Column no. 130 - 121
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.130 - The floor is smooth ! -
| It's very warm in Thailand, isn't it ? Because of the heat, the floor
in a house usually has no carpet on. It's wooden, (ceramic) tile or marble
My wife's home in Bangkok is no exception and is floored in white tiles. It feels cool and smooth, and when you sit on it, you'll feel comfortable even if it's very warm outside.
By the way, when her family visited our house in Japan, they asked her why she had a carpet on the floor.
By the way again, her family has a dog and he lives in the house with them in Bangkok. When he sits on the floor, his bottom goes back little by little because it looks like he puts center of gravity over his paws and the floor is very smooth.
He draws his paws to the front of his body for balance but his bottom goes back more. Like this, he goes back and back while sitting on the floor, then he is far away in the end.
This is real. He is very cute and funny. :D
no.129 - Let's split the bill ! -
| I wrote about Nintendo DS in the column no.121. This Nintendo DS helped a lot when I went to Thailand last time. First,
of course, to kill time on the plane, then to play with kids of my wife's
brother and sister in Thailand.
Especially, the Thai language software (Japanese-Thai) was very popular among the kids. They enjoyed it very much to communicate to each other by choosing a word or a phrase, like chatting on the net. It was very fun because you don't know which way the conversation will go by the words or phrases that are chosen. I still don't understand or speak Thai language well but I also enjoyed the game conversation with the kids. I felt I had more conversation with them than ever before.
The most impressive conversation was, when one of the kids showed me "Food" on the DS, I chose the phrase "I'll buy you" and handed the DS back to him. Then he chose another phrase and passed the DS back to me. The DS was showing, "Let's split the bill."
Hey, you are still 5th grade at school. I don't know if he knew how poor I was at that time, but he is great. :D
no.128 - Is your stomach okay ? -
| When it's in a hot season, you sleep with no cover on your stomach
because of the heat, right ?
This is the same for me but you might have a stomach upset if you have a sleep with no cover or not only when you sleep but if you don't tuck in shirt tails.
My wife who is from Bangkok, Thailand noticed that and says Thai people don't have stomach trouble even if they don't cover their stomachs. Looks like a friend of hers who is from Thailand as well felt the same and told her that Japanese people have an upset stomach if they don't cover their stomachs although Thai people are okay.
I guess, not only Thai people but those who live in a warm country have a strong stomach because they wear light clothing (they don't wear a lot of clothes) on a daily basis. What do you think ? :)
no.127 - Visa -
| When you go abroad, you need a visa to enter the country. Simply speaking, a
passport is your identification and a visa is to request entrance to the
country. To know more about visa in details, check the pages below:
It's not your country but the country you are going to which requires you to have a visa or not. Let's say, a country requires people in a country A to have a visa or doesn't need people in a country B to have a visa.
About going to Thailand, if you have a passport of the countries on the page below (such as Japan) and your purpose is only sightseeing, you can enter and stay in Thailand without a visa within 30 days.
That is, even though you are a passport holder of the countries, if you want to stay in Thailand more than 31 days, you need a visa.
On the other hand, Thai people need visa when they come to Japan even for purpose of tourism within 30 days. Hmmm, why ?
Check the page below to know more about it.
no.126 - Irasshai mase" or Welcome no.2 -
|When you go shopping in Japan, shop clerks will say "Irasshai-mase"(means
"welcome" in Japanese).
I wrote a little about this welcome greeting in the column no.105 but in Thailand, almost no clerks say like that to you.
It depends on shops but clerks of only some shops will say "Sawasdee krab/ka" (means "hello" in Thai) or "Chern Krab/Ka" (means "please" in Thai language).
By the way, my wife and I went to have coffee the other day in Tokyo. When we had seats, I heard a conversation of a customer and a clerk;
If you are a Japanese, you might have had this kind of a conversation between friends but this was the first time for me to hear in a public place in Japan.
My wife also noticed it and asked me, "Should I say 'Irasshai-mashita' in that case ?".
After the customer said "Irasshai-mashita", no laugh or no voice was followed. I don't know if the clerk was giving the customer a cold glance or had a problem to tell him something back. Anyway, my wife liked this "Irasshaimashita" very much and told me with a big smile, "I wanna say that next time !"
Hey, if you want to do it, do it when you are not with me ! It's a little embarrassing. :D
no.125 - Morgan tribe, very sharp eyesight -
|The other day, I watch a TV program about Morgan tribe in Thailand. It
was the first time for me to hear "Morgan" and this made me excited to watch it.
It looks like Morgan tribe lives on an island in Krabi near Phuket. They have great eyes, they say the eyesight is 9.0, and a Japanese man who has very bad eyesight went and lived there with them for one month to find out why their eyesight is unbelievably good.
About eyesight, if you have eyesight 1.0, you can distinguish 1.5 mm space on a circular ring 7.5 mm in diameter from 5m away. I'm not sure but the eyesight 9.0 is, you can see the 1.5 mm space from 45m away. (Really ?) That is, you can read a newspaper from 45m away ???
The eyesight of the Japanese was 0.01 before he had gone there.
