Monthly Archives: May 2008

In exile in my bedroom

There was a constant banging noise while I was dreaming which was about me walking around the bookstore, searching for interesting paperbacks to read. The loudness was violently shaking up my dream. I was forced to open my eyes. What a shame! I was going to buy some books, one of them was Ian McEwan‘s new novel the name of which I could not remember. It was just a dream anyway.

I realised that today is the day when the builders will come to replace the two patio doors at the back of the house. But I did not expect them to be here that early; it was about 9 o’ clock  at which time I would normally still be lying comfortably in my cosy kingsize bed. I had no choice, but to get up and go straight to the bathroom.

I finished breakfast pretty quickly as I could not bear the sound of banging and drilling. I decided to get back to where I spent last night until early morning. There was nothing much to do to kill the time; I tried to occupy myself with reading, reading and more reading. Although I tried to concentrate on the thing that I was doing, my mind was somewhere else. I was so anxious to know about the protest in Bangkok, the showdown between the PAD and the Thai government. I wanted to use the internet to keep track of the news, but the computer was situated near one of the two patio doors. I was definitely not going to put up with the clattering that close to my ears. And I have been waiting until now.  

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Filed under personal, Politics, Thailand, Thai_People

Phoenix: risen from the ashes

I don’t know about you, but I marvel at the successful landing on Mars by the unmanned craft Phoenix on 27 May. What an incredible feat of engineering.

This craft has taken 10 months to travel 420 million miles from Earth across hostile space. A host of different activities had to take place automatically, at precisely the right moment, with no possibility of human intervention to correct any faults to enable a landing to take place. If ever there was a need to get things right first time, this was it.

The craft approached Mars at some 13000 mph (21000 kph) and had to be slowed to a walking pace before settling on the planet’s surface. Firstly the heat shield had to protect the fragile craft from the fiery heat generated by entry into the Martian atmosphere. Next the parachute opened allowing the heatshield to be jettisoned and the landing ‘legs’ to be deployed. Next the ‘lander’ separated from the rest of the craft and the thrusters fired to allow the lander to touch down gently. Lastly the solar arrays unfolded to enable electricity to be generated so that the lander’s batteries could be charged.

26 separate explosive events (e.g. to jettison the heat shield, fire the thrusters) took place perfectly during the 7 minutes it took the craft to leave orbit around Mars and land on the planet’s surface.

I am in awe.

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Thinking pingback

I got a pingback in my spam comments. I think I have seen it quite often on other people’s blogs before. I was not exactly sure what this thing was all about; don’t call me stupid as I am still immature on this blogging thing. I didn’t know what I should do with this pinkback comment. I decided to search for information about it on the help section on WordPress and came up with this: 

 “A pingback is a notification that someone on the internet created an entry that linked to one of your posts. It is just telling you about it and shows up like a comment in your post. It is a way of “continuing the discussion” as someone else is talking about something similar to you as they linked to your post as reference.”

I seem to learn something new everyday. I hope it contains no malware. More advice on this thing, please!

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Self-help book

I have just realised that there is a self-help book on my bookshelf. As a person who independently prefers to sort out my personal, emotional issues, this revelation came as a complete surprise. The self-help book that I am mentioning is about helping people to fix their heartbreak. “There will come a time when any relationship comes to an end and if you cannot deal with that bitter ending on your own, why don’t you turn to someone or something for help. Poring over one particular type of book might guide your way out of this misery. Altenatively, why don’t you just swallow a glass of formalin to end the pain!” The last sentence is a joke, in case you might not know it.

A few years ago, a female friend of mine who is quite a bit older than me had just been dumped by a foreign guy. Not knowing what to do to make herself feel better, she emailed me and asked for help. She was in such a state; she said that she wanted someone who she was able to confide in and that person happened to be me. I did not particularly feel privileged about being that someone for her. Even so, I still prepared to hear the wailing of her pain; and at that time the two of us were living in two far different countries. As expected, I had to listen to her asking those many classic questions of a heartbroken person; the ones that begin with what, when, why and how. it was such an unbearable task for someone like me since I am not a woman. I could not imagine what normally women are going through when their love turns sour. The only thing I could do was to just listen to her wrecked love story.

A few days later while I was walking past a bookstore, I decided to drop by to look for a book that might help to tackle the pain of her heartbreak. I found one and decided to buy it, especially for this occasion. While queuing to pay for the book, I felt a tad embarrassed as the front cover of the book was rather colourful and girly. It just did not really suit my image.

