Daily Archives: October 10, 2005

Bird Singing Competition

It was a sunny Sunday morning and the road in front of the Betong Police Station was alive with the sound of cheerful birds singing. The birds were in their “luxurious” bird cages which were hung about three meters from the ground. Some of their owners whistled and gestured to encourage their pets to respond with a series of chirps. The entire sight was interesting, each bird was chirping in their own signature singing style. They first spread their wings and dropped their heads low while shaking their body right and left.

That was the scenery of the Bird Singing Competition organized by Betong Police Station and coordinated by Betong Avian Club. The objectives of the event were to improve police-community relationship, to promote tourism and to encourage healthy recreational activities among the people.

The event was unexpectedly overwhelming with more than 550 birds turning up with their owners and there were not enough spaces to hang the cages. It showed that bird breeding is one of the favourite pastimes for the locals, particularly among the Malay populace. In this competition, about 80% of the participants are Malays from all over Yala province.

Birds in their decorated cages

The birds were judged according to how well they ‘sing’ or chirp, stamina in maintaining their vocals and how varied their tunes are. The judge practically counted how many times they chirp in a minute. The judges were very serious in their work. Watching the judges was as interesting as watching the beautiful birds singing their hearts out.

The prizes for the first three positions were refrigerator, washing machine, DVD Player respectively and the other consolation prizes were mainly electrical goods. Normally, winners of prominent bird tournaments will enjoy great prestige. Of course, they also earn thousands of dollars for their owners.

According to the participants, they breed and take care of the birds as their own kids. With the patience of saints, they train their caged darlings to sing and take part in singing competition, hoping the birds will bring them honour and reward. When competition time comes around, every effort is made to ensure that the birds are in their best possible condition. These birds are well looked after by their owners, because they are supposed to be temperamental, just like humans.

I’m not really into song birds. I do enjoy bird singing in the nature. At home, I prefer to be quiet and I am sure I will get pretty annoyed after a few hours of non-stop singing. I will just turn on CD if I need some nice music and if I need to spend so much time and effort to take care of it and please it, I ‘d rather do it to a man…

The crowd/Gentle and caring…

Chief Police of Betong and the people/Live up the event

Tadpole’s showtime!

Look closely at my picture, people..

Can you see something I’ve got different from other people?!

So cute!? Well, that’s true but let’s try one more time..

What? Gorgeous?! Ah people, I know that (lol)! But that’s not what I’m talking about..

“Ey! Finally, you’re here!” (Yes, I am.)
“Heard there’s new airport in your province! You shouldn’t be this late ever again!” (But do I have to take a plane to school!? – -“)
“Why don’t you just stay at home?! No need to come anymore~ the school’s over!!” (Because I already dressed, pal!)
These were words I always got from friends in rainy season. And most importantly,
“Well, congrats! It’s tadpole’s showtime!!!” – -”
Right, I look like a tadpole, that’s what my friends (the whole school, actually) say. Don’t be mad, I know you disagree! You don’t think so, right?! How can a cute girl like me be a tadpole?! I understand you but I’m ok with it (answering like a soap opera’s lead girl).. I accept it :p

Rainy season here begins from May to October. Students still go to school and we only have a month off in October. Exactly, I still have to go to school and suffer from the very very bad traffic for 4 months!! In general, to travel from my place to Bangkok is tough already ~ but when it rains, it’s a complete disaster! And because I live here in Samutprakarn, connected to the sea, it’s always flooded everywhere even my own kitchen!! To get out of my house, I have to take shoes and socks off.. I tie plastic bags around my feet and walk out. That’s why my friends say ‘It’s tadpole’s time!” It’s because this tadpole finally has a chance to swim!!!

I so remember that time, a little more than a month ago, I hurriedly got out of my house because it was raining cats and dogs’ grandparents (real hard, right?). I didn’t want to be late for school (because teachers never understand!! T-T). I soakedly got in the bus. I was glad that there was a seat for me, too.. so I quickly walked to it and sat happily 🙂 I felt so comfortable.. so yes, I fell asleep at last.

