Tuesday, 30 June 2009

That's My World Tuesday: Wai Khru

Wai Khru or Teachers' Day, in Thai educational institutions, is a ceremony done to honor teachers. Schools hold the ceremony usually at the beginning of the academic year, and always on a Thursday. In Thai tradition, Thursday is the day of Brihaspati, the Vedic God of wisdom and of teachers. Students present teachers with flower offerings to show their respect and gratitude.

These are some shots from a Wai Khru ceremony last week in one school in Bangkok. A 'non-photographer' took these shots. But here's hoping some cultural snippets managed to come out of them. You can click on the photos to enlarge.

Students waiting for the ceremony to begin

Class representatives offer flowers to the teachers --

and bow. The next batch does the same.

Visit That's My World Tuesday to see more of the world.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Weekend Snapshot: Wacko weekend

Almost every morning, I turn on my computer half-asleep. Friday was the same mood. When my home page appeared, I read the news title, and continued clicking to open other sites. Suddenly I paused, fully awake now and asked, "what was that?!" I clicked back, dread creeping in and with head starting to throb defiantly at the headline, I thought, "of course, it's just Michael's namesake."

That's how my weekend kicked off. As far as I can remember, this is my only second time to feel bad about a celebrity passing away. The first was Lady Di in 1997. Like many others, I focused on work to forget that something upsetting was going on. I reeled through business travel topics the entire Sunday.

Stech held another Teacher's Day ceremony for the weekend classes. Several bouquets, all beautiful, arrived in the faculty office. As soon as I was handed this bloom, Elton John's voice boomed in my mind, "Goodbye, England's rose..."

Memory associations could play so much in one weekend. Two 3-hour sessions: I've never welcomed the length. The break time screen somehow eased the gloom. I want to remember Jacko this way.

View more weekend snaphots

Friday, 26 June 2009

Friday's Fave Five: Say it with flowers

View more FFF participants at Living to Tell the Story

This week was just great. Here are my faves:

1. Just on time. If there's one luxury I am enjoying nowadays, it's TIME. Thus, all this blogging, all this net surfing, all this time in front of the pc. Lately though I seem to have forgotten that no matter how long the free time is, it still has to be managed properly. I have procrastinated on other important things that I felt alarmingly surprised to find out my work uniform isn't ready and it was only a matter of hours til the requirement to wear it was imposed. Clock was ticking, ticking fast! I pleaded with the seamstress. It turned out Lady Luck was on my side. She finished the uniform just on time for me to go to work without having to cook up an alibi why I wasn't wearing the prescribed dress code. *Exhale* That was close.

2. Lost and found. Aside from books, soft TV noise lulls me to sleep. That makes me very attached to the remote control. Alas, my son played with it and it got lost. To find it I had to clean the entire bed area. And found it I did. What made it one of my faves this week is the exercise which accompanied the moving of a king-size, iron frame bed. I normally don't exercise and I'm glad I had one besides finding the remote. I also went looking for a certain book, and found it along with something I didn't expect to find - a photo of Mozart. I have forgotten that I used it as a bookmark about 8 years ago. Ah, Sweetie, there you are!

3. New memes. Thursday Thirteen, Friday Fave Five, Wondrous Words Wednesday, and My World Tuesday - at last, worthwhile things to make use of the luxury in my hands. It's time to think and think of time.

4. Clean fridge. I finally learned to prepare meals in small portions, which means no leftovers, no food wasted, and therefore, no guilt.

5. They say it with flowers. In Thailand teaching is not a thankless job. Every year a ceremony honoring teachers is done in schools throughout the Kingdom. Yesterday we had that ceremony. I am just fond of the way students are taught to express their respect and gratitude.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Mommy Moments: School is out

Too early. That is what I think of Ceejay's schooling. Too late. That's what his dad thinks. At 3 I just know Cj is not ready for school. His dad was having none of it and enrolled him in a chinese school near his condo. The so-called first day of school was big for the ex. He was proud. I went to work like normal. That evening the yaya reported that the gf came along to help send Cj off and she ended up becoming the driver. I LMAO. More news: Cj screamed all the way to school and back. A tete-a-tete with the ex was in order.

I reminded him of his little nephew who came home exhausted from school, dropped his schoolbag on the floor and announced, "I hate school! I want to retire!" The amused uncle (ex's older brod) asked, "and what will you do if you were allowed to retire?" The poor boy answered, "I will go to Europe every month just like you do."

It isn't fair, is it?

