I just released a new short story to brighten up your Monday (or whenever you read this). Read it on brettjames.com :

The World Builder by Brett James

The World Builder
a new short story by Brett James

Life on Mars.

Most Thai natives speak English, which makes travel here In Phuket, a Thai Tailor beckons from every doorway.
A pleasure to make your greeting, sir.
You do look very English, indeed.
very easy. However, as with any second language, there are a plenty of commonly misused terms. For example, Thailanders will often say ‘sorry’ when ‘excuse me’ would be more appropriate (e.g. “Sorry, your table is ready.”) But most of the mistakes are simple ones, and it doesn’t take long to tune your ear to hear what they really mean to say.

I’ll just get you started with a few examples:

What they say: What they mean:
Hello. Come shop in my store.
Where are you from? Please buy a suit from me.
Where are you going? You want tuk-tuk?
You English? You rich?
You have girlfriend? You want girlfriend?
Really? You don’t have girlfriend? I am available, just ask.
How long are you staying? You should move here, buy a house, and marry me.
Boom boom on the beach? Come have sex with me somewhere really dark, just in case I’m a guy.
From Minutemen to Marines,
from CIA black to Ranger green,
and so many men and women in between,
army tanks and navy ships,
in the skies above or ocean deep,
it is our peace that you keep,
and because you laid it on the line,
time after countless time,
I thank you for the freedom I’ve seen.

Memorial Day 2010.

Taking a stroll through the streets of Siem Reap has all the relaxing charm that a swimsuit model enjoys while walking though aSiem Reap, where you're pretty much walk-into-walls stupid if you can't hire a tuk-tuk.
Q: How many tuk-tuks and motorcycle-taxis
can you spot on this typical Siem
Reap street?
A: You don’t have to, they’ll spot you.
construction site. The principal item offered here is transportation, mostly tuk-tuks and motorbike-taxi. The streets are lined with hawkers, every one of whom will start calling to you from half a block away. Most will start walking toward you (stalking might be a better term for it). Ignoring them only makes it worse, and saying no is only slightly more helpful. In fact, the only polite part of exchange is that, should there be a small cluster of drivers, they won’t come at you all at once. But no matter how many—three, four, or seven—they will all ask, and keep asking until you are out of earshot.

Typical conversations go like this:

You want tuk-tuk, sir?
“Oh (feigned surprise), no thank you.”
Oh, yes, sir. I show you thirteen temples.
“No, thank you.”
Yes, cheap. No commission.
“No, no, no.”
Yes, yes, yes!

At this point, if there’s still time, the man will lower his voice:
You want smoke? You want woman? And, yes, as of last night I’ve now twice heard the nightmarishlyhorrible: My sister very pretty.

It would seem that everything is for sale in Siem Reap, be it worth buying or not.

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