Tag Archives: News

The English translation of 1Q84 has not yet been published, but Murakami’s new novel is set to be a literary sensation

Yesterday, the Guardian published an article about Haruki Murakami’s new novel. There is an insightful opinion from Jay Rubin, one of Murakami’s regular translators. What Mr. Rubin said about the Japanese author is entirely spot-on.

“Rubin also remarked on Murakami’s ability to convey the commonplace in an extraordinary way. “What I love,” he said, “is how he can describe eating yoghurt at midnight or the best way to cook a hamburger or someone pouring ketchup into a sock drawer. He is very down to earth, but also has passages that are very comically detailed.”

“And it is not because he is writing about Japan that people love him. I’m not sure his readers are interested in Japan. It is about the moment to moment sensation of being in his world. Inside his head.”

Some people have said that he has never given clear and satisfactory answers in most of his stories. To me, this is just the way he treats his readers without being condescending. People who read his books should come to their own understanding and it does not really matter whether or not we can completely grasp what he means in the stories. In fact, we don’t need to try very hard to read his books, but if we can stay with each moment from the beginning to the end, the reward will be amazing. It is like a journey that we have chosen to embark on. We may not comprehend all the things that we have seen throughout the entire adventure, but the experience is simply worthwhile.

It is irrelevant whether Haruki Murakami is the greatest living author or not, but in the world of literature, he is undoubtedly a superstar. That is what I said on Twitter yesterday.


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101 East – Thailand’s unborn

I know someone who had an abortion and some of my friends told me that their girlfriends had had an illegal abortion. I think the problem needs to be addressed. However, I would not dare to be so presumptuous as to express my views on this topic. Those who are most affected by this issue, i.e. women, should be the ones who have the primary right to speak about it. I’d prefer to be reticent on this problem for now.

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Thai third-sex hostesses ready for takeoff

“Thai transsexuals were overjoyed as new airline P.C. Air yesterday took air hostess job applications from “third sex” candidates at Bangkok’s Esplanade shopping mall.”

Source: The Nation

You can read the full story via the link.

I think this news is great for Thai transgenders. These people will have an opportunity to work in the career to which they aspire. I don’t see anything wrong with them working in this business. Provided that they do a decent job, they should not be judged differently. The airline should be applauded for giving them a chance to exercise their ability. Yet, as expected, there are some party poopers who are against the idea, who think that they will be harassed on the ʼplane. This way of thinking is pretty antediluvian and childish. This is Thailand. They will just have to get used to it. But if they can’t, they could take a hike instead.


Filed under News, sexuality, Thailand, Thai_People

Unfair and brutal tragedy

It is said that Dr. Sastra Chaothiang, a researcher at the National Science and Technology Development Agency who was among the nine passengers of a van killed in the last week accident, was an exceptional and talented individual. He specialised in protein engineering, a discipline in which not many Thais are well-versed. His mother gave a poignant interview on Thai television some days ago. The details of the talk were posted on the internet as follows:

– Dr Sastra is in fact her great-grandchild. His parents separated. For some reason they gave him to her to bring up.

– When he was a small boy, the Doctor would often go on a bicycle with her in order to help selling jasmine garlands. The basket in front of the bike was always filled with study books. And when he chanced upon a teacher, he would ask a few questions from the books that he did not understand.

– At junior high school, he had a 10 baht daily budget. Often when he returned from school, he would request another 3 baht from her to buy a dessert made from Chinese chives. Then he would go on helping her selling jasmine garlands until dusk. When they returned, the Doctor would frequently eat chub mackerel and hot shrimp-paste sauce for dinner. It was his favourite dish.

– After passing an exam to win a seat at a senior high school at Triam Udom Suksa School, she wanted to take him to the school in a taxi on enrolment day, but the Doctor suggested that the two of them should take a bus instead as the taxi was too expensive.

