living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

I believe the literal translation of …


the Thai word ‘sanuk’ is ‘fun’, but I KNOW it can mean much more than that.

A Thai friend told me, possibly simply to make a point, “Some Thai people believe that if something doesn’t involve at least a nitnoy (tiny) bit of sanuk, then it might not be worth doing at all”.

Example of Thai ‘sanuk’:

On a extremely hot day, even for Chiang Mai, I stopped at a 7/11 and bought a bottle of mineral water; and as it turned out, even for Chiang Mai, it was extremely cold.

To really enjoy my ‘thirst quencher’, I went next door, and sat on a short perimeter wall of a truly beautiful wat (Buddhist temple).

It wasn’t a ceremony, but a rather mundane task of ‘mowing the lawn’ by three young novices monks, which caught my eye.

Actually, come to think of it, it wasn’t even the sight of them ‘mowing’ the rather large lawn with rather small ‘weed-whackers’; but it was the obvious presence of ‘sanuk’.

I’m guessing they were 10-12 years old, and because they were so young I wasn’t surprised, despite their saffron robes; to see them start ‘role-playing’ Ninja-warriors.  I mean, boys being boys, and each with a ‘weed-whacker’, how could they not?

What I was surprised about was to see a monk, stealthily sneak up behind them, and catch them ‘red-handed’, screwing around.

Believe me when I say, I wasn’t half as surprise as the novices!

They listened intently to the lecture, wai’ng (the Thai bow of respect) the whole time.

They of course, began some ‘serious’ whacking of the weeds, as soon the lecture was over.

I knew I had witnessed another example of sanuk, actually two.


Photographer: unknown


May 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


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