Back to the tete-a-tete: like the rest nothing much came out of it. Cj is again enrolled in another school. A Thai this time. I did join ex so Cj will have both parents launching him off to yet another first day of school. Good facilities. Rich curriculum. Correct teacher-student ratio. My conclusion: The school is ready but Cj is not, even at 4 then and now 5. Ex moaned about Cj's low marks on, of all things, his coloring book. I wanted to say, "I told you" but held my tongue. If I were the one forced to go to school, I would flunk every subject there is. Cj didn't. I wanted to celebrate by giving him as much time as he wanted to play and sleep.

My mommy job has just doubled. Not that I am complaining. Whenever possible I expose Cj to church-run classes once a week, and I like it. At least he does not scream on the way there:

And there are no low grades to get hurt about. Just a little consolation from the evidence that he participates during sessions:

And little joys derived from answering his questions about characters from his lesson book:

Talking about lesson books, I haven't placed my order for the latest issue. They are shipped from the US every quarter. That said, my job has tripled. Meanwhile, Cj's dad has just finished outlining plans for school next year. Good heavens, everyone is rushing.

Visit The Mommy Journey to see more participants.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Cavatina Unwinding

Header by Samulli. Play T13 here.

Music is a great stress reliever -- we all know that. We use it in different ways. I play the piano to unwind. Earlier I moved in to a smaller place, selling my gorgeous black Kawai upright in the process. Nowadays I play in piano studios, paying by the hour, thanks to divorce. Although I no longer play as often as before, I still have more than a thousand pages of sheet music, compendiums, selections, and books, excluding the ones at home in the Philippines. Most of the time I play to bring back memories or just to feel good.

1. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach;
~ playing this reminds me of grandma's haunted WW II house where I always heard The Platters version when I was little

2. Liebestraum by Franz Liszt
~ makes me dreamy and my plants grow well

3. War March of the Priests by Felix Mendelssohn

~ I play it to help digest a hearty meal

4. Fur Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven

~ my piece as a kid, still play it now

5. Pomp and Circumstance by Edward Elgar

~ I just love the majestic intro score

6. All at Once by Jeffrey Osborne and Michael Masser

~hey, I'm a Whitney fan :-)

7. The Search is Over by Frank Sullivan and Jim Peterik

~ I once taught in a church-run academy where secular music was almost non-existent. In the middle of a long school board meeting, the principal suggested a break, glanced at a quiet piano nearby and suddenly asked me to play anything. I grabbed a loitering student -- she did the vocals while I accompanied her on the piano and we gave the conservative board something they didn't expect. The impromptu Search is Over made tedious-meeting 'Survivors' out of them :-)

8. The Lord's Prayer by Albert Hay Malotte

~ dynamics of the final part give me a high

9. Desperado by Glen Frey and Don Henley

~ the repertoire is not complete without the Eagles, I love Karen Carpenter's version as well

10.Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury
~ I play this when I'm really bored or to determine whether I should be embarrassed or proud of my mother who sang the obbligato part of this song during a regional group singing contest back home. They were a bunch of 40ish people who sang hymns in church. Btw, they came in second at the darn contest, lol

11. Unshakable Kingdom by the Gaithers and Sandi Patty

~ some gospel has to be on stand-by too; I love the upbeat sound when the notes transpose over "still some of us look for Him...sad that it had to end..."

12. The Holy City by F.E. Weatherly and Stephen Adams

~ my pooch either screams or dozes off near the pedal when I play this piece

13. Cavatina by John Williams and Stanley Myers, famous as theme from the Deer Hunter

~ this melody is probably my finest stress reliever; it's a classical guitar piece, but not bad on the piano. Try this youtube upload:

Here's wishing we all have a stress-free week, musical or not. Happy T13 everyone!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Fanning out

Wondrous Words Wednesday: Old is new

From one of those several bookstore-browsings I did recently, I found Short Stories from the 19th Century by David Stuart Davies. I have heard of or read most of them already in school or at home; the authors much more so. But I bought the book as I was after what Davies had to say in his introduction of each story.

Today I join Wondrous Words Wednesday, a meme hosted by Bermuda Onion's Weblog, and share words that are new to me. The story is very old, so are the words (again to me), but that's where I find the appeal of the read. Davies conveniently provided notes to the text, making comprehension a lot faster:

1. posset - "If you'll take my advice Mr. Higgins, you'll have your bed warmed, and drink a treacle posset just the last thing."

