Column no. 110 - 101
You will see columns in the past; what I noticed about/in Thailand, about
differences between Thailand and Japan and so on.
I'm wondering how long I can continue writing a column... :D
no.110 - Morning in Bangkok
| As you might know, Bangkok is the capital
of Thailand and called "Krung Thep", meaning "The city of angels". The
population is approximately eight million and the city is a lively metropolis
with a lot of high-rise buildings and traffic jams.
I have had a lot of mornings there, and one of what I noticed is, you can hear some birds sing pleasantly early in the morning. (It maybe depends on places though.)
Noises of cars or so drown it out in the day time but if you get up a little earlier, you can feel calm passage of time that you usually don't realize.
Such an early morning, while I was viewing outside, I found something moving on the electric cable. What ? I was looking at it and got to know it was a squirrel. It was only one and running in a hurry on the cable between electric poles. It went away down the pole once but came up again after a while and scampered with a smile on the cable.
I'm afraid I had no chance to take a picture of it but squirrels play around in the metropolis, Bangkok. :)
no.109 - Yakudoshi or Bad luck ages
In Japan, Yakudoshi, or bad luck ages, are 25, 42, 61 years old for
men, and 19, 33, (37), 60 years old for women. In Thailand, on the other
hand, the numbers with 9 like, 19, 29, 39, 49,... and 25 are bad luck ages
for both men and women.
Why numbers with 9 are the ages of bad luck is, the number "9" is "Gaao"(เก้า) in Thai language and there is another word (different spelling) "Gaao"(ก้าว) meaning "go ahead". Because of this, the numbers with 9 is thought as the ages of "can go up to the next age or not" or Yakudoshi (bad luck ages).
What's more, I don't know why but the age of 25 is special and called "Benjapes (เบญจเพส). Looks like it's a big bad luck age. However, people in Thailand think like the age is a turning point and one of turning points is bad luck. (It seems that some men become a monk around this period to get rid of bad luck.)
Personally, I don't care about this kind of thing but also think like anything has its reason. If you are at the age of Yakudoshi, you should be more careful about anything than usual...? :)
no.108 - Global warming ?
Little by little, nooo, rapidly, it's getting
colder and colder these days in Japan. The temperature in Tokyo is around 10
degrees Celsius in the daytime and this means winter has come. On the other
hand, in Bangkok, Thailand, it's more than 30 degrees during the day. Very warm
! Wow-wow ! :D
My wife (from Bangkok) says, "when I was a kid, I have gone to school in a jacket in winter (around October to February) because it was cold ! (Unbelievable...) There were no air conditioner in the school and they only closed windows and doors to keep the room warm. This didn't work well and it was still cold...."
These days in Bangkok, anyway, it's very warm ! :D That's because of the global warming ?
By the way, when my wife's family visited Japan around the end of October a few years ago, it was already quite cool here and this made kids feel cold.
The youngest kid (around 5 years old at that time) told everyone after going back to Thailand like this;
" You know, in Japan, air-conditioners are all over the country ! "
(Looks like she thought it was cold everywhere in Japan because air-conditioners were working. :D)
no.107 - Buddha images for each day of the week
When you visit a temple, you might notice that a lot of Buddha images
Including the temple " Wat Pa Pradu " in Rayong updated this week, in Thailand, they have Buddha images for each day of the week, and people know what day of the week they were born and they pray for the Buddha of the day of the week.
The day of the week is important in Thailand as written in the columns no.77(Lucky color of days of the week) and no.76(What day of the week were you born ?), but I was wondering why people in Thailand know or remember what day of the week they were born because I think people don't know that in Japan. I guess that is based on the Buddha images for each day of the week in Thailand where people are devout Buddhists. Lucky colors or fortune might be from the Buddha images for each day of the week.
I tried to find out the origin of the Buddha images of each day of the week but only knew it looked like it had been from India in the end.
If you have some information about this, let me know. :)
no.106 - Sign of the Chinese zodiac
| I found that December is already around the corner ! (Whaaat !?) I was thinking that winter was over a while ago and it got very warm and then autumn had appeared, but now, Old Man Winter is coming. I feel that time passes very quick these days more than usual. How's it going, everyone ? :)
By the way, the sign of the Chinese zodiac this year is "Dog", right ? So, how about next year ? Well,... if my memory is correct, the order must be ..."Rat", "Ox", "Tiger", "Rabbit", "Dragon", "Snake", "Horse", "Goat", "Monkey", "Rooster", "Dog", "Boar(Pig)"...., oh ,okay, "Boar (Pig)" is coming next.
