A Thai Superstition is Born…Again


Thanks to two well made Japanese horror movies and the intricacies of the Thai superstitious mind I found out that everyone in Thailand could die this week, no, really.

So, I get phone call the other night from a Thai number but it’s not my girls number, I suspect her battery is dead and she is using her Aunt’s phone. I call the number back about 10 minutes later because I was in the middle of something but no one answers. I try the number a few more times but again it just rings. Curious, I then proceeded to call Pookie’s number and it rings as well, I try again but this time I let it ring as long as possible and finally a timid voice on the other end answers with a whisper, ” Hi teelac, how are you”.

With a small laugh I whisper back that I am fine and ask why she is whispering and why no one is answering the phone, the following conversation ensued:

Me: Teelac I see phone call I think from Aunt’s phone, I call back but no one answer?

Her: ohh she cannot answer, she die.

Me: ???Teelac, your Aunt die?

Her: No, but if she answer her phone she die in 7 days.

Me: ???

Her: yeah Teelac hab big pompem in Thailand, you cannot answer phone, you die, but can answer someone else’s phone.

Me: ( wondering if I should state the obvious) Teelac…you answer your phone when I call.

Her: (Momentary silence)I think okay teelac…I wait long time to answer so I think they not think I answer phone.

Me: Teelac, who are they?

Her: I don’t know teelac.

Me: Teelac, you remember movie we watch from Japan where people die after phone call?

Her: Yeah, yeah teelac, same thing .

Me: Teelac only a movie.

Her: yes, but now real many people Thailand hab pompem. We go to see Buddha today and take phones to get blessing.

Your guess is as good as mine as to how this one cropped up. I suspect the Japanese horror movies “The Ring” and “One Missed Call” are making the rounds again and some smart ass started telling people they shouldn’t answer their phones. Those Japanese make some damn good horror flicks.

Apparently all is well now that the phones have been to the temple and blessed, which makes me wonder if it isn’t a Buddhist conspiracy to get more worshipers back to the temples.

Either way if you make a call to Thailand and no one answers please be considerate and wait a while before you call back so no one dies.

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17 Comment(s)

  1. Talen I must tell MTF about this one since it might cut down the phone bill. Don’t you just love them?
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..House Book Thailand-Do Foreigners Need One? =-.

    Mike | Jan 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. Mike, Sometimes I never know what’s coming next but it’s always good for a laugh.

    Talen | Jan 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. Everybody has superstitions but I guess it’s better to believe it?
    What do you have to lose?
    .-= Dave -nibbleanibble´s last blog ..Japanese Gum Packets =-.

    Dave -nibbleanibble | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  4. I don’t know about Japanese horror movies but I am ashamed to say that a few of the Thai horror movies gave me the creeps.

    Unlike American horror movies that are set in locations that are nothing you are likely to encounter in your life the Thai horror movies are usually set in places that look exactly like the house you are going to go back to after the movie.

    For a few days after watching a horror movie in Thailand I usually get the willies when I go up to the third floor of my wife’s home at night – pitch black and undoubtedly, in my imagination at least, filled with all kinds of unspeakable ghouls.

    One of my favorite movies, “Sick Nurses”, caused me to be a little skittish about using the bathroom at night for a about a week. The walls of the bathroom do not go all the way up to the ceiling. While squatting, doing my business, I always kept an eye out for some ghost or apparition climbing over the wall.

    Going to go turn a light on now.

    ChuckWow | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  5. So funny reading this. I had an Australian friend who fell for the aliens landing TV spoof.

    She called all of her friends to fill their bathtubs as there wasn’t going to be any water once the aliens took over.

    I felt awful laughing but it was priceless.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Successful Thai Language Learners: Vern Lovic =-.

    Catherine | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  6. Talen I phoned Wi today and she didn’t answer but I think that’s more liable to be because it was gardening time and her phone would have been in the house. I will check when I ring her tomorrow because this is the sought of thing she’d believe in.

    A very funny post and more of the same please.
    .-= Martyn´s last blog ..How Much Do You Tip in Thailand =-.

    Martyn | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  7. The Thais and Japanese like some weird kind of horror movies to me but as I carnt watch a horror flick without the lights on maybe iam not really a good critic
    Does anybody remember the hammer house of horror short films shows
    They used to give me nightmares and probably still would
    No give me a good non fiction movies like sherk anyday
    .-= John´s last blog ..money and new year expat udon thani issan =-.

    John | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  8. Chuck, the Japanese horror movies are just like the Thai ones except bigger budget.

    Talen | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  9. Hopefully she’s heard of it and Thailand really is in peril lol.

    Talen | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  10. It’s amazing what people will believe. Orson wells proved that when his radio show of the War of the Worlds caused mass hysteria in America.

    Talen | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  11. I remember those short films John…they were good. The Thai and Japanese films are pretty good too, like Chuck said they use every day places and situations and some of them will definitely have you checking under the bed at night.

    Talen | Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

  12. There’s a lot of weird stuff in this part of the world. Here in Indonesia we have a boy spirit who steals money, walking corpses, and female kuntilanak (sexed crazed vampires). We are in great danger you know! Take care and be safe!
    .-= tempo dulu´s last blog ..The Armani Exchange A|X Studded Eagle T-Shirt gets banned in Indonesia! =-.

    tempo dulu | Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

  13. Tempo, The sex crazed vampires sounds interesting…tell me more.

    Talen | Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

  14. It was the remake of War of the Worlds that got my friend’s heart pumping.

    (she will never live it down ;-)
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..My 30 Day Thai Language Trial: Week Four =-.

    Catherine | Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

  15. Hi Talen,

    It’s interesting to see how easily Thais in general are lured/duped into such superstition.
    It’s a phenomena that is prevailaing all over the country in various degrees.
    Didn’t TRhaksin make a bit of a fool of himself a few years back when he just started out as a PM when he visited a cave somewhere where apparently miracles happened?
    .-= Camille´s last blog ..29th January, 2010 =-.

    Camille | Jan 29, 2010 | Reply

  16. Isn’t “Koro” or “Garring Koro” the biggest danger men face in Indonesia ?

    ChuckWow | Jan 30, 2010 | Reply

  17. Camille, The Thai’s definitely scare easily. It seems they may not even believe some of the superstitions but don’t want to take a chance.

    Talen | Jan 30, 2010 | Reply

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