Pai and ASL

This past week has been very eventful! Some of the highlights include my weekend trip up to Pai, visiting the Chiang Mai canyons, and going on a five hour hike to the Mae Yen waterfall. However, the most exciting experience so far has been befriending a few locals who happen to be deaf.

The other night I went down to the market to get some dinner, and I saw three people signing pass by. I was super excited! I was not expecting to run into deaf people while in Thailand so I immediately waved to them and communicated that I sign as well. Two of them knew Thai Sign Language and one knew Thai and British Sign as well. It turned out there was enough similarity between the three languages that we were all able to understand each other. We chatted for over an hour. I taught them some ASL and they taught me some Thai signs. I knew it was easier to understand different signed languages than different spoken languages, but it blew my mind to experience it. A deaf person growing up in Thailand and an American who knows ASL are able to communicate just fine. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have had so far.

Here are some pictures from my weekend in Pai (a city in the mountains about three hours north of Chiang Mai).

IMG_0711 IMG_0618 IMG_0739

Thai Vocab

Mai pen rai- no worries


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