I went to lunch with my friend Mot today. She asked what I would like to drink and I said “nam plow”, the Thai word for water. She and the waitress laughed and complimented me on how clearly I speak Thai. I get this compliment a lot in Khon Kaen. I did not get this compliment in Bangkok, however. On the contrary, when I ordered “nam plow” in Bangkok I got a lot of confused looks. No one understood any of my Thai, so I eventually stopped using it and only spoke English. I told Mot about my experience in Bangkok. She thinks they were expecting me to speak English and were confused when they heard Thai. Even if that’s true, I think it means that I don’t speak as clearly as people here say I do.