Lately I have not been very busy doing anything; as a matter of fact, I have never done anything at all for other people. Thankfully, Christmas is arriving this week and it gives me the opportunity to put this right, albeit in a small way. At least, I am pleased with my good gesture.
I finished Christmas shopping, buying gifts for people, a couple of weeks ago. Today, I have just finished writing all the cards that I am going to give to people I know well and to others whom I do not know quite so well. It is a thing that the native people do here, so it will be a good idea for me to play along. Actually, I think Christmas is a good season, when families get together and are happy, despite having to put up with your own people! It is times like this that make me think about my own family and the people that I left behind.
I was not born a Christian. In fact, my parents are Buddhist, consequently, religiously speaking, I am supposed to be like them. But I am not a religious being. Thus I am free to appreciate other people’s way of life and their traditions. And my folks never minded other people’s beliefs either. When I was a kid, they even let me have a great time at the local Christian school on Christmas night, as long as I behaved and respected the place. There are some differences between my childhood Christmas and the proper western style Christmas. Then, I was not aware of the significance of this tradition. I simply went and just enjoyed the many entertaining things provided by the school on Christmas night such as games and a funfair. Nowadays, I have come to realise that instead of just taking, I should give people something as well; cards and presents on this special day even though it is only a small thing that I can do for them. I do not mind at all.
I did not know before that student initiation ceremonies take place in some universities in the UK. According to the news by the BBC, “students were filmed with bags over their heads, drinking and vomiting, some dressed in Nazi uniforms”. I wonder what the British public would make of student initiation ceremonies in Thailand, when first year students in Thai colleges and universities are welcomed. During these ceremonies, senior students happily take the opportunity to humiliate those new arrivals. And yet, from time to time, this pointless ritual turns into the kind of tragic event where unexpected things happen; such as when a new student who was unable to swim was forced to go into the water by the senior students and consequently drowned. In another case, a first year male student was ordered by an older student to stick his genitals into a bowl of water containing chopped chilli, after his back had already been burned by a lighter in the hands of those who were in charge of this bizarre ceremony. Here is the full story on a Thai newspaper website.
As for my experience, I did not have to go through or do things as bad as these students and was not forced to participate in this pointless ritual either. But I took part in it anyway as a bit of a laugh. I had to do things to ridicule myself; for example, I had to put red lipstick on my lips and then had to pass the slimy red substance on to one of my male classmates. Who knows, he might have secretly enjoyed the intimate same sex action! But when those sophomores or the older students forcibly tried to make me do things that I did not appreciate, I just simply refused. It was just as easy as that for me and my friends to rebel against this initiation ceremony because we could. But some of my friends who were at a different college told me that they had to do some nasty stuff i.e. male students had to take off their clothes except for their underpants, while the first year female students were ordered to gently rub the backs of these almost naked boys in order to see their reaction. Even worse, some of the first year male students had to suck red Fanta, a fizzy drink out of a clean, unused sanitary pad as a kind of humiliation. To me, this was a bit too much and over the top. I was surprised that some of them could endure this sort of treatment by the seniors.
Personally, I do not see the necessity of this student initiation ceremony. It is so frivolous and I think this ritual should be abandoned for good unless it is only for a laugh.
There was one incident that I really want to forget but I cannot, and the image of this particular episode keeps recurring in my mind. It is aggravating me. And I do not think I will ever get it out of my head either. I just hope I can live with it, like some of the other bad experiences that have happened to me. This was not a tragic story, it was just a careless mistake. So, you do not need to bless yourself for it.
My cousin, a friend and I had found a tricycle, as depicted in the picture, left in the street in the neighbourhood. We took it for granted that we could borrow it without asking permission from the owner. Then we rode it all over the area and later further into the town, which we thought quite adventurous. It was just a bit of fun really. We had been playing around for a few hours when suddenly disaster struck; we rode the Samlor into the back of someone’s pickup truck which was parked in front of the owner’s house. We simply lost control of the vehicle and we watched, horror-struck, as the tricycle hit the truck. We did not know what to do, aside from standing still at the scene, petrified, while the owner headed out of his house to check what was going on. For a moment, we thought we were surely going to have to deal with the consequences of our action and he was genuinely upset. Who wouldn’t be if their car had been hit – I would be pissed off too. He checked on the damaged area at the back of his truck where there was a tiny dent. We apologised profusely and I was sure he was going to ask to meet our parents – and he did. But then, surprisingly, he changed his mind and we got away with it, but only after he gave us a blessingly long lecture. After he let us go, we were not in the mood to play any more. We decided to go back to the neighbourhood and park the Samlor where we had found it. Unfortunately, the owner was waiting for our return. What happened next? It was like all hell had broken loose.
Looking back, I feel truly sorry for the trouble that we caused to both the owner of the Samlor and the pick up truck. I doubt that they still remember, but you never know.
I once went to a love motel with one of my female classmates; she was also a very closed friend of mine. We usually got on like a house on fire. Yet, I had never expected to be invited to go to this sort of place with her.
I remember very well that it was the last day of our final examinations, also before our summer vacation. Normally, at this time of the year, there was nothing much to do anyway, so instead of going home after we finished the exam, I simply did not have to think too long, just a couple of seconds in fact, before accepting her invitation.
I was prettty excited as I was walking into the motor inn. It was the first time of my life to be there and I could not wait to be inside the room.
A while later, we managed to finish the job what we had intended to do, and despite it being quite hard work and we sweated a lot during the business, we had a really good time.
Before I left the motel, her mother thanked me profusely for coming to help to tidy up the room. She said that, as a maid, it was always rather difficult to carry out the job on her own, especially when it needed to be done quickly before the arrival of new guests. I replied to her with a little smile that I was pleased to come to help and I thought the three of us did remarkably well to clear up the mess so quickly in that tiny, seedy room.
If animal rights people were to read this diary, they would be really upset and they would probably be up in arms about the story that I am going to write today.
My friends and I used to go to the countryside in order to find something to entertain us, for instance seeking a bird to shoot or digging the hole of a snake in order to get rid of its eggs. At that time we had nothing in our minds apart from having fun even at the expense of other creatures. We only thought we rule them. The most popular animal that we liked to do away with was a chameleon as it was not only the satisfaction of destroying its life, but also it could be served as a meal (but it’s not really my taste though).
We went from place to place looking for chameleons and when we found one, we would shoot it with a rubber band and thread a string through its head. When we were content with the number of chameleons we had caught, we went home and cooked them for a meal.
I was not really keen on eating chameleon and I did not enjoy killing it either. The reason for hunting was that I just followed my friends. I just wanted to do something with them. I know now that it was not the right thing to do and that there is no excuse for this sort of behaviour. However, we human beings like to take advantage of lesser creatures all the time. So, when my friends asked me to taste the prize dish, I just enjoyed it while promising myself – “I am not going to eat it any more“.