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Thai Life, live, reflected and quote back


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You Have to Watch This!

Over the weekend, I was stirred by a new reality show called “Big Trouble in Thailand”. The name obviously explains the content of the show: farangs have troubles in Thailand.

I guess it is something to talk about among farangs as well. http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31425http://www.tfs2m.com/main/2009/09/11/from-the-producerdirector-of-big-trouble-in-thailand/

Let’s watch the reality that really bites!

For me, it’s painful to have to accept that this kind of situation can happen to tourists when they visit Thailand. But then again, scams can take place in any latitude or longtitude on this planet. Therefore, your fair judgement is highly needed!

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Knowing Thai alphabetically (Part II)

Hi there! Let’s resume our unfinished business: getting to know Thais alphabetically. We’re at the second lot of another 11 alphabets now. Let’s go!

ฌ (Chor Cher) ต้นไม้

Cher is not Thai language but it’s derived from Khmer, meaning tree. When it comes to trees in Thai context, I always think of the trees bound with several colorful cloths. Are you familiar with this kind of trees? They’re not street art nor an accident. But the decorated trees hold our believe in deity. We do believe that some ancient trees are resided by deities. To show our respect to the deities, we adorn the specific trees with multicolor cloths.

ญ (Yor Ying)

Ying represents females. Well, girls at Patpong or Soi Cowboy are just the tip of the iceberg for you farang guys. The diversity of what thai women is far beyond you can imagine. Staying away from “Thai girls’ stereotypes” you have in mind will be most appreciated.

ฎ (Dor Chada) ชฎา

Chada is not a common thing you’ve seen in everyday life. It’s a pointing hat made of gold or silver and decorated with jewels and flowers. If you’ve seen Thai traditional masked performance Khon, then you’ll spot chada on some actors or actresses. If you haven’t experience how marvellous Khon is, visit  http://www.salachalermkrung.com/khon.php

ฏ (Tor Patak)

Patak is boring to talk about. This device is a combination of wooden stick and a pointing metal at the tip. It is used to control animals.

ฐ (Tor Santan)

Base or foundation is called santan. It’s quite a formal Thai word. You can simply call it tan.

ฑ (Tor Monto) มณโฑ

Monto is a name of a lady but not a lady in real life. She appears in ancient Sanskrit epic called Ramayana. Monto is a wife of antagonist Rakshasa. Ramayana is most-selected epic adapted to Khon performance. (If you have no idea what Khon is, it’s clear that you miss my Dor Chada.)

ฒ (Tor Putao)

This alphabet means older people. In Thai culture, olders are put in a higher echelon than the youngers. This means we have to respect them, act politely with them, and put ourselves inferior. For example, when we walk pass them, we have to bend our backs a little. This day, most youngsters don’t do something like this anymore. But I think the sense of superiority and inferiority between the two classes still exists.

ณ (Nor Nen) เณร

A buddhist novice is what we call “nen”. The age of people who wants to be ordained as nen is below 20. Nen have to hold ten precepts, including no make up or any other cosmetics. Here’s the surprise. A couple of months back, there was a news story: some nen appeared with rose-colored cheeks and pink lips! Is this any kind of Buddhist revolution in Thailand?

ด (Dor Dek)

Dek are our future. Yes, they’re our seeds, the children. Every year, on the second Saturday of Fabruary is their day, the National Children Day. On this day, everything is free for children. They’re privileged. I miss those days. Do you?

ต (Tor Tao)

Tao means turtle. I don’t know why I think of TMNT when I reach this topic. Maybe because it’s the cartoon I grew up with. Have to stop right here before I go too far.

Let’s talk about tao in Thai context. I bet you already know that we’re Buddhists. Being Buddhists in Thailand is always relevant to making merit. And you know what? Turtle is a mean for our merit making. We do buy turtles and release them in the water. That’s how we do good deeds!

ถ (Tor Tung)

Tung is bag and… Umm. I think I should talk about plastic bags. When we go grocery shopping at 7-11, Tops, or whatever supermarkets. Apart from contents inside, what we left behind, ton of them in fact, is plastic bags. So next time, when we do some shopping, I think we have to bring our own canvas bag. There. Quite a perfect ending. Talking green!

I have two more lots to go! See you next time.


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Knowing Thai alphabetically (Part I)

Do you want to know us better? Then, I suggest that you learn about us through Thai alphabets. You have your own alphabets, so do we. Let’s begin with the first 11 alphabets from total 44.

Note: the first syllable of each alphabet is for rhyming purpose only.

 

ก (Gor Gai) ไก่ชน

I think most farangs step closer to Thailand by food. I bet first dishes come into your mind are Tom Yam Kung, Pad Thai, and Tom Kha Gai. That’s right. That’s the gai I’m talking about.

