A Wild Sheep Chase

I don’t really know if it’s the right thing to do, making new life. Kids grow up, generations take their place. What does it all come to? More hills bulldozed and more ocean fronts filled in? Faster cars and more cats run over? Who needs it?
― Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase

English Quotes from here.

Dumb Ways to Die

 

I’ve seen this video shared by my friend on Facebook wall. Only watching the animation and listening to a song at the first time, I could sing chorus parts along the song. Listening to it more and more, its part has been stuck in my head…. Dumb ways to die e e e…

This video has been gone viral online since initially published on Youtube on 14 Nov 2012. It is from the safety campaign of Metro Trains Melbourne. As I’ve read some comments in Youtube and other websites, people mostly like it. However, I found two dissimilar comments which one person feels offended by this while another believes that it’s kind of awkward if some audiences happen to know someone who died in those ways.

For me, I think it’s an artful trick to rise the awareness by using this cute video as well as the catchy tunes and dark humor lyrics. I also can’t stop myself from dancing together with those animated cartoons. (‘o’)

Related Links:
http://dumbwaystodie.com/
http://dumbwaystodie.tumblr.com/
http://soundcloud.com/tangerinekitty/tangerine-kitty-dumb-ways-to

A stranger’s words

When I have been in Tasmania, my friends and I had a chance to go to Maria Island. The trip was arranged by Lyna, an international student adviser, in the name of the ELC social club. We went to Triabunna by a Tassie bus in the evening of Friday, and we stayed at the backpacker hostel there. Saturday morning we took a ferry to Maria Island and stayed overnight there. After we brought luggage to our accommodation, we decided to go hiking on the track which was the most difficult one from three choices.

The trail has been called ‘Bishop and Clerk walk‘ rising to 599 meters above the sea level. I was alright through the beginning of the journey but as far as I had to walk up … up… and up, I was getting tired more and more. The final section of the track was the hardest part for me because we had to go up the area full of stones, and we had to use our hands to climb up to the top.

Before I reached at that stones area, I had met an Australian family; parents and their two children. While we were walking past each other, the mother spoke to me ‘You can make it’. After that brief encounter, I tried very hard to move my body; just walked and hoped that the next level would be our group’s destination. Actually, I was soooooo weary like I almost died. My heart kept beating fast while I was trying hard in every single breath. I was the last one walking behind those in our group. I would have given up but I did not want to do so. I attempted more and more to lift my legs. Gradually, the words ‘You can make it’ had been changed to ‘I can make it’ which was repeated in my head. Eventually, I could make it. After walking more than 3 hours, I finally reached the top of the track. Yes!!!!

Besides my determination, I believe that another driven force was those words from the complete stranger, whom I met during my most exhausted moment. She will never know that she added up my strength by just saying those 4 words to me. I also can’t remember her face anymore, but I still recall this story and feel grateful towards her. The right words at the right time can make the difference to someone’s life.

‘Thank you.’

Sorry for my leg and sneaker. I didn’t dare to go further to take a photo. It was too high for me. I was content that I could reach and sit on this spot after more than 3 hours walks.

Remarks: This post has been re-written and edited from the article that I firstly wrote in the ELC extra class as well as posted in my Thai blog.

The sound of words ending

The system of Thai education basically contains lessons of English language. Back to my school periods, some Thai students have had the English language lessons since Kindergarten while others started at elementary or secondary schools. I had begun studying English language at the first year in my elementary school, and the learning had been going on for 14 years.

During working at my first job, I thought that my English listening and reading skills were my strong points while I was doing alright on writing. Nonetheless, I wasn’t satisfied with my English verbal communication. After working for 6 years, I decided to take English language courses in Tasmania, Australia. Afterwards, I believed that my spoken English has been improved but not as much as I’d like it to be.

Anyway, because of that course, I could realized one of Thais’ weak points in English speaking. Through the first course, my teacher pointed out the flaw in my speaking. She told me that I didn’t pronounce the sound of some words ending in sentences, and listeners would have hard times to distinguish words in my speech. According to her experiences, she said that this is the common fault for Thai students. Her comment took me by surprise as I never had a clue about this before.

I didn’t learn about phonetic when I was taught to pronounce English vocabularies during my school years. Usually, I speak English words in the spelling patterns, and I never put the sound for the words ending. Apparently, this also happened to the -ed and -s/-es sound. I can come up with the explanation why this is the usual mistake for Thais. In my opinion, it’s because of the fact that when we speak Thai language, we never voice the sound at the end of Thai words. We will never know that we have to pronounce the words ending sound in English, unless we are told about this. Moreover, some English words ending doesn’t sound as another syllable but more like consonant. For me, they sometimes sound like half-voice.

After I’ve come to be aware of such flaw, I keep practicing myself in this type of pronunciation. I think I’m getting better than those old days. However, it’s sometimes difficult for me when dealing with -ed and -s/-es sound, which I know that the sound of those words are very important in English pronunciation since it can indicate time period as well as possession, contraction, plural noun, and verb conjugating.

‘ed’ endings are pronounced ‘t’ => k,s,f,p,ch,sh,th
‘ed’ endings are pronounced ‘id’ => t,d
‘ed’ endings are pronounced ‘d’ for all other ending sounds.

‘s/es’ endings are pronounced ‘iz’ => s,z,sh,ch,ge,x,ce
‘s/es’ endings are pronounced ‘s’ => t,k,f,p,th,gh
‘s/es’ endings are pronounced ‘z’ for all other ending sounds.

