Monthly Archives: July 2008

The 100 posts on my blog and goodbye

Wow! I did not expect I would have come this far, considering English is not my mother tongue. It has been great fun to compose my thoughts, usually impulsive thoughts, in English even though I still have a Thai way of thinking about things. Initially, I decided to have a blog as a way to improve my English skills and this helps me a lot since, to me, there is no better way to augment my English vocabulary and shape up my grammatical structure than writing in English. So far, I think I have been doing this task relatively well, I hope. I did not expect that there would be quite such a number of people come to read my blog. I truly appreciate your time and value your patience. My readership has increased constantly, especially within the last couple of weeks. I am chuffed and intrigued, but having said that, I believe that this is the time for me to stop doing this blog for a while. The reason for this is not about lacking of anything to write, it is about my unwillingness to carry on doing it, aka laziness! So, I have to say goodbye for now. Please restrain yourself from missing me! I might be back around mid August. Ciao! Again, Grazie very much for your time.

By the way, there are many interesting blogs about Thailand, like Absolutelybangkok, BangKokBugle, The LostBoy and his self-appointed Thailand top 100 blogs. Don’t forget to check them out.

Laew phob gan mai. Au revoir.

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New identity by Ohm Phanphiroj

Ohm Phanphiroj is a well-known photographer from Thailand who is going to have his collection of photographs entitled “New Identity” exhibited this Friday at 6.30 pm. His montage will be displayed until 17 August, at the Whitespace Gallery on the second floor of the Lido Cinema, Siam Square. More about the guy can be found via Ohmphotography. You need to move the mouse to the left side of the screen in order to find the website’s menu, which is a tad hidden I think!

The exhibition is about a Thai male-to-female transgender, also known as “kathoey”. This collection aims to look deep inside the minds of these transforming people. Doesn’t it sound very grand?  The inspiration for his work sprung from his observation of the sheer numbers of “kathoey” and the many who want to be transgenders in Thailand. And they are ubiquitous, whether in different occupations or classes, from a labouring job to famous celebrities. These people can live in Thai society without any pressure unlike those in a foreign country.

According to the news there are approximately 100,000 male transgenders in Thailand, but personally I think the number is surely far greater than that as there is still a certain number who have not made a decision to transform themselves yet.

You can read (in Thai) more about this exhibition and see some of the work here.

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Tomorrow is the night

First of all I just want to say that I am not a big fan of the Batman franchise or other super powerful men. I find any superhero in fancy dress rather comical and jocular, especially the one that likes to wear red underwear outside of his trousers – use your imagination as to who I mean! Be that as it may, I would love to watch this latest superhero offering. I heard that Christian Bale, who possibly makes a much better Batman than the three previous ones, gave an excellent performance as the lead character and more importantly, it is the last time that viewers will see Heath Ledger who played the Joker in ‘Dark Knight’ in the final chapter of his movie career and his life. R.I.P. We will always remember you. The film should be good, I hope. It will start to be shown nationwide in Thailand on 17 July, that is tommorrow. In the UK, it will have its release on 25 July. Don’t miss it!

P.S. I am not being paid for writing this post!

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What does a song make you think of?

Sometimes when you miss someone and you don’t know whether in this life you will see that person again, you have a feeling of nostalgia which is hard to resist, particularly when you come across something that reminds you of that person. You might wonder if he or she ever feels the same as you do and you will never know.

Whenever I listen to this Silly Fools’s song called “Mur Ruk Chun Gert”, which means when my love story began/was born, it always takes me back to an episode in my college years on the day when one of my friends was unwell. I can still see the scene in the hospital room where I and around 30 of my classmates crowded to give this bedridden friend of mine support. While we were joking around with my sick friend, suddently this music video appeared on the TV and all of us in that room were tansfixed with what we were seeing, including the patient. It gave us such a good feeling and we just kept on watching it intently until the end of the song. Damn! I miss that.

