PC language learning is an excellent system. Repetition, learning in context, immersion all play a role. I am in a group of 4 led by our ajaan, teacher. So far we have learned to introduce ourselves (dichan chuu Karen), numbers (ngun, song, sam, see, hua, hock, jet, braa, gao, sip – spelling very wrong), and tell where we are from (dichan muu jaak muyoung Newport Beach, rot California, practet America). The Thai language has some aspects which make it easier to learn: no punctuation, no capitalization, no verb tenses, no feminine or masculine differences in the words (although males and females end sentences differently, ka for females, and krap for males) and no articles (a, an, the). The hard part is 44 consonants, I think 24 vowels, some vowels and consonants that are not in the English language, and there are five tones. If you get the wrong tone it can totally change what you are saying. Then of course there is the Thai alphabet, beautiful and still seeming impossible.
Dinner tonight a huge success! I actually ate dinner with the whole family. Fish, caught across the street, rice of course (it is not a meal without rice), dried pork, a shrimp and veggie dish, and 2 that were “pet”, spicy. I eat just a little of those. Sa Koon, the grandfather, taught me a traditional Thai song during dinner as part of my homework. He loves to fish and is wonderful with his little grandson, patiently teaching him how to do things.
We looked at my going away book and their photo album tonight. They have 2 daughters and a younger son. Two of their kids live in Bangkok and one lives in a more local city. I think that is pretty common. I am careful not to show my homesickness when looking at photos…it is hard.