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Sunday, October 04, 2009


Streetwalking in Bangkok

Today I had a free day in Bangkok. As you may be aware I particularly enjoy walking around with my camera/s, snapping away. In the past I've often done this in the evening and let me assure you it's way cooler then, but that didn't suit me so I decided to spend the morning wandering.

My friend, Ead, was heading to Victory Monument. I got a lift with him and from there headed on foot in the direction of Din Daeng. I walked up and down the streets and laneways (sois) until I reached the slum area under the expressway.

After I returned to Victory Monument I took the sky train to Siam, had some lunch and spent the afternoon in the relatively new Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. There were several interesting exhibitions and I was able to wander with the sound of live classical music in the background. And it sure was cooler than out in the street.

I pretty much used up all the battery power in my cameras and as I have time I'll process the best and post them on my flickr page. The first of them are there already.

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Friday, October 02, 2009


Thai names

Thai people tend to have rather long names often extremely difficult for Westerners to pronounce. It seems all Thais have nicknames which makes it a lot easier for us.

Nicknames don't always seem polite but Thai people are not usually bothered. My friend's nickname is Moo. That is the equivalent of calling someone Piggy in English but he doesn't seem to worry about it. His daughter's nickname is Eiko (not sure of the spelling) which is actually Japanese. When his son was born they chose the nickname Mac but wanted to keep the 'i' sound a the beginning. He became iMac. And my friend is not a Mac user.

The baby got his nickname as soon as he was born but his formal name takes a little longer. An astrologer has to work out what is auspicious for the child. There are certain conventions. They like lots of syllables but I did hear that there is a limit. Only royalty can have names over a certain number of syllables. Don't quote me on this. I can't find anything authoritative but I'm sure I heard something like that.

It's become fashionable for Thais to receive English nicknames these days. But you can't be sure. Some words sound English but perhaps they have a Thai meaning. For example, one kid in a class I teach is nicknamed Poo. They might choose to spell it differently but that is the pronunciation. I looked it up in a Thai dictionary and in Thai it means soil; ground; place; land. Take your pick.

Here are a few more nicknames from my classes. I'll spell them the way they sound: AA, Ache, Bam, Base, Bim, Copter, Fa, Film, First, Gate, Gong, Jack, Jam, Jay Jay, Jeanie, Joke, Joy, Jerry, Lily, Miaow, Mo, Oat, Parn, Pee, Pie, Pin, Pim, Ping, Ploy, Prim, Program, Pry, Spy, Youie.

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