Not many people around the world start their day normal and end with an appearance on a Thai Game Show. The day began normally, as any other here in my new home of Chiang Mai. I woke up in our new apartment just outside the old city, near the train station, made some coffee, had some breakfast, and did a bit of work. Later in the afternoon Liz and I decided to make a trip over to the nearby Central Festival Mall to pick up a few things for the apartment. This is when my day was turned upside down.
“Sir, would you like to be on our game show?” I heard a Thai gentleman ask me while I was standing in front of the grocery market on the bottom level of the mall. We had heard the commotion and saw the crowds, but didn’t really know what was going on…because everything was in Thai. Without much thinking I responded to the gentleman, “Well yes. Yes I would. First let me go and find my wife.”
Did I know what type of game show this was? No. Did I even know what would I be doing? No idea! I didn’t know any of the details, and I couldn’t even understand what the hosts were saying into the microphones and toward the cameras because everything was in Thai. But when someone asks you be on a Thai Game Show, you say yes; at least, that’s how I roll.
Liz had wandered into the grocery store when all this occurred, so quickly peeked inside to find her. I saw her browsing around the deli with a small basket in her arms. “Liz!” I quietly shouted and waved to get her attention. “Come with me. I am about to be on a Thai Game Show. Get the camera!” I told her.
I could only imagine what she was thinking, but being married to me for several years now, she probably wasn’t surprised. She quickly dropped the groceries and followed me to see what I was about to get myself into.
As I walked over to the stage I was a little bit puzzled to see a slanted room / floor and another Thai gentleman dressed up in drag. “Oh my gosh, what did I get myself into?” I said to myself as I walked over to the production crew.
A woman asked me if I spoke Thai. “Oh No. I’m sorry I don’t know any Thai. Is that OK?” I asked her. She responded with a smile, and a little laugh, and said in perfect English “Yeah, that won’t be a problem. It will be fun.”
I believed her that it would be fun, but at what expense? Oh well. I’ve learned that when you don’t know what’s going on, you learn to smile and go with it — who cares if I’m the laughing stock of Thai TV!
Before I knew it, I was in front of the camera and talking with the host about where I was from. Luckily for me, there was a Thai translator there to help me understand the questions. After we got through the introduction, I found myself standing inside this slanted room with my shoes off.
The host explained to me what I was supposed to do, but honestly, I didn’t quite get the gist of the game. From what I could gather, I was supposed to run on this slanted floor in my socks (uphill) — which was polished to be super slippery. My goal was to make it to where the clothes were piled up on different shelves, grab an item, and put it on. Once I had the clothes on, I had to grab some flowers. That’s about all I knew.
So before I knew it, I was in the middle of a Thai Game Show, running on this slippery floor and sliding all around while people shouted instructions at me. Needless to say, the clothes I had to put on were a little small for my big southern boy frame. Running in those tight pants was quite the task! But, I made it work! Then at the end of the game, I had to do a special Thai dance with the host, while sliding around on the slanted floor!
In the end, my experience in a Thai Game Show was really cool. I have always wanted to be on a game show, and especially a foreign game show. They always seem to have so much fun! And even though I didn’t really know what was going on, I had a blast. My prize was a Thai TV hat for the network, which I wear proudly. The game was filmed for TV, but I don’t really know when / if it will air. So who knows, I could be a Thai TV star right now!