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Mmm, that’s good oyster sauce!


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It’s not really very Thai to call people out on things that are embarrassing.

I’m sure that it must have happened like once or twice I said something kind of funny and my friends were like, “ha-ha,” they would laugh explicitly at me.

But my parents and people like teachers wouldn’t say anything generally.  They might correct me but they would never say anything or give me the actual definition of what I said.

There was one thing though that actually happened after I got back from Thailand and we were hanging out making some Thai food. And in the Thai language, any kind of liquid like soy sauce and fish sauce and things like that, they preface it with nam which is the word for water and liquid.  So fish sauce would be, like, nam pla and nam siew was soy sauce.

And so they have oyster sauce. And the word for oyster is hoi.  It’s the word for like any generic type of shellfish.  It also happens to be a very vulgar way to refer to female genitalia.  I see the analogy there, you know, but it’s a common word.  People use it and say it all the time.

But when they say oyster sauce they don’t say nam hoi, they say sauce hoi, and it’s because nam hoi is, well, the glib female genitalia.  Apparently by the time that I had made it bake to the United States I still had been calling it nam hoi.

So I can only imagine how many times I’d said that cooking in the kitchen with my host mother and she had just, you know, bit her tongue and didn’t say anything.  So, I say, “Oh my God!”

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