About Morgan tribe, 320 people or 120 families live on the island and they make a living by mainly fishing.
Their life is like, they go fishing and check the clouds in the sky to see if they can go fishing tomorrow or not every day, and do ceremonies to make their eyes good/better by putting smoke by burning leaves of Goya or bitter gourd.
What made me astonished was, when the Japanese and Morgan people was off the coast on a boat for fishing, the Morgan man suddenly said, "Hey, Dad told me it's time to have lunch. Let's go back once." What ? The island is far away. Of course, you can see the island but no one can see if people are out there on the island or what they are telling you with gestures. This is amazing but Morgan people can see each other and communicate with gestures from an unbelievable long distance.
The Japanese man said that after starting to live with them, one day, he was able to see people very clearly, and after coming back to Japan, his eyesight was 0.3 or 0.4. (30 times better than before he went there.)
It's very important to lead a life to see far or to be able to see far.
no.124 - If something on the bottom of your foot -
|Imagine that you are walking on a street and get something on the bottom
of your foot. You will feel something funny and try to check the bottom
of your shoe. In this case, how will you check it ?
When I was walking in the living room the other day, I felt I'd gotten something on the bottom of my foot. Then I tried to check what it was in the style of no. 1 above. My wife was seeing what I was doing and then suddenly burst into laughter.
I asked her what was going on. She told me, "Among female friends in Thailand, some say as a joke that when you want to check the bottom of your foot, men usually do like no. 2 and women do like no.1. Hahahaha." Whaaaaat !?
What's more, she told me about checking nails; if you are a woman, you'll see them with your fingers stretched like you see the back of your hand, and if you are a man, you will see your nails with your fingers shut like you see the palm of your hand.
Hmmmm, what do you think ? :)
no.123 - Adventure to Japan from Thailand ! (Geisha) part 2 -
|Last week, I wrote about a Thai TV program "Fly to Japan and have an experience of a Geisha", and one of what I noticed in that program is how to bow while standing.
The Thai singer "Orm Sunisa" learned various things about "Geisha" and one of the first things she got to know was how to bow while standing in a Japanese way.
When I watched how she bowed, I felt something different. Then she showed how to bow in a Thai style to Japanese people.
As you might know, bowing in Thailand is called "Wai": bow with your hands close together (like holding an egg with both hands in), putting them in front of your your chest or neck and then round your neck.
When Orm Sunisa bowed in the Japanese style, she only rounded her neck. In the Japanese style, you don't round your neck but bent your back from your waist.
This is why I felt something different from the Japanese bowing style.
(That is, when I do "Wai" in Thailand, I guess it looks funny ?)
(I asked my wife who's from Bangkok, Thailand) to bow in the Japanese style, she showed a perfect bowing. Why ? :D )
no.122 - Adventure to Japan from Thailand ! (Geisha) -
|The other day, I watched a Thai program "Fly to Japan and have an experience of a Geisha" on TV .
In the program, a female singer (Orm Sunisa) was chosen without notice to herself, and she had to visit Japan (Kyoto) and be trained as a Geisha. It was very interesting and fun to watch it.
The training got started with how to sit down or how to bow in a Japanese style, then she put on Kimono (Japanese traditional clothes) and learned Japanese traditional songs and dances.
First of all, she had to sit down in a Japanese style called "Seiza" (you sit straight with your legs folded under you) for a while. When she tried to stand up, she struggled to do it but almost fell because her legs were completely sleeping. I laughed a lot before I knew it. (Even Japanese, I know most people have the same experience, right ? Besides, there is almost no opportunity to do it these days.)
While watching the program, I noticed one thing that made me a little shock or feel "hmmm". That is, when she was told to go to Japan and have a practice of a Geisha, she thought "Oh my ! I have to sleep with a man ?". She misunderstood "Geisha" as a lady of the evening. This reminded me of when I was learning English. My teacher was from U.S.A and she also thought of a Geisha in the same way.
(I've heard that this was because of some foreign books about Geisha. I'm not sure, though.)
("Geisha" is a professional female Japanese entertainer and she receives and embodies Japanese traditional arts. )
I really hope that people in Thailand understand what "Geisha" is by this TV program. :)
no.121 - NINTENDO DS
|In Japan, Nintendo DS was shown so often in a commercial on TV kind of
a long time ago. They showed Thai language software (Japanese - Thai)
as well in that.
I was thinking, "Wow, that's great ! " but Nintendo DS was completely sold out in my area. I forgot it soon. However, the other day (Mother's Day on 13 May) in Japan, I finally found it and got it ! Of course, the Thai Language software as well. (I was so glad but my wallet was unbelievably sad.)
I found that the Thai language software has a lot of Thai phrases and it can speak also. This must be useful when you make a trip to Thailand. (It speaks with no feeling but you will understand how the phrases are pronounced.)
By the way, Nintendo DS is now very popular in Thailand but a little more expensive than in Japan, around 7,000 to 8,000 Thai Baht (200 to 250 U.S. dollars).
Kids of my wife's brother or sister in Bangkok, Thailand, want a Nintendo DS. I maybe take it with me when I go to Bangkok next time and proud of it to them. (Hey, you are so mean ! :D)