~ posset is a hot-drink remedy for a cold made with curdled milk and spices

* When I saw treacle preceding posset, I thought of Harry Potter's treacle tart, but that was eaten, not drunk.

2. Griselda - "Mr Dudgeon compelled himself to smile assent with the grace of a masculine Griselda."

~ Griselda is a model of enduring patience

* I didn't find this word/name that old. I have a cousin named Griselda, but its usage in the story is what's new to me :-)

3. Church-and-king-and-down-with-the-Rump - "...I conjecture, though the name is singular enough: Church-and-king-and-down-with-the-Rump."

~ it's a reference to the causes of the English Civil War. The horse was named after a cry given by the supporters of King Charles I and the loyal members of his Parliament

These words are from Elizabeth Gaskell's The Squire's Story.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

My World Tuesday - One night in Bangkok

My first entry for My World Tuesday: The Bangkok Skyline at Night.

This shot was taken by a friend in January 2009 from the 84th floor of Baiyoke Tower II. At 328 meters high it is Thailand's tallest structure. Well, the tallest until Ocean Tower One in Pattaya, at the height of 367 meters, is completed in 2012. After having been around Bangkok for more than a decade, and despite shopping countless times right at the foot of Baiyoke Tower II, this is my first time to visit the place. It's about time I get to know a bit more of my neighborhood.

Welcome to my world!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

He would have

It's Father's Day and in my case, it's remembering-Papa day. Sweet things that remind me of him have a place in my heart, and in my palate. My father had a sweet tooth. When I was little Mama lectured the two of us about the hazards of too much sweets. Papa did the opposite and secretly allowed me to eat all the sweets I wanted. Sometimes he would take me out to eat ice cream until the tip of my nose was cold.

When he passed away in 2005, I lost my 'partner in crime.' I made sure there was enough ice cream for everyone at the funeral reception. It has been four years of collecting memories of him, and the list now includes a weekend self treat that has become rather indulgent. Macadamia choco cheese cake and durian ice cream - my old man would have loved these. This is my imperfect shot of a perfect indulgence:

Papa would have spoiled my boys just as he spoiled me. I just know he would have. History has a sweet way of repeating itself, doesn't it? The eldest son, on his way out to take a walk, is much more sociable than the biological son, observing the crowd at a graduation ceremony. Of the two, it's the canine who gets the lion's share of my part-time profession - spoiling sweethearts. The biological is better off with a regular dose of discipline. But then Papa would have insisted, "oh, just indulge the little guy."

I will, Pap... during weekends :-)
Happy Father's Day to all fathers and happy Father's day weekend to the rest of us!

Sunday Stealing: Finish the Sentence Meme

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named NotBob from NotBob’s Bits. He admits that he “lifted it” but does not say from where. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Cheers to all us thieves!

1. I've come to realize that my last kiss... was to be the last, by choice, in a long time

2. I am listening to... the morning silence

3. I talk... less to send my message across better at work

4. I love...crumpet

5. My best friend/s... has plunged herself into a career I doubt will give her personal happiness

6. My first real kiss... was an awesome beachfront experience

7. Love is... JK Rowling's bottomline logic for her HP series

8. Marriage is... beautiful if you are lucky

9. Somewhere, someone is thinking... I would respond to his text gimmicks, poor thing

10. I'll always... look forward to good times ahead

11. The last time I really cried was because... I had privacy at last to flash two major troubles spanning six years out of my system

12. My cell phone... clock registers 6.29 a.m.

13. When I wake up in the morning... I usually think of my long-term goals and wish myself luck :-)

14. Before I go to bed... I watch a film or read a book

15. Right now I am thinking about... work

16. Babies are... stress relievers and then you hand them back to their moms

17. I get on Myspace... I don't have Myspace

18. Today I... decide whether I accept that university lecturer post or not

19. Tomorrow I will be... making a gamble

20. I really want to be... on a plane to London as soon as possible, duh!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

TSMSS: We are the Reason

Although I believe in the story of redemption, I don't have the stomach to view crucifixion images. Except for the appalling violence (they make me flinch), I love watching this music video. Salvation is a beautiful thing to have. I remember listening to this song during dormitory worship back in college in the early 90s. I love playing it on the piano too.

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

TSMSS is hosted by Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders. Visit her site to join or view more participants.

