Daily Archives: June 6, 2005

Here comes the first letter

Personally, I prefer letters to emails although I’ve written emails a thousand times more than letters but letters are something special, they’re different from other types of writings.

One thing is that letters are mostly written by hand-writing. It’s what makes the letters alive.. words in there can express the writers themselves and also how they feel about the receivers. For me, whether it’s scribble or neatly elaborated.. I’d love to keep it all coz they’re all special ~ you know, when somebody waste their valuable times to do something for us, that’s extraordinary always, especially ..letters from someone who’s been apart for years or forever like my dad, for instance…

“Korat 26.3.47
Dear my beloved daughter, Bow,
I just sent a letter to your mother this morning after getting out of the hospital. I cannot stop thinking about you, that’s why I’m writing this letter to talk to my intelligent daughter. Your mum told me a lot about you on the phone, I’m so glad and proud to have both son and daughter who are smart. Whenever somebody ask about you two, I can talk to them with pride. I’ve been so devastated, too for doing nothing for you at all ..like other people’s fathers. But I guess things are going better now, after getting in and out of the hospital frequently, I feel like wasting money for nothing. Anyway, I don’t really care about that, having clever kids like you and Bomb, I’m already the luckiest father imaginable. When are you coming to visit grandma and me? I know you want to study abroad badly but graduate high school first, then we’ll talk about it, ok? Reply me back when you are free..
Good luck, honey

That was the first tangible..and touchy letter from unexpected person in my life. My father also sent a butterfly in a frame plus cute words at the back of it along with that letter. I always felt like doing this to butterflies or other kinds of insects were pretty cruel.. I was never interested in butterflies’ beauty before but somehow this one is the most gorgeous stiffen butterfly ever!

To Nong Bow, my beloved daughter..Daddy Tum

I didn’t know it that letter was real from the bottom of his heart or not..but my mum’s reaction seemed to be quite negative. She refused it, laughed at it ..even put it away negligently. But what came to my mind, my heart and my spirit first wasn’t thinking or wondering about the letter but tears..pouring out like they wouldn’t stop. I never appeared in those scenes of soap operas, that’s why I had few negative feelings about him, by the way.

However, I’ve never been more proud than being me.. being my parents’ child.. being born on this Thai land and being Thai myself and am sure I’ll never be. Whatever had happened or you guys had done, all I can say is I thank you all because it’s had made me..me today.

Making Good Luck for my Car

These past few months I have had some bad luck with my car. Last month someone backed into the car while I was shopping at Tesco Lotus. Before that, the two back windows kept dropping down. Then I hit the bottom of the car which also did some damage. Then, to cap it all, on the way back from Rayong, a stone hit the windscreen and cracked it. To have so much bad luck in such a short time makes me think that maybe I should pay more attention to the shrine inside the car.

When people buy cars in Thailand, it is almost compulsory to have it blessed by a brahmin priest or a monk. Some people also makes sure that they pick a lucky colour and also consult the stars to find the most auspicious time to bring the car to the house. On the ceiling of my car, just above where the driver sits, a monk has painted a number of dots in a pyramid shape. He also tied colour ribbons around the rearview mirror. For me, I thought that was the end of the story. Enough had been done to bring good luck. However, I should have done more.

If you have been in a taxi in Bangkok, you might have noticed a jasmine garland hanging from the mirror. You can buy these at most intersections for about 20 baht. You are supposed to hang these garlands as an offering to the shrine – for the guardian spirit who looks after your car. Before you hang the garland you should recite a short prayer asking for protection. Many people also wai the shrine in respect every day before they start up the car. They also wai any roadside shrines that they might pass. I remember the first time I saw a taxi driver do this. I was shocked as he was driving so fast and then he took his hands off the wheel to make a wai gesture!

It is hard for me to believe in this kind of thing. Even though I am interested in Buddhism, it should be made clear that this has nothing to do with Buddhism. What I don’t like about it is how much some people believe in the protection of their shrine in the car. Remember how I told you the other week how the taxi driver changed so much once he had bought a jasmine garland. Before he was a careful driver and then after he had made a short prayer he was tailgating everyone and changing lanes often. To me, he was putting too much faith into the power of the shrine.

Having said all of that, I don’t think it would hurt if I paid respect to the shrine once in a while. I suppose it is possible that the monk had invited a spirit to reside inside the car to protect it and its occupants. If the spirit thought that I had been ignoring it, then I suppose it is possible it could have got up to some mischief. So, the next time I stop at an intersection, I will buy a jasmine garland for my car. Though, I will have to think first what I should say in the short prayer.

Dos and Don’ts….in Thailand

Do visit a genuine Thai market!


>Do get used to Thais arriving for their appointments half an hour late, most of the country’s watches are ‘defunct’.

>Do tuck your feet in, the person sat opposite does not need to view what you have just been treading in.

