Monthly Archives: November 2008

I am mentally exhausted with the way people behave

I am not surprised by what is going on right now. I saw it coming. But I could not imagine that one particular group of people would be allowed to do what they have been doing so easily. This is just too much for me to swallow. I am extremely disappointed with the action that these people have chosen to take. It is just maddeningly insane. And whenever I read the news, it just tires me out. I do not want to know anymore: whatever will be, will be. But I still hope that everyone will settle for a peaceful solution. I sincerely hope that everybody will have some sense and get back to behaving like normal human beings. I do not think it would be too difficult to do. At least, that’s what I think.

During the week, I called my family to get their views on this event. They did not seem to be thinking too much about what is going on. They still carry on their daily lives as usual. As a matter of fact, on the day I talked to my mother on the phone, the entire family was completely absorbed in watching a Thai soap on the telly, never mind the fact that the country is in a state of political turmoil. I just wish I could be as detached as them.

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Filed under News, Politics, Thailand, Thai_People

It might only have been an S&M game

“A MALE escort told a court yesterday how Boy George handcuffed him and chained him to a bedroom wall after a drug-fuelled erotic photo session at the pop star’s home.” according to the Daily Express.

I know that I should not laugh at the misery of this rent boy. But the story is just amusing and who knows whether or not the guy was really into this sexual, bizarre game. If the dude did not agree to take part in this kind of session, I must apologise profusely for being amused at the news. Reading about this story just reminds me of the many stories of other well-known people whose behind the scenes antics were discovered e.g. George Michael convicted of a lewd act in a Los Angele public toilet or the story of Mark Oaten, a married man and a former contender for the Liberal Democrat leadership, who quit his job after being confronted with allegations of a gay affair with a male escort. In the case of Boy George and the Norwegian bisexual rent boy, this might have been just an incident of sadomasochism that went wrong. It is hilarious to read this kind of thing on the news and it clearly illustrates that people are ready to try anything sexually. Though they have to make sure that whatever they do with their buddies is not going to go against their consent, otherwise they could end up in court like the former lead singer of the Culture Club. There’s nowt so queer as folk!  🙂

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Filed under British people, News, sexuality, UK

Snow falling this morning, but not on cedars

I did not get up early enough to see the first snowfall of this year. It had already disappeared by the time I woke up and looked outside. All that was left was just drops of water on the windows. It was a bit of shame that I missed seeing the small white lacy bits of ice falling from the sky. But there is still plenty of time as winter is going to be here for quite a while yet.

As a person who was born in a country as warm as Thailand, one of the very few things that I very much wanted to experience when I first came to the UK was to feel and touch snow. I kept on waiting for months and months to see what real snow looked like and how it felt if I held it in my hand. I was waiting with excitement for the winter to come. And on that day of the year when the snow suddenly came down, despite being anxious to see, I was still deeply asleep in my cosy bed. It must have been falling for quite a while when I heard the phone ringing. Then, when I realised that there was also another sound, like falling rain, I quickly got out of bed and opened the curtains to check what was going on outside and I saw the scene that I had been waiting for. After I finished talking on the phone, I decided that I wanted to go out. I bent down outside the front door and scooped up the small soft white bits. It just wet and icy. The weather was biting cold. I spent about ten or fifteen minutes walking around the neighbourhood in the falling snow, like in some corny, pop music video. The locals must have thought I was mad strolling outside in that kind of weather, looking very pleased with myself. Strangely enough, that was how I felt on that particular snowy day.

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An interesting book about English behaviour

What a coincidence that Yodmanudying happened to be reading a book called “Watching the English, The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour”, by Kate Fox, a social anthropologist. I came across this book three years ago at Waterstones while my Chinese friend and I were searching for something to buy. The book, as seen in the picture, immediately caught my attention. I did not need to think twice that I wanted to read it since it might help me to understand the local people a bit better.