Saturday 9: Never Say Never Again

1. Do you like James Bond films? If yes, what’s your favorite?
~ lots, and I have a hard time choosing between For Your Eyes Only and Diamonds are Forever

2. Are you daring enough to go snorkeling in the water fountain at the mall?
~ not the mall but I did in James Bond Island in Phuket (Man with the Golden Gun filming location) as part of my honeymoon, and got my poor butt nipped by a fish that looked like it wore a distinctly red lipstick

3. Do you sometimes hate everything and everyone around you?
~ you'll get bored asking me about hate. I love answering nooooooooooo

4. Do you secretly or openly believe the world revolves around you?
~ why would it?...

5. Would you rather buy a moped or a Harley Davidson?
~ not buy. I ride mopeds, they're common on inner streets here. I'd like to see a bride riding a Harley to church and see the look on the priest's or minister's face

6. Do you water ski or ice ski?
~ jet ski

7. Tell us about the last time that you tailgated.
~ did it only twice in my life and am not sure which one was last: that afternoon in the Bangkok suburbs (lol) or that evening (not me on the wheel but I cheered the ex on) against his sister's Mercedes Benz. We didn't tailgate for the sensation. We did it to not lose sight of their older brother, 3 traffic lights ahead, who was buying us dinner in a luxury restaurant, its exact address we didn't have time to google earth

8. What was the last concert that you attended?
~ Phew! Air Supply 9 years ago, and many others over the years. The Hallelujah Chorus, does it count? But well, I was on stage lip-synching pathetic alto parts

9. What’s the most exotic food that you’ve ate?
~ I came close to tasting crocodile meat at ex-hub's country club and only because I was bored tailgating him from the golf cart. Sexy female caddies always seem to resort to flirting when they're bored too

Play here.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Friday's Fave Five: Multitasking

Anything that makes me look forward to things positive, I'm in. Today I join Friday's Fave Five, a meme hosted by Susanne of Living to Tell the Story. Since positivity is exactly what I'm trying to uphold in my life, here I am. When I reviewed my week for anything nice that happened or I thought was positive, I found out I have more than five! The count-your-blessing concept always works. Here's the summary:

1.Birthdays. June 15th was my mother's birthday, and we got to chat on the phone. Last night while getting ready for bed I opened my porch to let some fresh air in and heard chatter from the corner store opposite my apartment building. The chatter was in Thai, I didn't understand a thing. Then suddenly they all chorused "happy birthday to you!..." What caught my attention was that all of them sang off-key. Not a single voice was singing a correct tune. It was almost midnight, the neighborhood had gone quiet, but these birthday revellers although noisy, sounded very happy you can't be annoyed at them. Their happiness was contageous.

2. Spafford story. I have always been moved by the story behind It is Well with my Soul, but the ocean detail has never been cleared in my mind. I finally reviewed it on youtube this week and was happy to read the part I missed years ago.

3. Multitasking. When someone found out I was blogging, chatting, having dinner, and listening to music at the same time, his reaction was to leave the conversation. I said, "it's okay, I can multitask." The reply was "smart women." I wasn't really exerting that much effort on such kind of multitasking, but that was sweet of him. Later I hopped around looking for international news and read about President Obama issuing an excuse letter for a schoolgirl who missed her class. While watching the clip, I noticed that the gorgeous leader of the free world wrote the note while listening to the girl's father present something. Now that's some cool multitasking.

4. Durian icecream and macadamia choc cheese cake: my weekend indulgence, but I had it last night :-)

5. Dogs. Mine is having an indefinite vacation with my mother back home, and I was missing him terribly this week. This video cheered me up.

Mommy Moments: That's my Dad!

For the first time since I joined Mommy Moments I stared at the computer screen doing nothing before finally typing anything. Those of you who have visited my previous MM posts would have an idea why. To arrive at my point, let me touch a bit of background. I have hinted before that the ex and I had a child custody issue. It resulted in a somewhat mysterious living arrangement for Cj. When I took Cj back to Thailand, Ex put up his condo for rent and bought another property in the Bangkok suburbs. I didn't know why then but now it's apparent that the main reason for the purchase was to house Cj there with his nannies during school days.

Every week I spend more than two hours travelling to pick Cj up. That's very uncharacteristic of me as I avoid commutes like the plague. But they say that a mom can do things she normally shuns before becoming a mom. I bear with this set-up so that Cj can bond with his dad. If there's any motivation, it's in knowing that they are enjoying each other's company.