 Gai means chicken. We do consume chicken like you farangs do. Worse than that, we also have some kind of traditional sport involving chicken. It’s cock fighting!!! It’s fun for human yet cruel for those little chickens out there.

(Kor Kai)

Kai means egg. But, don’t tell anyone I tell you this: kai can mean balls as well! The simple explanation is their physical appearance. In case you don’t buy me, just compare the egg with yours! So be careful. Use the word “kai” right in the right context.

 ฃ (Kor Kuad)

Kuad means bottle. I can’t think of anything about this one yet. You can lend me a hand though. If you think of anything Thai about Kuad, you can tell me.

(Kor Kwai) imagesCAGMVIMR

Warning! You should ask your Thai friends to pronounce this one for you. This word is tricky. If your toung is twisted in a wrong angle or something, this word can mean something like ‘penis’. I told you!

Meet the baffalos, the living earth plough, or you can call them kwai. These big black animals are valuable for us, the country of agriculture. They are the important parts that help farmers do rice farms. Personally, I like their innocent eyes, so adorable.

ฅ (Kor Kon)

Kon means human or people or homosepian or whatever you would like to call. I don’t know how to define Thai kons for you. We are quite different from others in the different parts of this crazy world. You might like Thai kons or you simply don’t! If you want to know why, then experience it with yourself!

ฆ (Kor Rakang)

Rakang is bell. You don’t find it in ordinary Thai household. The place where you can find rakang is in temples. It is used to announce times for monks. For example, at 11 am. the bell rangs to announce that it’s a lunch time for monks.

ง (Ngo Ngu)

Ngu is snake and snake is ngu. Believe it or not. Some of us eat snake. But don’t get me wrong. We don’t eat it raw or fried or anything. We ferment snake’s gallbladder with alcohol. Someone I don’t know claims that the essence is good for health. So use your discretion before trying it!

จ (Jor Jaan) จานเบญจรงค์

Jaan means dish or plate. Yes, it’s a tool we use to contain food. Thai culture has sophisticated dishes. It’s called Benjarong, traditional five-hued porcelains. A food container and a food for eyes!

 

ฉ (Chor Ching) ฉิ่ง

Ching is a Thai musical instrument. It’s composed of two metal cup-shaped cymbals. We clap them together to make a sound.

There’s another issue about ching that I still wonder. In Thai, we have a slang to call lesbian couples “Tee Ching (to clap ching)”. I don’t know why we say that. I will definitely tell you about this, just need deep information from linguists.

ช (Chor Chang)

Here comes to my favourite alphabet chor chang. It represents one of Thai symbols Elephants. They battled alongside our ancestry in the past. These days, they still work for their mahouts’ survival. We own them a lot.

You can give a support to Thai elephants here: http://www.asian-elephant.org/program_e.shtml

ซ (Sor So)

So is chain.

Do you believe that, in the old days, some of us were chained? And the chained people were slaves or tas in Thai. It really happened when there was still slave system in Thailand. The unfair system was declared determinated by King Rama V in 1905. I’m so grateful for the King and happy that I wasn’t born in that era.

See you next time with the next 11 alphabets. Bye for now.


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Me, the Animals

I’m an animal fiend. Those sleepy koala, fluffy panda, cute dogs and such are my best friends. I can smile even when they do stupid things. They have an “adorable gene” runs in their veins. Sometimes I wish I could be those little dog on a rich lady lap, flying away from human’s troubles here. However there’re some animals that I don’t wish to be them.

1. Maa or Dog หมา

If I were a dog here in Thailand. I could live as a king in a luxurious mansion and had someone fed me with expensive meat in a silver spoon. At the same time, if I were plain dog without excellent pedigree or good breeds to back me up, I could end up on streets, living freely as street dogs. It was good to live my life as free as a bird. Still, there’s always a ‘but’. Food is the first but. It is a golden rule for most street dogs to live around restaurants district where food are plenty in the trash cans. A big piece of bad meat can be compared to delicacy from always-furious Chef Ramsay. But they could expect it only when they found kind people. Life like the reality show “Survivor” is the next but. Street dogs have to outlast their friends on street. They can be voted out from this world by speedy cars, mean people, or even other street dogs. Want to know the worst case scenario? Then be street dogs in Isaarn or noth-easthern part of Thailand. Some of the dogs here is not the object for fussing about. But it’s a big meal for dog meat lovers. Rest in peace, my friends in the dog heaven.

