I’ve made friends with a man who works at my hotel, he looks after the guest taxi service which takes people to and from the airport. He usually has time to chat and calls me over when I’m on my way in or out. Once he recommended a seafood place for dinner which was a hit, and once he let me have a ride in one of the fancy cars for the price of a regular taxi. He lived in Australia at some stage, and referred to himself in passing as a big kangaroo. When he quizzed me for his name later on (after remembering mine), I told him “Big Kangaroo”. He thought I was hilarious and our friendship was locked in.
On Tuesday when I came in from work he called me over and talked about apartments, and why I hadn’t called my mother yet (sorry MJ, but I thought an email was enough). He decided he needed my phone number in his address book in case he got news of an apartment…just in case we didn’t run into each other the usual 3-4 times a day.
I gave him my number and he wrote my name. First as ‘Sala’ then ‘Saras’. We speculated that I should adopt a Thai name similar to my own, just to keep things simple but for some reason Sarah wasn’t right. He asked what month I was born (April) and then was day (15th). No, was is Monday, Tuesday Wednesday…? (I have no idea!) He made do with the details I gave him and started mumbling, counting on his fingers and flicking to various pages of his address book.
After a minute he declared “Suri!”
So my Thai name is Suri, which apart from being the same name as the Tom and Katie robot-child means, ‘light’ as in ‘warmth and sunshine’.
I thought this was apt, because who wouldn’t want to be known as ‘light’. And once a friend said to me something to the effect of, “Sarah, for someone who always brings light and joy into the room, you are the most negative person I’ve ever met”.
Ah, too bad I didn’t have better ‘light’ quote to draw on than that.