Here is the translation of the song in English:

“I have some question in my mind
maybe I do something wrong
maybe I value my love too much
When my love story began…

I decided to stop here, It’s enough to give my heart to someone
I met only disappointment
I met only hurtful
When my love story began

Do you know how I feel?
When I know my love won’t be coming back

Just want to flee far from here
Flee far from here
I won’t turn back again
Just want to flee far from here
Flee far from here
Before you will turn back to kill me

But it seems no matter how far I flee, it will become more close
Still be confused
Still have darkness in my mind
I give someone meaningful things but they don’t want these
When my love story began

Just want to flee far from here
Flee far from here because I don’t want to know that I’m a worthless person
Just want to flee far from here …Flee far from here
Before you will turn back to kill me”

Thanks to this link for the lyrics of the song in English. Cheers!

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Wanted: a transgender Thai female to participate in a German movie

I am writing about this gender again but please do not think I have a thing about these people. As a matter of fact I feel nothing at all towards them since, to me, they are simply normal. Yet when I happen to come across an interesting story regarding these people, I think it is better to pass it on as I do not suppose many people can read Thai.

This is the advertisement (in Thai) at Thaicinema.org looking for a Thai ladyboy:

“Wanted a Thai ladyboy who loves acting to take the leading role in a German movie called “RED CROSS” by the director Hugo Vieira da Silva.

The applicant must meet the following requirements:

1. A Thai ladyboy who has not yet had the operation (having breast enlargement is permissible).

2. Beautiful and have confidence in your own beauty. Mystique, beguiling and endearing.

3. Will not have a problem with certain scenes that involve exposing your intimate parts.

4. To be able to travel to Germany so as to shoot the movie without any problem, towards the end of the year.

5. Do not need to be able to speak English fluently as an interpreter will be provided.

6. HIV negative test result needed after being selected.

7. In the process of having a screen test, you need to wear a two piece bikini for a recording shoot which will be viewed by the director.”

More information can be found via the link.

Immediately after reading this I thought, for a few moments, that there was something sinister about this movie. But according to the site, this is a real requirement for a specific acting role. Interesting though…

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Filed under Entertainment, Film, Gender, sexuality, Thai_People

The 5 best Thai spa and resort hotels by Anywhere magazine

 Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai

Anywhere magazine bestowed “the 3rd Anywhere Travel Awards” on the five best spa and resort hotels in Thailand. This year a total of 159 hotels were nominated – the award did not include the hotels and spas that have been opened since October last year. The magazine sent questionnaires to its readers over a three month period to gain their feedback on the best places in five categories:

– Best Luxury Resort Hotel, which emphasises beauty and quality of service, was awarded to the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai. The two other finalists were Sri Panwa and Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi.

– Best Small and Stylish Hotel which was won by Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort and Spa.

– Best Urban Hotel and the winner is The Oriental Bangkok.

– Best Destination Spa award went to The Dava Spa, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi.

– And the last award, for the Best Urban Spa was given to Devarana Spa at the Dusit Thani hotel.

This is just a rough translation from the Thai news. As a person who loves to laze around at a hotel – I am officially a hotel fetishist – I find this very exhilarating. I would love to go to these places one day if I have the chance but right now I have to make do with living abroad and the summer rain. Bless me!

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Extra service for a very good exam result

“A teacher was transferred as a consequence of alleged sexual misconduct against his student; his excuse was that he was drunk at the time”

“A teacher sexually assaulted his student, the girl is pregnant and he proposed to give her a very good grade.”

These are just two examples of headlines in Thai newspapers, that I roughly translated into English, regarding the improper behaviour of some teachers in Thailand. Incidents like these reflect a few hometruths of what is happening between students and teachers in Thai educational institutions. Cases of students sleeping with their teachers or lecturers -albeit incongruous- do exist and it is hardly a new thing. During my student years I even heard about this sort of scandal taking place in my college. The surprising thing for me is that in recent years, stories like this appear incessantly in the media.  One might wonder what is going wrong with some aspects of society. Maybe in order to deter people who have a job educating children, from sexually misbehaving against them, parents should put forward a tough proposal to the Thai government on how to punish unprincipled and reprehensible teachers. Some people have even suggested removing their intimate parts as the ultimate sentence. Despite being such a good idea, it is a bit extreme to do that! And I do not think the Thai justice system will ever have to resort to that. I hope.

More about this story (in Thai) can be found via the news.

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