Thais, the name

Baby Thais with mom and dad. Sorry, it's a photo of the actual photo and I accidentally cut their heads off....

Baby Thais with mom and dad. Sorry, it’s a photo of the actual photo and I accidentally cut their heads off….

My name is Thais. It’s actually a pretty ordinary name in Brazil. My mom thought it was the prettiest name in the world, so she named her firstborn baby girl Thais.

I was OK with it. When we lived in Spain, people would call me ‘señora’ and don’t even bother asking my name. In Japan, I was called by my last name.

Then we moved to New Zealand. After saying it’s pronounced ‘tie-is’, people kind of get it, even though it almost always end up becoming ‘ties’. Which is OK, I don’t mind. It might have taken me a while to understand that people were calling me, though, so I’m sorry if I ignored you. I just didn’t know you were talking to me.

Kid Thais with mom, dad and sister. This time, everyone with the heads, even though it's still a photo of the photo

Kid Thais with mom, dad and sister. This time, everyone with the heads, even though it’s still a photo of the photo

But now, my first contact with people (when booking accommodation) is through e-mail. When I get to places, people ask if I’m from Thailand.

It took me a while to understand it. I honestly thought it was because I look Asian. Then it hit me. I’m Thais. Of course, why would people think I’m from Thailand instead of China or Japan?

I just think about how weird people think I am when I introduce myself as ‘Hi, I’m Thais’ and they think why I’m giving them my nationality instead of my name. Plural form.

Mom, I don’t blame you. Hey, I named my boy João. He’ll have to spell his whole name every single time. And I also thought it was the prettiest name in the world. I still think so, even though it’s not the most convenient name.

Has something like this ever happen to you? Tell me in the comments, please?

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