Thai Life, live, reflected and quote back


A quiet refelction on Thai Life

It has just dawned on me that I have been writing this blog for a while! My views versus the world views on  Thais, Thailand and these magnitude of words have  distorted  my vision! As much as I love words , they now taunt me.

Of late the political stalemate and all the social economic welfare discussions have masked  the love I feel for this country.  I find the repetition of the same themes, constantly churn out for our consumptions by the media greying this mind.  I’m beginning to lose faith.

The more I surf the web, the more I find endless blogs by westereners telling us what we should do, what will be good for us, how we should change. Most of the times, they a re spot on and that depress me even more!

Then if I swap to the Thai web forums and the chatters there are just as bad, opinionated, self righteous and very divisive!

My head hurts! I long for days when I can sit and chat openly in cafés, bars, restaurants, noodle stands, som-tam vans, about the future of this beloved country. But that is not going to be possible.

I feel very like the Chao Phrya river on the photo below. It looks so inviting!

This relationship I have with this dear country, is like a marriage, second quarter in.  That middle part where the romance has died and day in day out you look at your partner and beginning to see the annoying habits and as days go by, the habits get exaggerated and ultimately get on your nerves! You begin to wonder why you stay in this relationship. All you see is the other possibilities beyond your reach!

Then quietly I stumbled on this site,www.monasie.com and suddenly I remembered why I love this country so much! PhillipeB has graciously allowed me to show you his work. This is  how I have realigned my perspective back to the middle ground.

Mother and Child selling sausages, Bangkok

Mother and Child at work, Bangkok

Bangkok vegetarian Festival

Vegetarian feast with a smile!

The street tycoon

The street tycoon

Two kitten market venders

Thailand is not perceptual, post-modern thought embedded in my head! Being Thai is not about aligning myself with a philosophy or political party. Being Thai is just that! Its about being able to live with what is, in that moment and no more. The more we speculate to accumulate, the more remove we are from the essence of Thai-ness.

What do you think? These are so very Thailand for me. Thanks Phillipe for reminding me that Thailand isn’t about what’s going on but about what is!



What love has to do with it

Sorry Tina but this is such an apt title for this blog!

The word love has been used so much and mostly for commercial gains so what really is love. Too many songs has that word repeated and so diluting the meaning.  So love becomes how Hallmark defines it! But in reality is it love they sing about or this new 21st century disease, the “Poor Me” syndrome.

Then if you match these two combinations, love and a farang and a Thai relationship. Most  people become quite cynical, me included.  But I’m sick of all this  poor farangs cheated by Thai women bantering also.

Then I came across these clips on YouTube and was mesmerised by the whole thing! They are not polished American style docudrama but a cold hard look at genuine people who are looking at how to survive.

Not glamorous, not exciting, nonetheless real.  Through it all, what I saw was genuine desire for a better life. Not exploitation of the superior by an inferior. Not people trafficking by marriage.  Just lives, lives of people who suffered for whatever reasons and found solace in one another.

This made me think about my own personal views and opinions on being female and relationships. I now have to redefine my ground and rethink.

If you have time then watch all 7 clips with an open mind. Then tell me what you think?

Leave a comment

The Golden Ratio, can we live up to it?

Did you know that beauty is not something determined by a whim? Not something emotive. Beauty or attractiveness in a person goes much deeper than superficial appearance, apparently!

What we thought or let me be scientific here, cognise, as beautiful or attractive, can be determined by a mathematical formula.

If you have frequented the world of art history then you’ll be familiar with the golden ratio or fashionably refers to by Da Vinci as the divine proportion. Here it is in print!

The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio

This makes it pretty hard to live up to for all you ladies out there right? Well, try looking at it this way.

Equation, translated!

Equation, translated!

Still not quite right? Try looking at this way then.

Still not quite sure then let’s choose somebody who is universally believed to be beautiful and attractive and show you.

Now you can see why she is cognitively beautiful!!!

Now you can see why she is cognitively beautiful!!!

What do you think? Is this how you judge beauty?

Going back to my last few blogs on the subject of beauty, do you think this applies to non Caucasian? Or is this definition strictly belongs to the Renaissance scholars and western culture. Therefore does not apply to Thais and other non Caucasians.

Interestingly, I  found something even more fascinating than measuring Angelina Jolie face and this goes beyond Divine Beauty. Sadly I cannot upload this video here so click on the image and go and watch. It’s a program from the Discovery channel on the Science Of  Sex Appeal and this one is an episode called The Beauty Of Symmetry.


So at the end of the day, it just comes down to procreation! We, males and females, alike have been spending a fortune in time and money  making ourselves beautiful. But if beauty is determined long before we were born then we are _ _ _ _ ed!  And if the reason why we are attracted to beautiful people is because we want to find the fittest to mate then back to square one folks. Save your money, and hire the best surgeon!

Beauty can then  be redefined as

A person who is genetically fit to parent!