During Cj's first year back in Bangkok, I accompanied them wherever they went. This was how I managed to take photos of them together. Once Cj's dad's girlfriend wanted to come along, but had to back off when she found out I would be around (lol). That is one advantage of being the mother. You will always be given priority in situations where kids are involved. Girlfriends, no matter how attractive or sexy, do not stand a chance if the mother implied that they are not welcome to join in the fun. And if they are using their heads, they better steer clear of a mother's path. The truth is I wouldn't have minded if that girlfriend came along. If I survived mental and emotional torture I could handle antics of a little gold-digger. Simple logic.

While possible, I let my little man bond with his old man. When it's time for the big change, Cj will have had enough memories of his father and could say, "That's my Dad!" For now I deal with my old seat in ex's car. Disconcerting, but such are the moments of a divorced mom. So I breathe. Stay beautiful. Face the music. And live to enjoy motherhood!

Read more stories at The Mommy Journey.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Eyebrow Flash


A few minutes after preparing this post, I passed by yahoo news and saw something related to what I just did for today's Thursday Thirteen. It's about a Maine high school senior who was denied his diploma for blowing a kiss to his family. Non-Verbal Communication was one of the most interesting subjects I studied in gradschool. We had this reference book Gestures: The Do's and Taboos of Body Language Around the World by Roger E. Axtell, filled with fascinating info about greetings that do not involve words for the most part. My T13 post today lists different kinds of greetings, a tiny part of the global non-verbal communication deal.

1. Namaste
~ practised in the Indian subcontinent; hands are placed in a praying position about chest high; which means "I pray to the God in you," "Thank you," or " Sorry"

2. Wai
~ in Thailand it is done similarly as the namaste but with variations: chest high for equals, nose level for superiors and forehead level for monks; it also means thank you or sorry

3. Hug or embrace
~ as with namaste and wai, it has a similar purpose from the time of the Egyptians through the Middle Ages: the assurance that no weapons are hidden

4. "Eyebrow Flash"
~ from the concept that anthropologists point out: when humans greet regardless of nationality or race, we open our eyes wider than normal, wrinkle our foreheads and move the eyebrows upward - all appear to be instinctive and signal openness and therefore, a form of greeting

5. Salaam (salaam alaykum)
~ in the Middle East, the older generation can still be seen practising this signal which means "Peace be with you"

6. Rubbing noses
~ a greeting from the Maori tribespeople in New Zealand, the Eskimos use the same gesture but with more personal meaning

7. Spitting at each other's feet
~ a form of greeting by some East African tribes

8. Sticking out tongues at each other
~ unusual and mysterious greeting by Tibetan tribesmen

9. Handshake
~ most of us practise it

10. Bear hug
~ good male friends in Russia are keen on it; Finns reject it

11. Abrazo
~ also an embrace by Latin Americans, it is often accompanied by a couple of hearty claps on the back. North Americans, Northern Europeans and Asians find it uncomfortable

12. Bow
~ the most courtly of all greetings. That's right - Japan!

Mano Po
~ young Filipinos press the back of their elders's hand on their forehead

Play Thursday Thirteen here.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Awards Galore Updated 21 June 2009

Once again it's time to wear a glittering gown and go up the stage to receive awards :-) Three lovely ladies passed me these awards: Genejosh, Beth Moreno and Chris. To them I say thank you. I appreciate your thoughfulness. You are sweet. I'm so glad to have met you in the blogosphere.

For the rules:

This is the easiest and the fastest way to:
- Make your Authority Technorati explode.
- Increase your Google Page Rank.
- Get more traffic to your blog.
- Make more new friends.

The rules are very simple:
- Start copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy” to your blog.
- Put your own blog name and link.
- Tag your friends as much as you can.


The Kreative Blogger Award asks the awardee to list 7 things that he/she loves. Here are mine:
*My boys: Ceejay and Mozart
*My life online
*My fondest dream (getting there hopefully)
*Shoes and clothes that make me look like my figure hasn't been blasted off yet =)
*Food, glorious food!
*Books, music and movies

When I posted these awards, I noted that this is going to be updated for the bloggers I am going to pass these awards on to. Here, finally is the said update:

There are two excellent bloggers that I have recently met and I want to pass these awards to them: they are Anya and Rajesh. The Blogger Buddy Award is for the rapport we seem to have developed among us since we met. I love your blogs and I visit them from time to time, hence the Loyal Follower Award is also for you two. You have many followers to whom you
may also want to pass this award on to.

For my love of travel, India, being very significant on my list, and for the cheer I always feel everytime I visit Kareltje's site, I hope Rajesh and Anya respectively, pick up the Favorite Blogs Award. Your blogs have many fans because of obviously the creativity in them. It is for such reason that I am also passing the Kreativ Blogger Award to both of you.

