Once, on a business trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I made my way to a local golf course to sample the Thai golf culture.
Heading toward the first tee, I was charmed and delighted when I was introduced to my caddie, a middle-aged woman with a sun umbrella who would be toting my clubs via pullcart rather than with her shoulder.
Sadly, this genteel lady, who spoke not a word of English, didn’t know what she was in for.
I got off to an excellent start that day, playing the outward nine in just a shot to the bad of par. In fact, through hand gestures, smiles, and the occasional translation from my playing partners, it was clear that my caddie was enjoying the loop. I guess she didn’t work often for strong golfers.
But as my game unraveled on the back side, so did my disposition. With bogey piling on top of bogey, I graduated from silent sulking, to muttering and finally to screams of exasperation.
The club throw finally came when I grounded a 3 wood from the fairway on the Par 5 15th hole. That’s when my caddie spoke her first full sentence to me. It was in Thai of course. But fortunately, I had those bilingual playing partners.
“What did she say,” I asked the nearest one.
“Take it easy,” he responded.
Sage advice works in all languages.