In Thai language, the signs for the Chinese zodiac are "Chuad"(rat), "Chaluu"(ox), "Kharn"(tiger), "Thoa"(rabbit), "Marong"(dragon), "Maseng"(snake), "Mamia"(horse), "Mamae"(goat), "Woak"(monkey), "Ragaa"(rooster), "Jor"(dog) and "Gun"(pig).
Whew ! I can't remember all. :D
no.105 - "Irasshai mase" or Welcome
| Talking about joys of travel, many of you might reply, " Shopping
is the best ! ". :D
When my wife's family or her friend visited Japan, they went and checked shops here and there, and enjoyed looking at something that their country didn't have or bought what they have planned to buy beforehand. They enjoyed shopping a lot !
(Prices are high in Japan, compared in Thailand. They were happy but their wallets were not, though. :D)
By the way, when you go around to have lunch or to shop, shop clerks always welcome you, saying, " Irasshai-mase " (Welcome or Thank you for visiting us), and it looks like my wife's family or her friend was asking, " What's that ?".
In Thailand, you might hear, "Chern Krab/Ka", meaning "Welcome", once in a while in a restaurant, but basically, shop clerks don't say that. (I noticed this later.)
I don't know about other countries, but, why shop clerks say like that is, in Japan, greetings are basics traditionally, or people want to separate between outside (customers) and inside (shops) unconsciously. What do you think ? :)
no.104 - Tamboon
| If you were in Japan last night, you might have watched the program "Sekai
Hushigi Hakken" (Find a mysterious things in the world) on TV. It
was about Thailand this time.
(If interested, check this out: Tiger Temple (in Japanese))
In the program, they talked about " Tamboon ". " Tamboon " is to make merits, and people in Thailand who believe in reincarnation do Tamboon (do good things) and accumulate virtues for happiness of their next lives.
You can do Tamboon by offering something to monks or temples, or by doing something for other people or animals, there are various ways to do.
The curious thing is, some people sell birds or fish, and buying them to be free to the sky or into a pond/river is also one of Tamboons. Mainly, people free fish/birds/turtles. (The TV program explains this is three tamboons.)
Which animal you should free looks depend on your situation. Normally fish or birds, but monks or fortunetellers might give you some advice of which.
I guess if you want to let fish free, you should go far away and release them so that they won't be caught again. :)
no.103 - Mysterious people in line
| Gradually, autumn is drawing on and it's sometimes cool and sometimes cold these days, I heard that a lot of people go on a sightseeing trip here, Japan, from Thailand.
The other day, one of my wife's friends visited Tokyo, Japan with her kid and went around such as Asakusa, Disney Land and Hakone. Even though it was not a best time to see leaves turning yellow and red yet but they spent busy but fun time and really enjoyed their trip.
One of curious things she noticed in Japan was;
" What was it ? People were in a line in front of a shop in the early morning. Even some person wore a suit."
If you live in Japan, you surely can guess what it was. They were waiting for the opening of a Pachinko parlor. (Pachinko is a pinball-like game (quite different from a pinball, though) and it it not a gambling on the surface but it is.)
My wife told her about it and what made her surprised was some of them wore a suit. (It was a weekday. They wouldn't go to work ??? :D )
In Thailand, because people wearing a suit give an impression of, in a sense, a high ranked businessman, I guess this made her surprised more.
Don't play too much ! :D
no.102 - Impression of Thailand
| Many of you might not go to Thailand yet but it's already passed
10 years since I got to know about Thailand. In those days, I knew there
is a country named " Thailand " but didn't know what the country
looked like at all. Then I searched Thailand on the net that was started
to be be developed by a trigger.
The first picture I saw on the net was a woman from Long Neck Tribe with a lot of rings on her neck. (See the Long Neck Tribe Page.) I was very innocent and thought, " Oh, yaaa... People in Thailand is like this, their necks are long... this is their culture, I got it ...". This made a friend of mine from Thailand laugh out loud who I got to know later (and is my wife now :) ). She told me that she had just gotten rid of rings around her neck as a joke at that time. :D
There are misunderstandings about countries you don't know well. I heard that some Thai people think that Japanese people eat only Sushi or Miso soup everyday.
(I guess it might be true for some Japanese, though. :) )
no.101 - Lucky ?
| Not so many people have this kind of experience,
but have you ever got a bird dropping on your head ? :D
In Japan, like an old saying, people say it's lucky because the sound of " Un " (bird dropping) in Japanese means lucky also, and in Thailand, people say it's lucky, too.
(Is this the same in other countries ?)
Like Japanese language, they don't mean that's because of the same sound of some other words in Thai, but anyway, my wife from Bangkok said, " It's dirty ... "
You are right... :D