Author Archives: oakmonster

Grown

I will try to not get political. But in the context of this lesson, I have to go there a little bit. Please understand that I’m not trying to propagate anything. Just showing you what happened and the lesson we learned.

A few weeks ago, I gave my dad a call. Of course, I caught him watching his nightly news and he filled me in on Thailand’s current political climate. strategies to gain control of the country by their influence on PAD.

My dad is among those who speculated that the rich, old elites are funneling money into PAD so they could be in power again after all these years of the “self made millionaire” threatening to take over.

“The PAD seems to want the Democrats to be government and Abhisit as PM,” dad suggested.

“But *I* want Khun Mark [Abhisit] to be the PM…” I whined. I’m biased on the subject of Khun Mark. I had been cheering for his youth, new attitude, and, of course, his charisma (come on, the man’s hot!) since he came onto the scene years ago. Very objective. Yep. That’s me.

“I know, honey. It would be nice. Jus not like this,” dad replied. And I agreed with him.

That was a part of my post where the rest of it was just my droning on about my day. However, it seemed to hit the nerves of one particular PAD supporter, a real life friend of mine.

We got into a virtual row over this.

Angry. Frustrated. Confused. Fed up. Overwhelmed. Despaired. Saddened.

Thai people have become any and all of those these days. Even the littlest thing could send passionate folks into a rampage. One comment could cause a mayhem.

My motherland is thoroughly divided that friends are made enemies and family members stop talking to each other over politics.

My friend the Commenter and I had our heated moment of exchange off the blog over our stances. Since we know each other, the first few exchanges were emotional. It was firmly requested that politics should not be discussed on my personal blog. I felt personally attacked. The friend felt idealogically offended.

The easy way out is for me to shut the hell up…which I didn’t quite do. How could you ignore this giant elephant in the room, threaten to rampage over our friendship?

And so the exchange continued and, amazingly, we found out that we were not standing on the polar opposite after all. The more we unknot each of our ideas, We found that we agreed on every fundamental thing, up to this one fine point. Our intentions are the same. Our ideals are the same. What we want for our country is the same. But we diverge on the HOW part. And it’s not all that difference on how our country could get where we would want it to either.

A very fine line of how our views differ, but enough to let us stand with one tippy toe on the opposite side.

Out of this dialogue, I realized a few things.

First, a civil discussion REALLY can bring parties to a solution. Gosh knows that between two U.S. educated Thais, one a business owner and a parent in Thailand and the other a non-profit employee and childless by choice in California, we might just come up with a solution to solve our country’s problem!

I mean, both of us started off almost at each other’s throat, and now we might just have an answer.

How cool is that?!

And secondly, it hit me.

We were talking politics. We were discussing the state of our nation. We were taking our stands for each of our beliefs. Quite passionately so too.

For the first time since I’ve known the Commenter/Friend, a SERIOUS political discussion slowly grew out of what started out almost like an adolescent spat.

Holy crap.

We have become adults.

Iron Maidens

Prapawadee won the gold medal.

“Thailand won a gold medal!”

I came running out of my cubicle and did my celebratory dance in the hallway at the office when I learned that Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakon brought Thailand the first 2008 Olympic gold.

My coworker David hollered from his office, “What sports?”

“Women’s weightlifting. Yes! Woohoo!”

“Women?”

“Yes, Dave.”

“Are you kidding?”

I got Dave out of his office and proceeded to show him the stats. Prapawadee lifted 221 kilograms (486.2 pounds).

“How big is this lady?”

“53 kilo. That’s 117 lbs.”

“Are you kidding me? She’s…tiny!”

“Oh, Dave, honey. And I haven’t told you what us girls did in Athens.”

2 gold and 3 bronzes in weightlifting, plus a bronze in Taekwondo. While the boys brought back one of each medal all in boxing.

In Beijing, the ladies are taking home one gold and another Taekwondo silver from Buttree Puenpong. The boys are bringing back the same 2 medals in boxing.

David REALLY stared at me now.

“WHAT exactly do they feed you girls over there?”

Once and for all, Thai women prove in the international stage, with the whole world watching, that we are not all Thai women are dainty little flowers, or, well, the pretty little hookers that some of them think we are.

