2/01/17 – Say Cheese
---------------------------------------------------- Thailand is often called The Land of Smiles. The boatman here has a great smile - he seems to be proud of his teeth. But the Thai smile (yim in Thai) has a greater set of meanings than the European one, and you can soon spot different ones. According to Working With The Thais: A Guide to Managing in Thailand by Henry Holmes and Suchada Tangtongtavy, the ‘top 13’ identified Thai Smiles are: 1. Yim thang nam taa: The “I’m so happy” smile. 2. Yim thak thaai: The “polite” smile for someone you barely know. 3. Yim cheun chom: The “I admire you” smile. 4. Fuen Yim: The stiff smile, also known as the “I should laugh at the joke though it’s not funny” smile. 5. Yim mee lessanai: The smile which masks something wicked in your mind. 6. Yim yaw: The “I told you so” smile. 7. Yim yae-yae: The “I know things look pretty bad but there’s no point in crying over spilt milk” smile. 8. Yim sao: The sad smile. 9. Yim haeng: The dry smile, also known as the “I know I owe you the money but I don’t have it” smile. 10. Yim thak thaan: The “I disagree with you” smile, also known as the “You can go ahead and propose it but your idea’s no good” smile. 11. Yim cheua-cheuan: The “I am the winner” smile. 12. Yim soo: “smiling in the face of an impossible struggle” smile. 13. Yim mai awk: The “I’m trying to smile but can’t” smile. A few of these could be a candidate for The Hotel Receptionist Smile, "I can't find your booking but if I smile you might leave and go to another hotel" or the "I have no idea what to do" smile. The boatman's smile was the genuine happy one and it lit us up.
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