Cassey: a cat who turned me to be a cat woman

Lame title, much?

Dogs and cats are enemy? Maybe? Some people love to be dog persons while some chooses to be cat persons. But,a portion of human population likes to be both of them. During my childhood, I always like dogs as our family had dogs, whereas I was not fond of cats much according to my experience with them. When we visited my grandma, we would see her cats. As a child I noticed that all they wanted to do was eat, pee, poo, kill rats and hunt birds. They were not friendly too.

After growing up, I didn’t have much chance to to be near both dogs and cats for more than 10 years. But, We’ve had got a new dog two months before I flew to Tasmania for the English language course. I stayed with a host family who were retired couples. They had a Burmese cat named ‘Cassey’.

When I first met Cassey, she was just looking at me while I was looking at her, and our eyes met.

‘Ok, no need to be friend. But, Peace (-_-)v … please’ I thought.

As time passed, I started to learn about her nature. What she liked to do. Those things made me to like her more and more. If she wanted to pee or poo, she would stand next to the front door asking us to let her go outside. Although She acted like she didn’t pay attention to us, she occasionally tried to be near us. She usually liked to sit on the top of our lap while we were watching television. I also truly loved it when she chose to sit on my lab keeping me warm with her fluffy fur.

Because of Cassey, I can say that I’ve turned to be a cat person along with dog person. I like the way cats look at us, human beings, like they are so proud of themselves. They don’t care about us, but it’s our job to feed them if they’re hungry.

These days I sometimes think of Cassey; a Burmese cat who surprisingly taught me one thing that my habit or preference can be changed or developed.

Meet Cassey!

An evening in Bangkok

More than once or twice a year, traffic in Bangkok can be extremely bad. As I’ve known, we had terrible traffic twice this year. Some of us had to spent 3-5 hours going back home because the rains just came after working hours. We usually call those days as “the super very immensely heavy traffic jam”. Ok, I know that I use wrong grammar but I just want to emphasize how worst traffic can be in Bangkok if it’s raining during rush hour (morning or evening).

Luckily, I took the above photo in an acceptable bad traffic. It just made me to spend over 2 hours coming home instead of an hour. There was heavy rain followed by flooding on some parts of road. Cars on 5 lanes had to share 2 lanes to drive past that section. After that, I thought I would have got through without obstacle. But no… there was an ongoing road construction where we had to drive very carefully. I tried my best to be cautious and move along with my road companions. And yes…just be patient, finally at home.

Into these songs

I can’t do without music. It may sound exaggerated but I feel like that. Usually, I don’t like listening to cover songs if they are as same as the original versions. I think these 3 covered songs are so beautiful performed by unique artists who can turn brilliant songs to be as their own.

Ellie Goulding – Your song
Although, this song is originally composed and sung by Elton John, I firstly listened to this song while watching Moulin Rouge! in theater. And I totally fell in love with the song by just 1st verse from Ewan McGregor. Compared to the film soundtrack, Ellie’s version is simpler, yet so refreshing and lovable.

Birdy – Skinny Love
No one can deny that Bon Iver is magnificent for the original version. But, Birdy is also able to provide the haunting emotion for the song.

Ingrid Michaelson – Can’t Help Falling In Love
Actually, I listened to this song by Elvis without a particular feeling. When I heard this version in Like Crazy trailer, I just died there. Admittedly, I cried by only seeing the trailer with this song.

High School Reunion

I spent my 6 years (secondary and high school) studying at an all-girls school in Bangkok. Back then, one classroom had around 40 students. We also had a regular class teacher for each room. We didn’t have to leave our room for each lesson. Teachers would go to classrooms according to timetable.

We would have new classmates for each level during secondary school. However, we were with the same classmates and a class teacher after we had chosen what major we would study in high school. At that time, Thai educational system usually separated learning into 4 majors; Science-Math, Art-Math, Art-Languages, and Art-Social.

My high school class’s major was Science-Math. Our class teacher was very strict and she taught Chemistry. Other students just heard of her name, they would know how rigid she was. If we broke school regulations, we would surely be punished by her. Some examples of our school regulations were hairstyles that were needed to be short but not too short. Another thing was the length of our school uniform’s skirts which should not be too long but not too short. Moreover, they would be late school arrival or skipping class, etc.

I was a good student as I always followed school regulations except once that I had my hair cut too short. I could remember that I was called to stand with others in the line while our class teacher looked at us. When she stood in front of me, she asked me “Did you have a good thought before having your hair cutting like this?” At that time, only one notion that went through my mind was “Did I look ugly in this hairstyle?” -_-”

Almost 20 years have passed and Facebook brings our classmates to be together again. We had our 1st High school reunion once, but I didn’t go. I had a chance to join the 2nd time. Besides meeting some of my classmates, I met our class teacher too. She still had good memories, and she could remember many events in our class that some of us had already forgot.

I, myself couldn’t remember much of those years. I also had trouble matching classmates’ name and face in case they didn’t come to the reunion. It seems that my memory has held the blur pictures of my high school years. No need to mention my secondary school years which I could recall so little.

Now that I come to think of it. When I was a teenager, everything around me looked so important. It was like I shouldn’t forget those things so easily. Naturally, time passes and everything has changed including me. Yet, my blur memories for those 6 years are still kept somewhere in my brain. For me, the memories may be unclear, but they were surely beautiful and fun.