In the sports where in Thailand traditionally considered men’s, weightlifting is not something a proper girl would do nor Taekwondo where you kick and punch somebody.

When I was younger, and before Taekwondo becomes a popular sport, the training center used to be just around the corner from my house, a stone throw from the ballet studio. 2 sons of my mom’s best friends were training there and I wanted to do it too. My mom said no because “it’s not a girl’s sport.”

I don’t think the “Not a Proper Girl Thing To Do” antics may have just been fadiing away these past 10 years. Especially with the success at the 2004 Olympics, doors have been flung open and ceilings came shattering down for Thai girls everywhere to pursue whatever sports they would like. And the continuing success of our ladies would pave the way for future generations to be world class athletes.

We can kick butt, and quite literally too for Buttree, and take names. We can be whoever and whatever we want to be.

Girl power, indeed.

Oh, and for the record, I did eventually get Taekwondo lesson later when I started dating Brandon who was going for his second black belt at the time. Made it 2 steps away from a black belt before an ankle injury benched me for good. So there. 😉

Here comes the punchline

Mike Myer’s new movie The Love Guru is set to hit theater this weekend in the U.S. We are being inundated by the ads, snippets, and preview of the movie.

On the radio this morning, I caught a bit of the ad.

Vern Troyer’s character: “What’s the capital of Thailand?”

The Love Guru: “Bangkok?”

Vern: “Exactly.”

*Clank*

The Love Guru: “Ooooooohhhhhhh!”

The last time I heard this one was in college. But with this movie coming out right now–and the fact that it’ll probably do bangin’ business this weekend too (no pun intended…okay, a little bit)–this is going to haunt all of us Thais in the U.S. for a while.

Siamese Invasion at the Renaissance Faire

Americans do funny things, you might say.

There are these renaissance faires all over the country through out the year, usually in the spring/summer when the weather is nice. Folks get together to dress up and reenact the glorious days of 13th-17th century Europe.

Instead of renting a period costume like everybody else, I thought I should represent my heritage. I didn’t think it would be right for an Asian girl to be parading around Ren Faire in a corset and full skirt. I could definitely swing the nomad/tribal gitups but still, why should I when I can represent the Kingdom of Siam at the time.

13th-17th century, that would put me in the Ayuddhaya period.

There are few challenges.

First of all, I don’t have all that many Thai costume articles with me. Well, not that everything would fit any more. I have grown a few inches in girth since I bought my Thai classical dance costumes in high school.

And then there is the issue of the weather. It is blazing desert hot out in Irwindale, where the Faire takes place. These costumes are all polyester and/or with long sleeves.

I almost settle for the Northeastern garb for “Sueng Kratib” (The sticky rice container dance) because of the shorter “skirt” and lighter weight shirt. But then I looked myself in the mirror and I couldn’t get over the fact that I looked like an Issan restaurant waitress. No go on that outfit.

And finally, the fact that if I would REALLY want to be accurate with the time period, I would most certainly be topless or clothed with sheer fabric on top.

Wishful thinking, boys. But…um…no.

I fetched my Northern wrap skirt, a Northern hand woven shawl, some silver jewelry, and the headpiece from my “Chuy Chai” dance costume.

And voila, a Northern Siamese princess representin’ at the Renaissance Faire!

You betcha I was one of the few in true Asian costumes there. 🙂

Here’s me and my hubby.

renfaire08_oakleybrandon

It’s hard out here for a girl

Miss Tiffany Thailand

Miss Tiffany Thailand 2008.

She’s genetically a male.

It’s hard enough competing with other Thai girls. The ladies of the Kingdom also have to compete to look better than the ladyboys next door.

I mean, how could we live with ourselves if we’re out-prettied by boys!?!?!?

But then our boys are pretty. I mean, look at Miss Tiffany! THAT pretty.

It’s REALLY hard to beat this level of pretty!

We’ll never win this fight. Us Thai girls just never win.

The world’s soooo unfair.

*sigh*

I’m just jealous. It’s a girl thing. So I’m going away to sulk now. Don’t mind me.