A surprised double take. Wide eyes. “Fet Sam?” (That’s “Three twins?” in Thai. There’s no special word for triplets. I guess they’re too rare.)
I smile proudly. “Fet sam.” (“Yes, three twins”)
A closer look, one girl at a time. Then awe-struck agreement. “Aaw! Fet sam.”
She looks around, wondering who else to tell. A thrilled whisper follows if there’s someone nearby but if the nearest person is over the street, a discovery like this is too exciting not to be shouted across. “Fet sam!”
And it starts again. The newly-engaged stranger widens their eyes. They double take. And, disbelieving: “Fet sam?”
“Fet sam,” the woman confirms.
They turn to me. “Fet sam?”
I confirm it, too. “Fet sam.”
Wonder! “Aaw! Fet sam!” And a look around for someone who hasn’t yet heard the news.
Another shout to another stranger. “Fet sam!”
Another double take. Another query, first to their informant, then the general public around them, then me.
“Aaw! Fet sam.”
There’s no need for conversation starters when travelling South-East Asia with triplets. Wherever we go, they’re a sensation. But somehow, it never feels intrusive. No one stops us if we’re in a hurry. The wonder is genuine.
And when you’ve come to stare at someone else’s country, it’s only fair that they look back, too.