What is your take on this? Guess this is true where Jolie is concerned, Brad and her have become super parents!


Unretouched Beauty

I was talking about the concept of beauty in my earlier post and the subject seems to be in the air! I read in yesterday Daily Express that there will be an exhibition this coming Thursday at Central World called Unretouched Beauty. A photographic display of unretouched well known celebrities in this land of the Big Mango by another celeb, Amat  ‘Yai’  Nimitpark, a well known photographer and socialite.

Well, does no Photoshop make a difference?  This does not mean  ‘au naturel’  as in make-up free though.

Why not go and see the “Unretouched Photos” which incidentally I have no photos to share as I could not find one on the net.

However, this reminds me of the Doves Campaign for Real Beauty so I have trawled YouTube and embed some interesting clips here to  share with you.

Incidentally this is a global campaign but does not include Thailand! I wonder why?

Be warned, it’s still an ad about make-up however understanding they might appear to be. But at least it’s sending out the right message! Here it is, watch and decide for yourselves then we can define beauty!

Leave a comment

The Billion Dollars Question

Have you ever wondered what billions of  dollars look like? Or if you do have access to all that how would you spend it? A football club in the UK, an island in the Bahamas, guerrilla warfare so that you can become PM, or perhaps you will give it all to UNICEF.

Have a look at the image below, it’s  very aesthetically pleasing, isn’t it and it should be as it charts how billion of dollars look like when it’s spent!

This is the work of David McCandless who is superb at presenting complex and factual information in a very pleasing and attractive way that makes it noteworthy.



Right if you click on the image then it will take you to the bigger picture and source of what this chart is about. But for your information, this represents global billion dollars spending in 2009. Here is what the great man says,

Billions spent on this. Billions spent on that. What does it all look like? Hopefully The Billion Dollar Gram will help.

This image arose out of a frustration with the reporting of billion dollar amounts in the media. That is, they’re reported as self-evident facts, when, in fact, they’re mind-boggling and near incomprehensible without context. But they can start to be understood visually and relatively, IMHO.

(This is one of the first images I created for my book. So a lot of the figures are from 2006/07. I’ve also visually cheated slightly here and there to make everything fit)

I hoping this will be a “living image” that I’ll keep updating all the time. So if you find any interesting, juicy or eye-popping billions, please comment below (with a source). Let’s see how high we can make this image!

Too lazy to click then here are some samples but you should really visit this site, it will put our problem here in Thailand in perspective!




What will you do with your billion dollars?

1 Comment

Is beauty in the eyes of the beholders? If so how would you define it?

It is not often that we spend time questioning the definition of beauty here, in Thailand. Most of us are perfectly happy to be spoon-fed images of beauty by the fashion industries or the media and come to accept these as the norm. Not much room for any debate on the subject or opportunity to learn where this definition came from!  But this month at the Arden Gallery of Modern Art, we have the opportunity to question just that! The exhibition I refer to is called Beyond Beauty by  Chairat Sangthong. The exhibition will be on from October 26 to November 22 so we have plenty of time to plan a visit.

Here is what ThaiAsiaToday has to say about this exhibition,

Beyond Beauty is the latest solo exhibition by Chairat Sangthong, a national artist award winner, who depicts people from rural communities in the south of the country. Marks relating to a subject’s age, such as rough hands and wrinkled complexions reflect the stark reality of impermanence. Beyond the surface lies the eternal beauty that is love, compassionate and good will, which will hopefully be transferred to future generations.

Beyond Beauty, Chairat Sangthong, 2009

Time, Chairat Chairat ">Sangthong, Acrylic on Canvas, 185 x 145 cm, 2008 © Ardel Gallery and Chairat Sangthong, 2009

His painting directly question our definition of beauty and how hard we have tried to stay young, wrinkle free and beautiful!  A very interesting subject as most of us are bombarded by the media notion of beauty and a vast majority of us spend a fortune trying to defy ageing! But ageing is natural, getting old is graceful and inevitable fate of this human condition.

Courtsey of teh Ardel Gallery and Chaairat Sangthong

© Ardel Gallery and Chairat Sangthong, 2009

For me wrinkles are something worthy of respects, they are marks of a life and is something quite noble and dignified. Not a horror! Ageing and getting old means outgrowing our foolishness and gain wisdom, surely!

Take a look at these paintings and see for yourself the fragility of life! We, women, should not run away from the inevitable and surrender to it gracefully. We can still be beautiful at our most vulnerable age!

The Beauty I, Chairat Sangthong, Acrylic on Canvas, 145 x 185 cm, 2009 © Ardel Gallery and Chairat Sangthong, 2009

This is my favourite painting.  I love is the juxtaposition between the real female image and the icons depicting western definition of art, i.e. Botticelli Venus behind her and Venus de Milo statue at her feet!

I will blog on the actual definition of beauty next but in the meantime, please  go and see these paintings and come back and tell me your views.  I look forward to hear your thoughts.