– Once when she visited him at the school, she bought a drink from a 7-11 minimart for him – at that time it was 12 baht. The Doctor told her that he had never tried it before since it was expensive.

– Later on he managed to pass the entrance exam for a place at a well-known medical school in Thailand, but decided to forsake that opportunity, telling her that instead he wanted to be an academic. He then went on to win a scholarship to study in the UK.

– After he had finished his 10 years study in the UK, he went back to work and support the family in Thailand. He had just begun to finance his young sibling’s education at Silpakorn University about 6 months before he was killed in the accident.

– He told her that he did not want a car. He did not mind taking a van to work. It would be a burden to buy a car, so he decided to save the money and buy land for her to build a house on.

– A lot of people asked her if she ever tired of selling garlands since she was elderly and quite well-built. Her response was that she was not tired at all. My son was an intelligent and good man. “Although I am poor, I have a clever son.”

– The interviewer asked her how she managed to bring up such a brilliant and good son. She said that it was in his nature to be like that. She did not have to do anything much.

– Lastly, the interviewer asked her if there was anything further she wanted to add. And she said “she wanted him back.”

I very much wanted to write about the others who died in the accident too. Unfortunately, at the moment there are few details about them. All I can do is to wish these innocent victims rest in peace.


Filed under News, Thailand, Thai_People

The accident

It was somewhat inappropriate of me to go on about my forthcoming holiday in my previous entry as at the moment there has been a rather intense discussion going on regarding the demise of nine innocent Thais who were killed in a car crash. Admittedly, I saw the headline news two days ago but I did not pay much attention to it since a road accident is such a common thing in Thailand. I am inured to hearing this type of tragic story. Then last night just before I went to bed, I had a few moment to peruse the details of the accident and now I understand why the majority of the country is so furious and up in arms over this calamity.

Every loss of a human life is a great loss, but it is much worse when the departure of the people involved is so sudden and unexpected. To make matters worse, not only were they innocent, these people were also well educated and intelligent. Examples are the person who worked at the National Science and Technology Development Agency, who had just received a highest degree from a UK university and the person who was just about to study nano-electronics abroad and so on. They would have made a great contribution to Thai society. Some had a bright future ahead of them academically. They were valuable assets in a nation where erudite individuals are scarce. I must admit that I was as irate as most Thais about the accident. Be that as it may, I will resist jumping on the bandwagon and castigating the culprit. Instead the thing that Thailand and Thai people should deliberate on is their attitude towards driving. When I reflect on the inconsiderate, impatient and lawless way people drive in Thailand, I think it says it all about the Thai society and the way of thinking of my fellow countrymen. It is not very difficult to work that out.

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Comment of the day

Actually, the comment was made yesterday by a reader of the Guardian’s website in relation to the news of the WikiLeaks man’s upcoming autobiography. I think the comment is quite fair: “I support wikileaks, but after listening to the humphries interview with him this morning I think Julian’s surname is 4 letters too long.

Source:Julian Assange reported to have sold memoirs

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Men will shag anything as long as they can find a hole

That was what I wanted to tell Mr. Blatter. Instead of telling people to refrain from any sexual activity – which is impossible as humans are sexual beings – he should have said it was none of his nor anybody’s business what people do sexually in their own privacy. For my money, even in societies where certain kinds of sexual acts are not permitted, people will find a way to do it anyway, regardless of race, religion, or nationality. If they cannot do it where they are, people will seek to release their smuttiness somewhere else.

In my book, I think football (or soccer) is arguably the gayest game, despite the seemingly unwelcoming attitude towards homosexuality of people involved in the sport, be they the players, the fans or the football authorities themselves. On the football field, you will quite often see footballers running towards one another and delivering such intimate actions to their mates as hugs and gentle kisses when they score a goal. That is even more homoerotic than seeing a gay person mincing on a street. No wonder it is so popular among men. I am sure there must be something arousing about watching guys scoring each other’s goals.


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