I knew I shouldn’t. I knew it wouldn’t work out.
I tried to take the quickest route to semi-success; I flipped the teacher the finger and dove right in.
And I drowned.
My Lao is shit. I order fried forest instead of fried fish. I tell village elders I have too much pubic hair when I want to say I’m sleepy.
So, it’s back to basics for me. Back to where I know I should have started in the very beginning, but those damn squiggle letters and the multiple pitches and tones were just too intimidating. I know learning starts from the ground up. I know this. I just don’t want to know this.
My (very patient) friend Ya now comes over every morning with a Lao work book and I practice my alphabet. I practice squishing consonants and vowels together in my mouth in that ever-so-gentle, lyrical way. I move my tongue around and play with sounds that my vocal chords have never before known.
I sing the vowel song in the shower and chant myself to sleep with tones.
And I accept that before, I cheated. And now I must start over. One rising pitch tone at a time.