In the late afternoon, after a wonderful canoe tour down the river, we were relaxing on the river bank with Lek, our friendly guide. Lek explained that he had grown up nearby, and it was one his favorite places to rest after a long day.
He explains that the river was different when he was growing up. Much of the monoculture rubber farms and oil plantations have caused erosion of the banks to fill in the river.
Even though the river's changed, he still loves taking people along to see the nature and help protect what's left. By using nature as the focus of the activity, it makes it more important to preserve it.
A young Thai farmer was returning from his fields with his day’s harvest of vegetables. I pointed at the vegetable, some sort of long green gourd.
The farmer held out the gourds in his hand, smiled at me, and said, ”f**k.”
I looked at the farmer with a confused expression, and then over to Lek for some sort of explanation.
“F**k,” Lek exclaimed.
“What?” I said
“F**k, um, ah, f**k,” he replied, and continued on, “Thai f**k, English I not sure.”
Grasping the nature of my misunderstanding, Lek seized one of the gourds, laughing heartily while waving it in front of me. “This is fahk, in Thai language we call this vegetable fahk. It’s very healthy, but can taste a little bitter.”
So, I learned some Thai , and the farmer had a good laugh when Lek explained the “lost in translation” nature of our misunderstanding.
Learn more about Khao Sok Culture by looking at our homestay blog and learn more about Khao Sok Agriculture by taking our fruit and rubber orchard tour.