A while later, I woke up and saw that I was still there in front of the top of my soi!!! I checked my watch and guess what!? It’s been almost 2 hours since I first got on the bus! – -” I wasn’t late for school yet, I comforted myself. I still had 10 more mintues to arrive there just in time. But that was only in a dream, how could I appear there in ten minutes?! I checked outside the windows, I couldn’t see the roads anywhere. I really thought I was on the Titanic.. floating still in the ocean. It was flooded everywhere, every car and every bus were there standing still. Nothing I could do so I slept again.

An hour later, I woke up, I passed my soi already. Hurray!! I was almost on the express way. I started to be bored with my seat. I’m never like this. I mean, Thai buses are always crowded so people love seats the most when taking buses. But to be stuck on it this long, I started to be sick of it for the first time.

At last, 10.30 on the dot, I arrived at Siam! I called my friends that I arrived already and again, they gave me teasing responses. That day was Friday and every Friday, we study only for a half day (3 periods). They already finished school. I so wanted to cry. But nothing I coud do..I mean, I couldn’t go back home, either ~ the road was crowded..nothing moved.

However, to reconsider it again, I find that I missed maths classes that are my favorite (sarcastic) and one Thai class that the teacher was absent. It was worth it anyway! :p

And if you have been clinging to Thai news always, you must have known that the north of Thailand has been flooded (a lot more than here) so, the water will be released tomorrow and it will come down here to the center of Thailand. And where will that be?! Right, my place!

So my mum warned me,
“Don’t come home late tomorrow, Tadpole~you might get drowned!”

– -” Calling me tadpole and underestimating my swimming skill!? That’s sad!

Muay Thai: A Living Legacy

Sawasdee Krab Thai True Believers!

Welcome back to part two of my little missive on the butt kickin’-est martial art there is this side of Boise, yep none other than Thailand’s number one export for sports, Muay Thai! Was the book cover a give away?

This happens to be one of my favorite in my personal collection of books on Thailand. It’s like the Bible of Muay Thai with just about everything you’d want to know about Thai kickboxing. The book is beautifully loaded with enough excellent pictures to make any Thai coffee table book green with envy. It’s also crammed with enough info inside and out to be any serious kickboxing aficionados’ number one reference on everything ‘muay.’ All this and there is even a fold out poster in the back! An excellent choice for the little kick boxer on your Christmas list this year.

Last blog I breezed over some of the history of how Muay Thai came to be, this time I thought I’d delve into some of the nitty, gritty details about what makes this such a fascinating event to watch if you ever happen to see a real Muay Thai match. Last time I also tried to let my writing chops and literary excess paint a scene of what going to a Muay Thai exhibition would be like. However I think all my ‘purdy words’ fell flat without the street cred of having actually seen a Muay Thai bout myself. *sigh*

My Muay Thai (stuff)

Forget Home Theatre Box office I’ve got Home Theatre Boxing! I’ve seen enough fights with my Muay Thai VCD collection that I have some idea what they are like. How nuts am I for Thai kickboxing? Well in addition to three very excellent books on Muay Thai I have about a dozen VCD’s of Muay Thai championship bouts, most of them by Thailand’s Number One Kickboxing Promoter Songchai Ratanasuban who is like the Don King of Muay Thai but without the wild hair.

I found a series of kickboxing VCDs on eBay once so I bought the whole set. They highlighted fighters as young as 8 years old up into the late teens competing. Some of the tykes showed some talent for kickboxing while a few of the really young ones looked like they were having it rough just to hold up their oversized boxing shorts!

I also have three VCD documentaries on kick boxing that are a hoot to watch since they are all bilingual. On my TV I set the ‘Audio adjust’ to the far left and everything is in Thai, move the setting to the far right and an Australian guy (the accent is unmistakable) is now doing the narration in English but he’s still speaking in Thai grammar! Too weird!

My other really cool ‘how to’ VCD is on the history and style of Muay Thai’s cousin Krabi-Krabong which I mentioned at the end of my last blog. This is a combat style that really deserves a blog of it’s own if I can’t hit some of the high lights here that is if ya’ll are still with me later *wink*

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