Sunday, June 21, 2009

Crepe in Thai style

repes in Thailand are made on the street or in the mall. The process is simple enough, but they tend to add a little Thai style to the creation. When I have had a rough morning, I love to treat myself to a tasty Crepe. This girl works on our campus and she works 12 hour days 6 days a week. Her estimated pay is about 5,000 baht a month or roughly $125 dollars. But she is always smiling and friendly. What is our cost to buy one of these snacks? 25 baht or about 75 cents in US money. Far too cheap considering the heat she has to work in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Loss of a hero

Kwai Chang Caine's passing would have been difficult enough, but to think that his murder took place right here in the city of Bangkok has made this even worse. Bangkok is a very metropolitan city and has incredible wealth, so at times it is easy to forget that it is still in the 3rd world where hired guns are cheap. I can not speculate on why David Carradine was murdered, but I would like to express why I think it was such a horrible loss.

Kung Fu was an American TV sensation in the 70's. It was still a media world where Asian faces were not really allowed to be leading rolls. Carradine was not Chinese, and yet almost everything American's knew about Eastern philosophy and especially Kung Fu, comes from his portrayal of Kwai Chang Caine, the benevolent drifter who upheld the honorable antics of a great knight. He showed us in the west that the Chinese culture had a lot to offer and a lot to be respected for. It was this show that first inspired me to begin wondering about the far East and now some 30 plus years later I find myself living here. 

Young people know him for his roll in the Kill Bill movies, and this was a wonderful exploration of his martial arts experience and his stage presence. Even in his early 70's he could still produce the kind of acting work that inspired the young and old a like. 

He will be greatly missed by my generation. We loved Bruce Lee, and because David got the Kung Fu roll instead of him there are some people who hold a slight and silly grudge about that. But Bruce Lee was on a different path, a film path, that TV might have killed. David was perfect for the roll even if his martial arts wasn't as spectacular as Bruce Lee, his acting skills were spectacular and moving. 

It is sad when our heroes die and even more sad when they die ugly. I hope the USA uses their influence to spur along Thai authorities and some leads are generated in his murder. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Siminoe dot com loves FREE RICE

The free rice people are all about feeding the hungry. This sight is awesome! Huge financial sponsors have made an offer to donate rice for every vocabulary word that English learners get correct on their quiz. I spend hours on there trying to keep my vocabulary sharp, or at least a word or two ahead of my students, and helping to feed the WORLD! Come on check the site out by clicking on the TITLE. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Coloring my World

"Let's just paint the living room," Speedy said, as his eyes bounced from corner to corner of my dingy down stairs. 

"It really needs it. I think this white paint might have been the original paint," I admitted. "But won't it be a lot of work?"

"We'll knock this room out in about 6 hours. Three hours for the first cote and then three hours for a second cote. Good little Saturday really. You buy the beers and let's do it."

I hadn't painted anything since I was in high school and I believe I painted a barn for some summer money. It wasn't exactly like painting the living room of my home. I was hesitant, but the place certainly needed a new color and fresh paint.

"Let's do it!"

As fate would have it the Nuggets were playing the Lakers and our newest teacher at Satit Kaset Dameon was looking for a place to watch the game. "Dameon, I have a 93 inch screen at my house, would you like to come watch the game."

Dameon made the classic mistake of a new friend, "SURE."

"And oh we might paint one room of my house after the game, no big deal, but wear something for painting," I threw in as if I had forgotten the milk.

"Oh, well, yeah, okay."

Little did he know my front room is like some kind of cathedral with beams to be cut in and ceilings too high to be reached without a circus act on the wobbly ladder. But luckily, Dameon did come to watch the game and he did stay to paint. Even with three of us it took 8 hours. But man did it look better with a splash of color!