Today we had our first Thai language course. We started by learning the basic Thai greetings along with common phrases and words. The Thai language is very sing-song and has 5 different tones. It is very beautiful to listen to and they put special emphasis on the vowels and tones. Thai people are extremely friendly (they don't call it the land of smiles for nothing!) so focusing on greetings was a natural starting point. We learned important phrases like 'how are you?' 'what is your name?' 'my name is...' and so on. We tried our best to master the sounds and tones which gave our mouth quite a work out! One word we were warned never to say incorrectly is kor-a-pai (excuse me). Apparently there is something very close to that which new speakers often say that means 'may I fart?' Coincidence? Irony? You decide ;)
We were then taken on a tour of the campus where all of the new "Freshy's" are signing up for college. There are 30,000 students attending Chiang Mai University all of whom wear uniforms. The school colors are purple and white (you're liking CSU, Chico better by the sentence, huh?). We ran into some senior Theater and Art students who were waiting to welcome the Freshy's!