Being the full and true Description of a voyage to the strange planet of Chaostika in the Outer Region of Llihelom, and with the beings who reside in a Kingdom known as Thailand, including a Full Account of the Customs, Habits, Beliefs and Quaint Behavior of the Inhabitants. In One Volume.
Chapter the Fourth
The Author Describes a Possible Error on the Part of His Interpreter; The Failure of His Contradiction CounterAnd so we arrived in Bangkok, also known as City of Angels. And, along with my assigned Chief Interpreter, my sister, brother and I began to explore the city. One of the most interesting discoveries about the beings of The Kingdom of Thailand was in a private discussion with my Chief Interpreter. It seems that in The Land of Smiles there are, as one might have supposed, only two sexes, known as ‘male’ and ‘female’. I was assured that there was a great enough difference between the two sexes so that everyone was attracted to a member of the opposite sex.
In this regard, I should mention that although my interpreter was a man of the most honest and upright character, I believe he may have been mistaken on this point. For often when I passed by some of the offices and homes of certain leading persons in the Kingdom, because of my height, I chanced to look in upon members of the same sex (usually ‘male’) and found them much attracted to another member of the same sex. Inasmuch as this is a book produced mainly for children I shall not go into any details on this subject, but it did make me a bit curious about how my interpreter could be so misinformed.
Another rather strange group of people I encountered were known to some as ‘ladyboys’ which seemed to be she but upon closer examination seemed neither he nor she. My mistaken and embarrassing encounter with such a person will of course not be related in a book for children but I must say some of these “ladyboys” seemed to resemble ladies almost more than the ladies themselves.
As my readers are well aware, all beings living on Candidata have placed in their chests at birth an Internal Contradiction Counter, which constantly records and evaluates all spoken words addressed to them. With the insertion of the Counter, words which are inconsistent with that which is thought will immediately activate the Counter’s needle anywhere from one to ten on the scale. As any child on Candidata well knows, any being of Candidata whose speech consistently registers more than four on the contradiction scale is hospitalized for appropriate treatment.
It will no doubt surprise many children of Candidata that the Thais have no such counters either inside or on the exterior of their bodies. Hence it is that whenever they speak or whenever they are spoken to, there is no means for anyone to ensure that the words spoken are consistent with the words which are thought.
As I do not wish to embarrass the good beings of Thailand, I shall not dwell on the peculiarities of this situation, no matter how absurd it may seem to us. However, I must report that on many occasions, when listening to someone of Thailand speak, I discovered that my contradiction counter would register extremely high on the scale. Indeed, I soon realized that the higher the position of the person speaking, the more rapidly would my Counter’s needle move toward the tenth position and the longer would it remain there. This happened so frequently that I often turned my counter off entirely as the constant activity of the needle gave me a terrible headache.
In any case, it is possible that, because of the alien atmosphere of Thailand, or from some other unknown reason, my counter was simply malfunctioning. However, when I held conversation with the people known as farmers and workers and immigrants, whose important role in my escape I shall describe later, the counter’s needle never moved beyond the third position on the scale and, indeed, it usually remained at zero.
I must sadly report that an exception to this rule was when I was using a borrowed cell phone to have a private and intimate discussion with my beloved Noy up in Issan. It seemed that the more she repeated her claims of endearment for me, such as, “I love you too much!” and “I miss you too much!” the higher the needle registered on the scale. I have no doubt that this lovely creature was sincere in every way and hence I was quite certain that my scale was in need of major repair; that perhaps it was simply my rapidly beating heart at the sound of her voice which disturbed the accuracy of my scale. Indeed, more on my somewhat unfortunate encounter with Noy will be described later in this diary.
To Be Continued with a new chapter every month.
Argaiv’s Diary has been translated from the Candidatan script by Dean Barrett.
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