaraderie On Soi Twilight and among prisoners in Pathumthani Prison "Chain Gang" At Work

Being left to tend the family cart can make for a boring morning

Speaking of work, I have a project strewn about my house that I've been trying to avoid for days now so I ought to get back to it... but first, would you like to hear something funny that happened while I was setting the thing up?

No?  Hmmm... didn't think so!  It was funny if you were there, though.

Enjoy your morning/afternoon/evening, depending on where you are when you're reading this, and thanks for checking in.


krobbie said...

Now you've got me wondering what your project is that is scattered about the house?

Cheers Bao-Bao,

khunbaobao said...

Nothing all that exciting, actually - just some family trust paperwork, but that often entails looking for documentation in a variety of spots. That's usually my reason for not getting it done!