Column no. 100 - 91
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.100 - Dragon in Mekong River ?
| Mekong is the great river, runs from Tibetan Plateau through China, along
the border of Myanmar and Laos, along the border of Thailand and Laos,
through Cambodia and then to Vietnam. By the way, there is an old
saying that dragons live and there is a dragon palace under the river.
I don't know if it's related to this saying, but in Nong Khai of northeastern Thailand, mysterious fire balls come up to the sky from the river once a year on the full moon night in October. It's called " Bang Fai Phaya Nark " or " Naga Fireballs ".
Some divers tried to check what's happening in the river but no one still knows. I wish I could go and see the fireballs someday. :)
(My wife once went to see the fireballs but only some was able to be seen because of a storm.)
no.99 - Air conditioner in a car
| When I visit Thailand and make a domestic trip, I sometime go around
by van with a tour guide. This is an episode when I went to Chiangrai.
There is a famous temple called " Wat Phrataat Doi Tung " and you have to go up a quite steep way in a mountain.
While driving up to the temple, the tour guide asked if it was okay to turn off the air conditioner, and then he really turned off it at the moment. (What ?)
6 persons were riding in the van, and it seemed like the car needed more power to go up the steep way.
The driver might have saved gasoline also.
(The price of gasoline has been growing up, right ? :D )
no.98 - Feeling free 2
| This is also when I went to Thailand.
In the airplane, some passenger, kind of an old man, was mad at an air hostess in a quit loud voice.
I was wondering what was happening. In a while, the air hostess happened to walk by my wife's seat. My wife asked her what was wrong and she replied. like;
The passenger asked the air hostess a cup of water. She tried to hurry back to his seat with it but took a little long time, because another passenger got it from her on the way. She had to go back to get another cup of water again and again. In the end, the passenger was kept waiting then got mad.
The air hostess let out a sigh of relief and said, " This kind of thing happens often when Japanese passengers are on the plane...."
Hmmmmm..... (as a Japanese) :(
no.97 - Wiggle eyebrows
| Thai people sometimes wiggle their eyebrows, up and down, very quick
as one of gestures while talking. (I don't know if Japanese people can
do it or not. :) )
It looks like this gesture is used in a close relationship and shows, for example, " Okay ?" of " let's go somewhere, okay ? " as a funny expression.
I like this gesture very much and tried hard to move my eyebrows quickly, but it's too much difficult. My eyebrows or my face almost go into convulsions.
By the way, to my surprise, my wife told me that her dad and sister can move only one eyebrow quickly while the other stay still. (Really !!??)
Do you want to try ? :D
no.96 - Season of marriage
| It's very much warm these days. I got very sweaty even while I was
just waiting for a train at a station. Take care of yourself, everyone.
By the way, wedding companies often say " Jun Bride " and it looks like the season of marriage is in Jun in Japan from the influence of western countries' culture, although it's rainy season in Japan.
(I'm not sure but originally, this is the custom from the goddess of marriage in classic myths.)
There is a hot season and not so hot season in Thailand, and some people say that if you get married in a hot season, your marriage life will be a lot of fights and if you get married in not a hot season, your marriage life will be cool and calm.
If this is true, people who get marriage around this season will have a, in a sense, very active life... ??
Believe it or not. :D
no.95 - Feeling free 1
| It's really fun to go on a trip and anyone will feel excited,
right ? :)
This case happened on the air plane on the way back to Japan from Bangkok, related to the feeling of traveling.
The front seat of a passenger, a Japanese man, is vacant. Then suddenly, the male passenger jumped and moved to the front over the back of the seat without walking in the aisle. (He was not a kid. :) )
A Thai air hostess was walking by at that moment and she got frightened. Her behavior was a little weird and my wife was worried and asked her what was going on. She said in Thai, " The passenger must be drunken because I never seen a bad-mannered person like this before. ... "
I guess almost no one tries to do like that but let's watch your manners especially after leaving Japan more than usual. :)
no.94 - Everyday clothes in the sea ?
| Talking about Thailand, I guess a lot of people think of seaside
resort spots. It's fantastic to go swimming or just relaxing around seaside
By the way, I didn't notice that but when Thai people go and swim in the sea, they don't change into so called swimming wear. They change into short pants or something for swimming, not swimming wear but just everyday clothes, not swimming wear. Looks like ladies are very shy about wearing swimsuit in public. :D
Even at a swimming pool, women are embarrassed to show themselves in a swimsuit, so they cover their body with a towel and jump in the pool in a hurry.
The number of people who don't care about it seems increasing (one reason is the variety of swimsuit such as short pants style), but anyway, they are cute, aren't they ? :)
no.93 - Japanese, English or Thai ?
| One of the problems that comes first about the international marriaged
families is language. My family is no exception. (I'm from Japan
and my wife is from Thailand.)
My wife and I can speak English enough to communicate with each other, and at first we only spoke in English. But since a while later, we have used Japanese, English, Thai or funny and mixed language, depending on the situation or subject.
When it's a complicated talk, we speak in English because we can not understand each other only in Japanese or Thai, and when it's a easy talk, each of us use a language that is easier to say. (Japanese/Thai/English. Depends on what we want to say.) And words or phrases used often are sometimes expressed by mixed languages of Japanese, Thai and English, let's say, " It's not so hot today. " is " Wan-nee Mai So Atsui ne. " (Wan-nee: today (Thai), Mai: not (Thai), So: so (English), Atsui ne: Hot (Japanese))
Is this the same for other families ? :)
no.92 - Bowls should be held ?
| Japanese restaurants are familiar these days in Thailand.
As written in no.43 - Japanese food in this column, there are restaurants named " Fuji " (from Mt. Fuji in Japan) and " Oishi " (from " delicious " in Japanese ), and it's very convenient for Japanese people who stay for a long time in Thailand. :)
I don't know if this is the same these days also, but one of what I was surprised was how to eat " Omisoshiru " (miso soup) at a Japanese restaurant when I visited Thailand for the first time around 8 or 9 years ago.
Usually, you eat Omisoshiru, holding the bowl with your left (or right) hand, right ? But when I glanced at a table next to us, people were eating it using spoon with their bowls on the table. Huh? I checked all around us and found everyone was eating the same way. Before I knew it, I asked my friend who was staying together if it was okay to hold a bowl and eat Omisoshiru like the same way in Japan. :D
In Thailand, basically, plates are on the table and eat with a spoon and a fork. It's not good manners to put your mouth on the bowl like when you eat Omisoshiru.
Be careful about this especially except for Japanese restaurants. :)
no.91 - Rama 9 The Sixtieth Anniversary 4
| The present king of Thailand is Rama 9.
(King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) the Great)
This year 2006 marks the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne and various events almost finished. People who joined those events, great job ! :D
By the way, Bangkok or all country was covered yellow with yellow T-shirts or yellow flowers, and I thought it was because the colour for Buddhism was yellow and that was why the celebration was also yellow.
But in fact, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on Monday and the colour of Monday is yellow.
The government recommend that people should wear yellow shirts everyday up to 15th in June and every Monday within this year, 2006, to show their loyalty to the King.
About the colour of each day, see no. 76.