I left Thailand since last week. Yet I keep thinking about the lovely time I spent in my own country. Everything went smoothly. The journey from home to Heathrow was a good start. There was no hassle clearing security at the airport and there was no long queue either. Sitting in the lounge was slightly tedious but when we boarded the flight, we just got straight on the plane. On board, as expected, I did not manage to sleep but it did not matter since I had Kylie Minogue’s song, i.e.Get Outta My Way, to accompany my journey. I watched “Black Swan” and played Sudoku and some other games. Being Thai I did not have to deal with long queues on arrival at Suvarnabhumi like foreigners frequently do. After checking in at the hotel in Bangkok, I went out to have a haircut; the owner of the hairdresser salon remembered me because I had my hair cut there a couple of years ago. The hairdresser asked me where we were heading. She told me there had been a massive earthquake in Japan and was worried that it could affect the Gulf of Thailand – our destination. I was quite concerned but I was more worried about my Japanese friends. Next we went to have dinner and then back to the hotel. I tried to sleep but my mind was somewhere else. The seismic shockwaves lingered in my head all night. In the end, I managed to get some shuteye for just a few hours. We went back to Suvarnabhumi the next morning. Again, it did not take us long to finish the usual procedures at the airport. Sitting in the lounge, I was checking some Thai pocket books that I had bought the day before at the bookstore near the hotel; at the same time, I was looking forward to boarding the plane. I could not wait to reach our destination…
Monthly Archives: March 2011
The interviewer complimented her on her beauty. He asked her how she felt about many people from different parts of the world talking about her gorgeousness. She humbly said that she did not actually feel that she was pretty, but she felt proud to know that people have been talking about her beauty. He mentioned her voice. He noticed that she has quite a deep voice. She said that when she worked as a disc jockey, people mistook her as a woman with a deep voice. Then he talked about members of the one-time boy band, Take That, who saw the clip of her singing on “Thailand’s Got Talent”. He asked about the rumour of her female singing voice being mimed. She confirmed that it was her genuine voice and she proved it by singing the song. Next they talked about her father; about his initial unwillingness to accept her for who she is. Her father is a soldier and her grandad was also a soldier and most importantly she was the “only son.” She is the middle-child whose eldest and youngest siblings are both female. She felt a lot of pressure because her father wanted her to have an army career too. Because of being born male, she was the hope of her family. Her father beat her because he wanted her to quit being katoey. If she had not stopped, he would have conscripted her into the army. At that time she was about a Por 6 student; a grade six student. She began her transformation to be her true self after finishing her diploma study. She proceeded with it gradually to make it easier for her father to accept her. She started by paying attention to her studies and doing everything she could to win her father’s heart, but whatever she tried, her father still could not accept her for what she was. Later his unwavering opinion began to change. Little by little, she continued to try to make him accept her by earning a living for herself. She would give money to her parents that she had won from transgender pageants and singing contests, as well as financing her youngest sister’s education. She tried to be the family breadwinner. The interviewer asked her if her father was proud of her yet and she said “he is”. He asked her if there was anything she wanted to tell him. She said that she wanted to tell her father that at the moment she had achieved a certain level of success and she was very proud to be his child. In addition, the interviewer would like to say to her father that she is certainly the pride of Thai people. Then they talked about how she discovered her ability to sing in both male and female voices; she said it was when she first started to be a singer in a pub. Someone had told her that she already had a woman’s appearance. This person said to her “why don’t you try to fool patrons who come to the pub?” She would start a song by singing with a female voice and then she would surprise them by changing into a male voice.
At first I did not pay much attention to the phenomenal clip of Khun Bell Nuntita. I saw a lot of people mention her name on Twitter while I was enjoying my holiday in Thailand but I was not aware of how good a singer and how endearing she was until later on when I watched the clip. Now I quite understand why so many people adore her. I am very surprised that I have never encountered her seeing that I used to live in the province where she comes from. She comes across as well-mannered, likeable and girlie although she was not born that way. She reminds me of some of my friends who are just like her. As many people have already said, the clip is very impressive and appealing on many levels. Her singing voices – both female and male – are beautiful and the transition from one to the other is startling. Unsurprisingly the audience plainly accepts her for who she is. At the same time I feel sorry for her and people like her who are sometimes treated unfairly simply because of who they are and who they want to be. Thank God those narrow-minded haters are the minority in Thailand. She is doing very well right now and regardless of their gender and where they come from, many people seem to be very supportive of her. We all will be dead one day. It would be a regrettable waste if we failed to be honest with ourselves and missed the opportunity to choose to live the life that we want as long as it does not cause trouble to anybody. For that reason, I very much respect people like Khun Bell.
In 2008 Stacey Dooley emerged as one of the stars of the hit BBC Three series, Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts, and has since spent the three years lifting the lid on shocking stories from the developing world.
In 2010 she travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo where she examined the plight of child soldiers and journeyed to Cambodia to investigate the shocking world of underage sex trafficking.
This time Stacey is travelling to one of our favourite holiday destinations, Thailand, to explore the darker side of tourism that the average holiday maker doesn’t see. Hundreds of thousands of us flock to Thailand every year, where for just a few hundred pounds you can enjoy beautiful beaches, top hotels and unbeatable service. A trip to Thailand has become a rite of passage for many young Brits, but why is it possible to enjoy such luxury at such bargain prices?
Stacey begins her trip in Phuket, where she stays as a tourist before swapping roles and becoming a hotel worker. She works as a chambermaid and struggles with the hard work and incredibly high standards, having to clean 14 rooms a day for just four pounds. She also discovers what it’s like to live on such low wages and the sacrifices that some hotel workers have to make. Many live in slum conditions or in hotel dormitories, separated from their children for months at a time.
From BBC Three
It has been pleasantly warm today. Cicadas keep rasping as usual. I love hearing their noise. They normally appear at this time of the year wherever you are in Thailand. Their sound mingled with the sound of the waves is so soothing. I notice that there are plenty of middle-aged foreign guests at the hotel. They seem to be enjoying their stay here and so am I.
I spend my day lying in the villa and listening to the pleasant sounds of the wildlife and the waves crashing on to the beach. I have been enjoying my breakfasts since I arrived here. I love eating proper Thai food. I eat like a little piggy every morning. I take my time with what I do here, even walking. I don’t need to be in a hurry. This is the way I used to live my life in Thailand. I take great pleasure in looking at the other guests. I am not a voyeur, but seeing people from different parts of the world enjoying their holiday here puts a big smile on my face. Some of them are quite cute!
I finished my dinner at the restaurant a few minutes ago. The food was delectable; it was like my sister used to cook for me. Talking about my sister, I have not told my family that I have been in Thailand since last week and I don’t think I will let them know either. The weather has not been good today. It has been windy and wet. Yesterday it was very hot in the morning, but later in the afternoon there was a torrential rainstorm. For the past few days, I have been sucked, stuck and drilled unmercifully. My body must be very tempting. There are two people staying in the villa, but it is only me who has been picked on. No, it was not a bunch of farang daddies who assaulted me; mosquitoes were the culprits. Overall, I am having a nice holiday.