Initially, I intended to send the book to her, but I decided against the idea. I thought she could have difficulty understanding some of its details. Therefore, I decided to skim through the book and explain to her about some of the useful infomation in Thai.

That was a long while ago and I came across this self-help book again, leaning neatly next to my other bindings. I have been thinking to myself what is the use of it for me. Why did I buy it in the first place? I am intrigued.

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Sunday says so.

I got out of bed at around a quarter past eleven, yes that is my waking up time these days, and went downstairs to have Frankfurter sausages for breakfast. After that, I went back to the bedroom to clear up the mess. Lying on the tidy bed, I initially intended to release the tension in my bone; but I decided against it since I have been doing it a lot nearly every day. I thought it could not be that good for my health. There was nothing else to do so I picked up Junichiro Tanizaki‘s novel, Diary of a mad old man; and carried on reading from the page where I placed the bookmark. Having read the book for almost an hour, I decided to put it down as I could not manage to get into some of the details of the story. It was nothing to do with the difficulty of the language that the author used, albeit, it was partly to blame, but the fact was that something else was weighing on my mind at that time. Firstly, today is the first day of the French Open tennis tournament. As a person who loves this sport, particularly famale matches, I could not wait to turn on the telly to watch the exciting event. It was also the final day of the Cannes Film Festival, when the jury would announce the winner of the biggest prize, the coveted Palme d’Or. As I gathered earlier on, it was a French movie about life in a tough Paris school that swept the honorable prize. Finally, I have been keeping track of the news about the protest in Thailand. Today the PAD and co are having a big rally against the Thai government. I had heard that it was going to be quite a serious matter. While I am writing this post, I have learned that some people have been injured as a result of the confrontation between the PAD and the group that supports the government. I seriously hope that the two sides will behave in a civilised manner. I do not want anybody to get hurt. In the end, no matter what the differences in their opinions are, they are all still Thai. There you are, that is my sterile day and I have just said so to let you know.

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CH3CH2COOH?!!

Another teenager stabbed to death in London last night. What a waste of a young life. I don’t know what was behind this particular incident, but in many assaults alcohol has been proven to be a major contributory factor. Alcohol related incidents in the UK take up an inordinate amount of police and ambulance emergency resources, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. Hospitals are seeing a huge increase in admissions relating to cirrhosis of the liver and other alcohol related afflictions. The financial cost to the nation must be staggering. Alcohol used responsibly, of course, is not an issue and the vast majority of people in the UK enjoy drinking moderately and cause no problem to themselves or others. However, there is a minority, who deliberately set out to become completely intoxicated and do not believe they have ‘had a good time’ unless they can barely stand up when they’ve finished. Is this the result of some desire to escape the reality of their lives? How sad.

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An email to my Chinese friend

It was my first day at university and I was sitting alone, minding my own business, when suddenly an Asian girl came up to me. She greeted me and asked if I was Chinese or Taiwanese. As you already know that I am Thai, you might guess what my response to that question was. She asked again, this time whether I was from Japan. I secretly smiled, before providing her with the answer. She asked if it was alright for her to sit with me. Well, since I did not own the place, I could not just say no, could I? Consequently, we have been friends ever since.

I have been thinking about her a lot lately as a result of the earthquake. The impact of this event did not only affect people in China, but the repercussions violently shook my feelings as well. I therefore decided to email her to ask if she and her family were ok. Here are some of the extracts. Note: I have to change the details a bit for reasons of privacy.

“Hello from (that is my name). How are you these days? I have been watching the news about the massive earthquake in China. I hope your family is safe and sound. I am very worried. Please let me know as soon as possible. OK? Take care. Your friend, (my name)”

I got a reply from her. She told me not to worry. It was very good to learn about her family’s wellbeing. Once more I wrote to her to offer my condolences regarding the horrible event.

“I am ok. I am pleased to know that your family is ok. At the same time, I feel extremely sad to see that a great deal of people lost their lives in this tragic event. Every time I see the news about the earthquake, I just want to weep. I know very well that it breaks Chinese people’s hearts. I felt the same when there was the tsunami in Thailand. I just hope that these horrible things, including the cyclone in Burma, are not going to happen again, whether in China, Thailand, or any other part of the world.

Finally, I don’t know whether God exists or not, but I beg him to protect you, your family and every Chinese person. Take care my friend, (my name)”

It is really nice to have someone that you are able to care for even though that person might live a rather different way of life or under a different political system. No matter what, that person is still your friend.

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