Friday, May 21, 2004

Ada Apa dengan Nama?

Ada Apa dengan Nama?

I have a surprising free weekend ahead of me in Bangkok. It'll be a good opportunity for me to learn more about the city and its people. l'm also planning to shift to a more conveniently located serviced apartment tomorrow.

I'm told that the weather is rather hot these days in KL. So maybe I'm glad that I'm not going home so soon. Unfortunately it's the rainy season over here in Bangkok. And that makes the traffic worse. Hopefully the rain won't ruin my activities this weekend--not that I have anything planned yet for the next two days. Bought a copy of the popular GroovyMap for Bangkok yesterday. I'll study it thoroughly to see what interesting things I could do.

It is interesting to find some Thai executives using a single initial as their name when they introduce themselves, simply because their names are so difficult for foreigners to catch, let alone pronounce. "Hi, I'm A., the account manager". Makes me want to introduce myself as "K., the engineer" Gives a very Kafkaesque feel to the whole thing.

In Indonesia, I've met many people by the name of Henny, Benny, Lenny and Yenny but never "Kenny". Those who speak English would of course know that it is a pretty common name, but somehow the working class people there often find my name "lucu". And they always like to spell it "Keni", which makes it even more lucu.

I find some of the Indonesians name lucu too--for example "Puput" (pronounced "poo-poot") and "Iis" ("ee-ease"). I've also met a guy by the name of "Nunuk". Great care has to be taken in pronouncing this particular name correctly. The proper pronunciation is "nooo-noook"--with extra emphasis on the "u" sound. Indonesians will know that it will be quite embarassing indeed if someone unknowingly makes the "u" sound a bit like "o"!

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