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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sabai Sabai- Thai Culture

'Sabai' means 'Easy' and is an often quote answer to how you feel when you are feeling good. When you've eaten and you are replete, you are Sabai. When you have had a glass of beer and the mood change has kicked in, you are Sabai. When you are sat on a mat on the beach overlooking some tropical picture perfect scene you are Sabai. When you have just come up from a dive and the boat man asks you how was it, the answer is Sabai. So contented, at one with your self, is the best description of how it translates in every day use.

Some foreigners translate the Thai idea of Sabai, Sabai as a Thai version of the Spanish 'Manana'. Where the emphasis of Manana means we will will worry about it tomorrow,  Sabai means we are in the zone now and the tomorrow part is irrelevant. The Manana has a guilt angle, almost acknowledging that something should be done, some work,  or duty completed. The Thai culture doesn't need this as it's Buddhist values ensure that the moment and not the duty is king.  So in my humble opinion, those who try to equate Manana with Sabai miss the point. I am more knowledgeable with Thai than Spanish so feel free to corrrect me if I am wrong.
Hotels on the beach Sabai Sabai

On being asked by your Thai host, how are you, Sabai dee Mai?. The answer that will please them most is the simple re joiner, Sabai Krup (Ka if you are a lady).

Dropping it into conversation.
If you are staying at a family run guesthouse or hotel on Phi Phi Island for instance you might come down to the reception every morning and ask the receptionist Sabia Dee Mai ? and they will appreciate this. It's informal and not something that happens in luxury Bangkok Hotels.
Hotels on the beach Sabai Sabai

Top Sabai Moments
Here are some of my top Sabai moment in Thailand. (Outside family and friends stuff which obviously hit the number one spot!)
  • Getting my passport stamped when I arrive in Thailand .
  • Having a Thai massage on the beach listening to the sound of the sea.
  • Diving on the quieter side of Phi Phi Don near Wang Long.
  • Having a beer watching the sun set on Nai Harn Beach.
  • Jogging to the top of the Karon Highlands in amongst the rubber plantations and getting a view of Chalong and PP in the distance
  • Eating out down on Chalong Bay at Kang Eng 2.
  • Finding that perfect food court when you are hungry like crazy but only want to eat a proper spicy green curry.
  • Going on a speedboat trip into the Phang Nga Bay.
  • Going on a road trip and ending up in a remote part of Thailand surrounded by happy people
  • Taking in the Chao Praya river while eating at the water front restaurant at the Sheraton Royal Orchid Bangkok

1 comment:

  1. That I like soooo much wanna my home like that...!
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