In the contiguous states I am David. In the Hawai'ian islands and England I am Wallace. In Thailand I am Steven. Here's how I got my Thai nickname, 'Steven.' It happened when I was introduced to the teachers at my school, all who are shorter than a giraffe with no neck or legs.
Me: Sawadii Krap. I am David.
Me: No, David.
Me: No. I am David.
Me: Let’s try this again. My name is D…A…V…I…D (saying it slowly)
Them: S…T…E…V….E…N (Saying it slowly) You have Thai nickname?
Me: Yes, Thai nickname is Steven…
I’m not sure if Steven is a Thai nickname or not but that seems to be what they think my name is so I guess I’ll just roll with it. Now I am David, Wallace, or Steven depending on the continent. I really am turning into Jason Bourne.
My first day of school involved a lot of confusion on my part, and a lot of sitting on my rear end's part.
When I left the morning assembly I asked a teacher where to go and she motioned for me to follow her. She brought me to the office, introduced me to another administrator, and pointed to a desk for me to sit at. I sat down and she left. It went two hours before anyone told me anything. The secretary/administrator is very nice and speaks good English. She gave me her name and then told me her American name is “Burt.” A strange choice for a 24 year old girl is you ask me, but then again Steven is a strange Thai nickname so yet again I cannot fault them.
After about an hour she said to me “So are you teaching today?” I gave her a quizzical look and said “I have no idea!” She then gave me an extremely surprised look and said, “What? You don’t know?!” Of course I don’t know Burt! I can’t understand what anyone has said to me over the past five days and based on hand signals I am supposed to sit in this chair in this office! I’m not moving until someone motions for me to do so! I didn’t actually voice all of that, but I did ask her if she knew if I was supposed to be teaching; she didn’t. Oh what a life. Also, I tried to upload a picture but the internet connection is just too slow; sorry. I'll try and get some up on the web eventually.