The book is divided into 2 parts, excluding the introduction, conclusion and epilogue. Part one: Conversation Codes and part two: Behaviour Codes. In each section, there are some interesting topics. e.g. Humour Rules and Pub-Talk in the Conversation Codes part; Food Rules and Rules of Sex in the Behaviour Codes part. However, I must admit that I have not got round to reading the book from cover to cover yet, though I have skimmed through some of the pages. There are some entertaining topics that I like, such as Emerging Talk Rules – the Mobile Phone on page 84. What the writer describes about people on the train talking loudly on the phone about banal business and domestic matters, in the section on mobile-phone etiquette, is quite true and commonly seen. To me, it is a bit embarrassing to hear these people conversing about private matters in a public place. As funny are the Food Rules. As a matter of fact, I was very surprised to learn that there are rules regarding gastronomy in the UK seeing as people’s tastes are a bit limited here. Some foreigners have mentioned that people’s relationship with food is more like a loveless marriage, which is not surprising to know. But I also must agree with the author about the quality of English cooking. It is neither as awful as some people said, nor as tasty as the natives would like foreigners to believe. It is neither bad nor delicious; it is just bland.

This is a very well-observed and amusing anthropology. The book speaks eloquently and is a comprehensive study of people in one of the most interesting societies in the world. If I had enough time, I would love to indulge myself with this book. A fascinating read.

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Filed under Book, British people, UK

Student debt and so what?

Nikki left university half way through her course as she felt the amount of teaching she was getting didn’t justify the fees.” says the BBC. Oh dear! How sad! Bless her!

I do not get her and some other British students at all. I do not understand what they have to moan about, especially when the cost of their study at university is far less than international students – those who are not UK or EU students – have to pay for the same course. The tables highlight the fees charged by different universities for overseas students studying arts and science courses, compared with UK and EU students. All overseas students studying at UK universities are expected to make a full contribution towards the cost of their education, unlike a Home/EU student who is subsidised by the government. On average, foreign students, including myself, have to pay course fees of between £5,500 and £12,000 per year depending on the university and course, and we have to pay it upfront without delay. That was the case several years ago. I would not be surprised if the fees for foreign students have gone up in the past few years.

I just do not get the native kids at all. Why do they need to whine about something that we foreign students do each year without complaint? I suppose it is just they way they are or maybe it is in their psyche.

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Filed under British people, Education, UK

The delightful Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar

For the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to watch many movies from around the world: that is one of the many positive things of living abroad. I must say that in terms of cinematic experience, I have learned that there are many directors’ voices from every corner of the world and as many different ways of telling a story. People do not need to be bombarded by Hollywood cliches or films from their own countries. There are so many interesting movies to appreciate in the world cinema.

This morning the postman delivered a collection of wonderful movies by the Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar.  The collection contains five accomplished examples of his work: ‘Bad Education’, ‘Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down’, ‘Live Flesh’, ‘All About My Mother’ and ‘Talk To Her’. I have watched seven movies by this Spanish filmaker so far and all I can say is that there is not one of his films that I do not like. Every story told via his medium interests me, although they may not always overly excite me from the beginning. But inevitably the story slowly comes to life, like a flower blossoming.

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Filed under Art, Entertainment, Film, Spain

Violence can be funny

-Warning-

The following movie clip contains scenes of extreme violence, self-mutilation, torture, sexual situations and rape. Yet, for some reason all of these actions come across as comically exciting.

Welcome to the cinematic world of Takashi Miike and if you have never experienced his movies, all I can say is where have you been. Ichi The Killer is a brutal and bizarre movie. It is over the top and violent for the sake of being entertaining – a very black comedy with a surrealistic sense of humour. The movie is based on a manga, a Japanese cartoon book by Hideo Yamamoto and is consequently in the style of a caricature which makes the atrocious scenes easy to swallow, if you can take them all in. At the same time, you might be enormously shocked with laughter.

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Filed under Film, Japan