>Do understand that Thais have a tender fondness for uniforms, they just love getting dressed up.

>Do realize that Thais just adore receiving awards, they are even given for just being born.

>Do have patience, the Thais don’t exactly enjoy having to listen to your waffling complaints all day long.

>Do take off your shoes when entering a house, unlike in the west; the Thais don’t need to see the remains of dog waste all over their floors.

>Do, as a Farang girl, wear a bra, the Thai women are a little sensitive about having to see such things ‘wobble’ about.

>Do, as a paying customer, understand that sales-girls prefer doing their make-up to serving you, beauty is of the upmost importance here, unlike ‘you’.

>Do, as a foreign man looking for a Thai girlfriend, take your time and find a ‘decent’ one, Thais think us Farang guys have an awful sense of taste.

>Do, as a Farang baby, get used to having your cheek pinched 1,000 times a day and being told “Such a cutey little baby”, most of the girls would like to have one – just like you!

>Do understand that Thais have an infatuation for plastic bags, the sales-girls will even give you one for putting your chewing gum in.

>Do get used to Thais ‘jumping the queue’, they can wait 3 years for the first kiss from their boyfriends, but having to wait just 30 seconds in a queue at 7-11 is just unbearable.

>Do get used to using straws, after you have seen the state of most of bottle tops you will understand why.

>Do give up your seat to a schoolkid on the bus, as for the old man, just let him stand.

>And finally, do learn a few words of Thai, how would you feel if a Chinese guy did nothing but waffle on to you in ‘his’ own lingo in your home country.


>Don’t go smooching your loved one in the middle of the street, Thais prefer performing such personal ‘activity’ in the privacy of ones room.

>Don’t use a fork to stick plain rice in your mouth, would your mother enjoy having to witness a foreigner use a knife to eat a potato in her country?

>Don’t even bother complaining about the daily noise pollution, if you like a bit of peace and quiet you may as well stay at home.

>Don’t go patting you friend on the head, Thais are a little sensitive about such things.

>Don’t even begin thinking of discussing literary classics with the locals, the whole country is only besotted by cartoon books.

>Don’t, as a Farang employer, bother screaming at your office girls for eating khanom and chatting on MSN all day, anyway what can you expect on their miserly salaries?

>Don’t, as a Farang guy on wanting to marry a Thai misunderstand Thai tradition, do instead understand that a dowry or at least just showing one is part of the culture, no need to feel that you are always being ‘ripped-off’.

>Don’t, as a Farang girl, wear hotpants to the temple, you don’t need the monks breaking out in a sweat

>Don’t, as a Farang wanting to live here, even bother complaining to the officials in charge about the endless paperwork, they just love collecting forms and looking at them a thousand times.

>Don’t bother telling any of your ‘mother-in-law’ to the locals, Thais prefer comedy to the likes of a ladyboy falling off a chair.

>Don’t get paranoid at being cheated all the time, not all the Thais are out to ‘scam’ the Farang tourist of his dollars.

>And finally, don’t feel insulted at having to hear the likes of “Hey you” and “Where you go man” from the nation’s tuk-tuk and taxi drivers, do understand they’ve never learnt English at school.

While most of me other tales have sunk into the archives and fallen into the abyss a few blogs from me ‘Dos and Don’ts’ series are still making the rounds and can even been found on a variety of other websites.

The rest of me blogs, ever since, must have been pretty trash as the most viewed and ‘referred to’ blog is the very first one I ever wrote up on thai-blogs (over 6 months ago!)’Dos and Don’ts/ Dating a Proper Thai girl’. Still managing to bring in a string of viewers every day, just wish I could say the same about me other blogs!

Again, as always, my recent ‘Dos and Don’ts is all but a bit of fun and oughtn’t to be taken too seriously!

This is the seventh blog in the series! the others can be found in me archives.


Defunct = ‘up the shoot’ ie’ it doesn’t work anymore, just like most of those dodgy watches sold in Chatuchak market that have a life-span of…. 3 days.
Tender = soft
Waffle on = to chat on and on and on, while the listener falls asleep
Wobble = to go up and down, right to left
Awful = really bad
Infatuation = obsession
Lingo = language
Ripped-off = cheated (financially)
Smooch = kiss and cuddle (often in public in the west) to the complete distaste of the passer-by
‘Khanom’ (Thai lingo) = impossible to translate directly, something like a cookie, candy, cake, biscuit, wafer etc…
And finally,….

Scam = to cheat out of a lot of money, something like the ‘quackwacks’ who fall for those ‘419’ Nigerian hoax bogus fraud letters that begin to the likes of:
‘Dr Sir, … I am devout Christian and Advisor to the President of Ghana and since my mother is now dead I need to transfer the sum of 12.5 million dollars, from her ‘will’ to your bank account. Pls send me all your bank details and transfer to me also and ASAP, the sum of $35,000 dollars (needed to pay the tax of course!)