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Chapter 26 The New Student

posted Jun 6, 2017, 7:37 AM by Ratinan Lee   [ updated Aug 13, 2017, 12:23 PM ]

- CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX -

The New Student

—Máek Wínailō̂et—

Kevin was sleeping after the morning assembly. The assembly was very short but we managed to talk about what Kevin had done in Taiwan. He said that he attended the wedding of the Taiwanese airline's CEO and his mom, so he had to stay there for the whole week. Moreover, he said that after the graduation in March, he will go back to Taiwan for the undergraduate degree. Leaving Thailand, maybe, forever.

This piece of information shocked us that we forgot to sing the national anthem.

"Stand up, please," shouted Jì right after Khrū Ûi stepped into the classroom.

"Good morning," every student automatically stood and greeted the teacher. Except for Kevin, he was still sleeping.

"Good morning. Today I have to introduce another new student. He will stay with us until the end of the year." After she finished, she walked toward the door and signaled a Chinese-look boy to get into the class.

"You may introduce yourself now," in English, Khrū Ûi tried her best. But why?

"Good morning everyone. My name is Lǐ Chūn. Chūnjié-de-chūn[1]. This is the second time in Thailand, so if there are anything I don't know, please advice."

He spoke English!

"Now, let us... find you... a seat," said Khrū Ûi but Chūn was already walking toward us.

"Look like he is angry at someone who didn't wake up to listen to his self-introduction," whispered Min. I laughed silently.

And yes, Chūn stopped at the vacant desk beside Kevin's.

"FIRE!"

He shouted right above Kevin's left ear.

"FIRE!?!?"

"Hahaha! 哥哥,我來了。(Bro, I'm here now!)"

"Gēge?" I repeated the word Chūn used to call Kevin. "Older brother?"

"I never know about this," said Min.

"你為什麼來?(Why are you here?)"

"Good question! I come to collect infor-mai-tion[2] about your conditions here. If I think you're not worth moving to Taiwan, then I can report my stepmom directly," answered Chūn. His English was so spontaneous. "Am I right, Mrs. Siribaba?" He was trying to say Mrs. Sìrìpràphā, which was the last name of Khrū Ûi.

"Eh... yeah... yes." Khrū Ûi had a problem understanding him. She, then, turned to Kevin, spoke in Thai. "Your father came to school yesterday afternoon for your brother admission, Kevin. He kept this secret to prevent you from going out to find your mother and follow her back to Taiwan."

"I see..." Kevin stared at Chūn. "你不是我弟!(You're not my brother!)"

"Hey! Calm down, Kev!" I approached him.

"Ok... so you'll call your hòumā this evening - making up false infor-mai-tion about this place - saying that this place is terrible and you want to go back to Taiwan tomorrow, right?"

Chūn laughed. "Your Australian accent is so weird."

"Cuz actually I speak American accent!"

They talked about the accents, but most of us did not even know the language! I did not even know how they could recognize the accents.

"So chaotic! F*ck it!" I heard Jì murmured again.

...

"So Chūn is your stepfather's son, and he followed you here to assess your condition? This is so weird." It was the lunch time when Kevin explained everything to Min and me. Chūn was also sitting together, but silently.

Since Kevin was eating his chicken rice, he hesitated to respond. "Not weird. Bā never wants me to go away from him. I hate Thailand, he knows this very well. So he has to make sure that I really can't stay here before he lets me go. Chūn just had an operation two months ago so he is now taking a gap year from school. This is a good time that he can relax. Staying here, he doesn't have to take exams but he can still make more friends and have fun. To him, this is much better than staying at home, jerking off five times a day."

Both of us who could understand laughed. Min was laughing so hard that he almost suffocated.

"What are you laughing at?"

"Nothing."

"Can I sit with you?" Thátchai arrived with his noodle in his hands.

"Yes, you can," answered Min in Thai.

"Umm... well... My name is Thátchai. Nice to meet you, Chūn," he introduced himself in Thai-accent English.

"Thaadzai?"

"Thát like a touch /tʌt͡ʃ/, but without the /ʃ/ sound. Chai like... um... cāi. 混猜 (Hùncāi)," explained Kev, seemed like Chūn wouldn't be able to forget the name. When he introduced my name, he said Máek like in McIntyre (thank you for comparing the sound of my name with the superstar's - Thongchai McIntyre), and Min's name, Min... minimum.

"Tʌt-cāi?"

"Yeah!" Thátchai smiled. He turned to Kevin and spoke in Thai. "You are the real genius!"

Hey, wait, I looked at Min's face... minimum... He must be angry at it.

"Well, Kevin, I have to tell you one thing. We have to translate one song from Thai to English, or vice versa. Have to be a group of three to four people, and we already added your name to our group. We can include Chūn, too," said I. "I still have no idea about the song that we have to choose."

"Should we go to karaoke this evening?" asked Min.

"Good idea," Kev turned to Thátchai, "wanna join us?"

"No. It's your group. I already have mine."

"Ok, then it's four of us."

At the karaoke, Kevin and Chūn were fighting at the song selection screen. Songs after songs had been selected, all Chinese songs.

我們這麼在乎她卻被他全部抹煞
แล้วทำไม เธอกับฉัน คอยกัดกันทุกทีเรื่อยไป
到底她怎麼想應該繼續猜測嗎
รักกัน แต่ทำไม เป็นอย่างงี้
[3]

"Hey... we have to find our inspirations to do our assignment. We should not have fun like this." I said when the song started to fade out. The song was very old, and it was the first time that I knew there was a Chinese version of this song.

"Huh. Can you let brothers have fun for a while?" yelled Kevin when the song stopped playing. He walked to his school bag for a notebook. He passed it to us. "You pick one from this and the assignment is done," added him.

"Eh?"

There were so many English songs in the book.

"No! These are Thai songs," murmured Min.

"Yup, Min, you sing in the English version." Kevin suddenly threw the microphone toward him when the next song started. "Your favorite song, right?"

I just can't say anything but only see your eyes
Love that we had together has just broken
Don't know will it all right, I just hope you'll be fine
Want you to know that you always are my only one
[4]

"Your translation is really nice. Well, the feeling and context are still there although they are not the word-by-word translation. I felt like I was listening to the English song," said I, after the song.

"He rewrote the song," said Min. "He did not translate the song."

"Hahaha!" I laughed.

———

[1] In Chinese, several characters share the same sound, so it is essential to explain the characters that make up the name. Chūn was saying that the character chūn is the same as in the word chūnjié.

[2] It's "information" in Australian English.

[3] This song was composed by Chatri Khongsuwan. The original version was in Thai, คู่กัด (Khū̂ Kàt), sung by Thongchai McIntyre. The Chinese version was 失戀陣線聯盟 (Shīliàn Zhènxiàn Liánméng), sung by 草蜢 (Grasshopper).

[4] Translated from - Artist: เต๋า สมชาย เข็มกลัด (Sǒmchāi "Tǎo" Khěmklàt); Title: โลกทั้งใบให้นายคนเดียว (Lôk Tháng Bai Hâi Nāi Khon Dīao), 1995.


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