Thank you Anya and Rajesh for commenting on these awards earlier, but I am not passing them to you because you left comments. You truly are the deserving recipients of these awards. I am glad we met on the blogosphere. Here's to more good blogging in the future!

Monday Crazy Questions: How's your love life?

Lani hosts Crazy Monday Questions 8. Head over to her site to join. Have fun!

1: You are driving down the street and you see the person you are dating/married to/living with walking down the street with a member of the opposite sex and it is someone you don't know...What do you think? What do you do?
~ I'm not a jealous type and never one to panic in situations like these. I'd observe them if time allows, and casually ask about it later.

2: The person you are dating/living with is spending a lot of time at the office these days after normal hours. Do you show up at work or call to see if he/she is there?
~ Lol...this reminds me of someone I know very well who used to show up at her husband's office only to be told by the officemates he's playing billiards next door. Although we are close, blood-related in fact, I do not operate like she did. I would verbalize my wondering when he gets home though.

3: How would you handle it if they are not at the office where they said they would be?
~ There might have been changes in their timetable. I'm always open to explanations, even a strong or valid alibi, but they better be good.

4: Someone keeps calling and hanging up when you answer the phone while you are at home with your mate or at a dates house. Do you get suspicious?
~ I might be. But as long as he's mine officially, socially, emotionally, physically, I wouldn't dwell too much on suspicions. Besides, he's with me right? So why subject myself to sleep-depriving worry?... :-) Or any more disturbance from the phone and I cut off the wires. There. Problem solved. Baboosh caller.

5: You have been hinting around for a little fun in the bedroom but the person you are dating or living with is obviously ignoring the hints. It's been a LONG time. How do you handle that?
~ Drag him to a shrink. Lol .... I will find out the source of the problem first.

6: Your having a relationship with someone who disappears for a few days and is just not around when you call them at times with no real explanation. You have agreed that you will not date others. What do you think is going on?
~ It's all the cue I need. I'm out.

7: You are at a party with a date/mate, and a member of the opposite sex is quite obviously interested in you and keeps giving you the "look". Do you look back? What do you do?
~ As long as the 'look' remains within the bounds of society's standard of looking decorum, then fine - look all you want. If the looker is a Josh Holloway or a Vin Diesel look-alike, then my date will have to forgive me for looking back. The point is enjoying the beauty of God's masterpieces. It's there and oh my Lord, they're giving you the look. React accordingly. But then that's all. I don't go around flirting even if you look like any of these hunks in my wildest dreams. I always accord respect to the man presently pulling up a chair or opening doors for me.

8: Describe you dream mate of the opposite sex. Use a photo if you wish.
~ Clean and sweet-smelling... :-) Seriously, I put the real weight on brains and attitude.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Weekend Snapshot: Ayutthya

Quick Facts:
Ayutthya was founded in 1350 and is Thailand's second ancient capital (after Sukhothai);
It was named after Ayodhya, a city in India, the birthplace of Rama
It was once a sprawling metropolis and a famous hub of international trade
It was destroyed by the Burmese army in the 18th century
It is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Look at these chedis. I can't figure out exactly if the base of each pinnacle is either a square or a bell. I stood far away waiting for other tourists to clear the view when I took this shot. If it's a bell-shape then it's of Ceylonese influence. If it's a square, it's disctinctly Thai style. I would say the base on the right looks like a bell, but the left one is what I'm not sure of. How does it look to you?

Prang are huge and high reliquary towers dotting the city. These are the tiny versions. The corn cob-shaped and rounder stupa shows Cambodian influence. This time I drew nearer as I suspect my SPF 50 was wearing thin and luckily more shade was available up close. According to our tour guide considerable destruction was done by people who believe there are treasures of gold left among the remains. I did see deliberate cracks and even fresh holes.
My first visit was in 2000. I accompanied the then husband on a work-related trip. He was among the executives present during an acceptance ceremony for a building their company donated to a school in the area. We had police escort; it was strictly business and sightseeing was very limited. In other words it was NO FUN. I swore I would go back. So I did nine years later.

Charm and spirit emanating everywhere! This must be a glimpse into the sensation historians feel. (I should have majored in History, duh!) The scarf serves double purpose - protection from the sun and a covering for my bare shoulders. Pagodas are sacred to the Thais and it's rude to walk around them in scanty clothing. My head is a bit bowed, a treading respect for hallowed ground.

More detailed description here.