2. Hiea or Monitor Lizard เฮี้ย

Although Hiea’s apperance doesn’t fit at all with the word “adorable”, my heart goes out for them. Why? Because it’s the animal that always takes the blame from us people. In Thai language, hiea has two meanings:

  • The monitor lizard
  • A swear word. A degree of hiea as the swear word can equal to f**k in English. Therefore, when someone does something very bad and evil, he will be called “Hiea!” This is why I perceive Hiea as my poor animal. They do nothing wrong in their lives, except that they kill and eat chickens or other smaller animals once in a while. But it’s the way life is. They have to do it for survival purposes. Why do their name deserve to be the bad word?

3. Panda แพนด้า

Why panda is in my list when the father, the mother, and their baby girl are our nation’s sweetheart? Then imagine yourself in a mirror room. All your actions, eating, sleeping, or even scratching your balls, are monitored by strangers. Who are these strangers? They are not family and not even in the same species! Can you feel how frustrated they are?

Here in Thailand, what kinds of animals you want to be or not to be? Bye for now. I have to go watch Linping’s progress. Oops!!!


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The Floating Bookshop Comes to Thailand!

Have no plan on this weekend?

Then experience a floating bookshop on the Doulos before she heads to somewhere else.

Where?

Call a taxi or drive to Klongtoey port, port no. 1.

See here: http://maps.google.co.th/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=th&gl=th&q=klongtoey+port&ie=UTF8&sll=13.724451,100.550272&sspn=0.051097,0.100613&ei=jHSLSrSRHaCgjQPIvMDvDg&cd=1&usq=klongtoey+port&geocode=FVcH0QAdk8r-BQ&cid=13843562379490902221&li=lmd

It’s not that hard!

When?

You still have time until this coming Sunday, August 23, 2009. Or if you miss this one and your money is burning a hole in your pocket, you can book a ticket and fly to Kota Kinabalu , its upcoming port in Malaysia! Who care?

I think it’s not a waste of your time to learn more about Doulos here: http://www.mvdoulos.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=147&Itemid=202

Since I’d been there already, I don’t mind to show you some of my pics on board.

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Hutanra. The New Thai Martial Art

I found this new branch of Thai martial art Hutanra in youtube. It’s far different from well-known Muay Thai. As I watch from the footage, a master of Hutanra can attack people with just his fingertip or even without touching his rivals at all. It seems like some kind of indescriable inner strength is used here!

Here is the translation of subtitle in the video:

Around 15,000 years before Buddha era, according to Bhinga legend of Tanyashi, once there was a monk named Bhra Buddha Bhothiyasuwanthara or Sawan who taught Thanyashi the martial art. So he could protect himself and created a secret force called ‘Tanyashi Force’ to protect religion.

Now, society is decadent and in chaos. Therefore, we would like to teach some part of Tanyashi Force’s martial art to outsiders, under the sign of Mara with Eight Wheels

 

Do you believe it?

Me: The video is entertaining to watch, just like cartoon! I think the Hutanra master was inspired by X-men and Japanese comic combined to create his martial art. I wish he duels with one of Muay Thai boxers. I just want to see who’s going to be knocked the wind out first.


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Remember Those Days: Puuyai Lee Kab Nang Ma

During six years of my junior to senior high, one of my favorite extra curriculum is outside reading. Every year, fictions from Thai authors were selected as a reading assignment for students.

 I proudly present my no.1 outside reading novels Puuyai Lee Kab Nang Ma.

Spoiler!

The story tells a life of Malinee or Ma, a model who lived in Bangkok. One day she inherited a land in upcountry from her grandmother. At first, she wanted to sell the land because she didn’t want to move there and still loved her comfortable life in Bangkok. But when her boyfriend walked out on her, she changed her mind to move out from Bangkok and lived in the heritaged land.

But life in the suburb wasn’t as convenient as life in Bangkok. Malinee had to learn to live on her own. To take care of her own land and agriculture jobs were Malinee’s biggest burden. However, she’d learned a valuable lesson and changed her attitude when she met Leenawat or Puuyai Lee who taught her the easy sufficient rural life.

Puuyai Lee Kab Nang Ma was written by Karnchana Nakanant in 1963. The novel is considered old but its content is still contemporary. That’s why it has been adapted many times, on both silver screen and television. The latest version to which I’m addicted is now aired on Channel 3 every Friday to Sunday night. Although the script and a lot of details in the soap are changed to fit with current society, the essence of the novel is still there: “self-sufficient way of life” And this is the vital part that make the series Puuyai Lee Kab Nang Ma outstanding from other nonsense soaps.

The sufficient way of life doesn’t mean we have to flee from Bangkok and being a farmer like Malinee. Living life sufficiently can vary, depending on your discretion.

I already have my own self-sufficient way of life, inspired by Puuyai Lee Kab Nang Ma. What about yours?

Now I leave you to a series I love at the moment. It’s based from the novel Puuyai Lee Kab Nang Ma. This TV series is something I NEED to watch every Friday to Sunday night. Enjoy:)