Column no. 70 - 61
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.70 - Thank you / Delicious
| I didn't expect that but people in Thailand know Japanese language more
than I thought such as "Arigato"(Thank you). Except for that,
because they have a restaurant named "Oishi", "Oishi"
(delicious) is well-known, I guess.
By the way, when my wife's family visited Japan, my wife's mom remembered some words of Japanese. (Great!) After getting off the airplane and when she went through the passport check, she wanted to say, "Arigato" (Thank you). But the word coming out was "Oishi" (Delicious!) in spite of herself.
I can imagine how much she was nervous at the gate and, sorry, but I laughed despite myself when I heard of this story and imagined how the person in charge replied to it.
Now, thank you for this year, everyone. Hope you have a happy new year.
no.69 - Christmas
| Thailand is a country of Buddhism but they celebrate Christmas as
well as in Japan.
I guess it's not a celebration but a kind of a western festival for them. Young people gather with their friends and have a party, and streets and hotels are decorated for Christmas. (Christmas for them is, maybe the same for Japanese.)
Christmas trees in hotels are still decorated after Christmas or even after new year arrive. I'm wondering when they put it back. :D
no.68 - Birthday of the King
| December 15 is the day called "Wan Sharerm Pra Shon Ma Pansaa" in Thailand, that is, the birthday of the King.
(Rama 9: King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) the Great))
(The right photo is from the factory in Ayuttaya that Queen Sirikit manages.)
That day is a national holiday in Thailand and people celebrate it hoisting a national flag at their houses and sing a song of the King called "Sadudi Maharaja" (Praising the Great King). It seems like the song is sung only on the King's birthday.
If you want to listen to the song, click here (MP3).
I only watched on TV but a big parade by the army was held and a great number of people was joined with air, sea and ground forces wearing their uniform in the colour of each.
The King is beloved as a Father by all Thai people, and the year 2006 marks the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne. I really hope the King's eternal good health and the peace of the country. :)
Check the details of the King:
(http://www.bangkokpost.com/60yrsthrone/ (Bangkok Post))
no.67 - Lucky Numbers
| Lucky number in Thailand is "9".(The pronunciation is "Gaao")
There is another word "Gaao" with a different spelling meaning "go ahead" or "go up", and this is why number 9 is a lucky number.
Let's say, about wedding, the ceremony gets started at 9:09a.m. with 9 monks. (I didn't notice that but my wedding ceremony in Thailand was also started at the same time and the same number of monk.)
On the other hand, bad luck numbers are, 4(See), 6(Hohk) and 13(Sib Saam). 4(See) comes from the influence of Chinese, 6(Hohk) is from another Hohk meaning "stumble" and 13 (Sib Saam) is from the influence of the western culture.
By the way, I noticed that a building didn't have a thirteenth floor.(The next floor of 12th is 14th.)
no.66 - Prices of commodities
| Prices of commodities are inexpensive in Thailand. You can have something
to eat along the streets at around 100 Baht and about fruits, you can get
called Ngo (Rambutan: with a lot of pricks ? and the inside is a white
berry) about 30 Baht for 1 kilogram. On the other hand, cars or electric
appliances are expensive. :)
I don't know if it's because of this or not, but when you convert your currency into Thai Baht, you will get some 1,000 Baht bills and when you want to pay with 1,000 Bath bill in a shopping place such as a night market, the shop sometimes have no change. (A little difficult to pay with larger bills...)
You should go with smaller bills for a little shopping. :)
no.65 - Granddads and Grandmas
| In Japan, I don't think this is only around me but you see elderly
people go out together on weekends or holidays, right ?
For example, I often notice that (I guess) friends or groups of elderly people are having lunch/dinner or having a hiking outfit on and going somewhere together. They look very happy. :)
How about in Thailand ? I don't think I see those elderly people so often. I guess, one reason is the heat outside (very warm !) and they must be relaxing at home. I'm wondering they don't have a convenient tour (for a short trip) for elderly people.
Japan is a country where elderly people are active ? :D
no.64 - Ouch !
| In Thai language, when you want to say, for instance, "I have a head
ache." is "Puad hua". (Puad: pain/ache , Hua: head) And,
when you bump into something or someone hit you, you can say "Jeb".
Like this, you have to use "Puad" when it's a pain of head, stomach or teeth, and "Jeb" when it's a pain of an outside factor.
When it's "Stomach Ache", you have to use "Puad Thong"(Thong: stomach), and if you say "Jeb Thong" by mistake, that means you are saying "I'm having labor pains". :D
(If you are really having labor pains and you say "Puad Thong", that means you are saying "I want to go to the restroom". Be careful in case. :) )
no.63 - Handkerchief
| Have you ever given a handkerchief to your friend as a small gift ?
If you want to give a handkerchief to someone in Thailand, you should remember one thing.
In Thailand, giving a handkerchief means "lifelong parting", so, I feel a little funny but someone given a handkerchief will give you back some Baht such as one Baht, trying to make the situation not "it was given" but "bought it" from the person.
Except for handkerchiefs, perfumes is the same, for some reason.
Be careful not to be misunderstood when you give a gift to your boyfriend/girlfriend. :)
no.62 - Local Thai languages
| Like Japanese (or this might be the same in other countries), Thai language
has local languages.
For example, the speaking speed or words are different from the north, south, northeast and east. In the south, they speak fast, and in the north, they speak slowly. I guess the language spoken in Bangkok is their common language.
I liked the sound of "jao" and was thinking of using it next time in Thailand but my wife laughed like "Everyone finds out you are a Japanese and they will laugh if you use it". It makes me feel like using it more. :D
no.61 - Sports festival
| This coming 10th of October is a National Sports Day in Japan. I guess,
most schools have a sports festival this weekend, don't they ? In the festival,
including a lot of usual track and field competitions such as footraces,
various events are held, for example, footraces with parents, footrace
while pushing and rolling a man-sized ball, or mock cavalry battle.
In Thailand, they also have a sports festival but looks like they do usual sports such as track and field competitions, ball sports (volleyball or basketball) and swimming.
(About swimming, I've never imagined it's held in a school sports festival in Japan...)
The date and the kinds of sports depend on schools but they make teams with different colours though the grades and compete between the different colour teams.
Personally, I prefer Japanese type of a festival. :D
(The date of 10th of October is from the day of Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony in 1964. Since the year of 2000, it is on the second Monday of October.)