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takoyaki, costumes and Hello Kitty: pictures from Soi Thaniya

i like this guy's attitude

A few days ago I took some nighttime pictures in Soi Thaniya, a Bangkok street popular with Japanese people and especially Japanese men.

Takoyaki, interrupted:

making takoyaki

Thai people can really sleep anywhere:

wow, thai people can sleep anywhere!

A store for people who like to play dress-up:

funny store!

A man says a small prayer before work:

a man makes offering before starting work

There was an entirely pink store full of Hello Kitty gear (or just “Ki-teeee”, as they call her here in Thailand). The best was this Hello Kitty keyboard:

hello kitty keyboard!

A cute Thai girl with her boyfriend rocks the Japanese gyaru style:

a cute thai girl rocking a japanese gyuaru style and her boyfriend

Does your city have an interesting street where you like taking pictures?

beautiful faces of young Japanese practicing Kyudo, traditional archery

Beautiful video of archery festival for young Japanese just turning 20. (Longer story on cnngo). What I love the most is seeing the archer’s faces, their look of a small uncertainty, yet trying to be confident and also concentration. What lies in their future? What will they achieve? Will they hit their mark?
There are so many stories in ordinary people’s faces!

beautiful photo documentary on Congolese women’s hairstyles

(Image by Finbar O’Reilly)

Congo is a nation torn apart by war and suffering. Yet instead of making the usual documentary about “oh how sad, look at these poor suffering people”, Finbar O’Reilly did a beautiful series about Congo women’s original hairstyles!

meta

I know I’m being kinda lame by blogging about tweeting, but

OMG I GOT A RETWEET BY WILLIAM GIBSON!!!!

Like, OMG.

more Japanese class

More Japanese class today.

We had two topics, one was “host clubs” (lol) and the other was doing personality tests together in a book. There were only two of us for the first class and I was alone for the second class, so the level was more basic and so I understood a lot more.

Another good thing to do with the AUA method is to watch a lot of TV/music/radio from that language (I used to watch A LOT of thai soap operas!) to just get used to the sound and cadence of that language. so I’ve been watching a lot of Japanese TV online.

big in japan

So…today I started studying Japanese at AUA!

I’ve studied for about 120-150 hours in Thai and I speak awesome given that I’ve spent 0 effort … I’ve never taken notes, reviewed or practiced anything (really, I speak better than if I had put any effort into it) so I hope I can have a similar success with Japanese.

When I tell this to people they immediately say that I must be really talented with languages, but not so! I took Japanese and Italian in university, and was one of the worst students both times! Also, I remember maybe 5 words each from those classes!

It’s weird being a beginner again where I have no idea what anyone is saying and mostly just smile and laugh when everyone else is laughing. Japanese is harder because all students are in the same class, some have been studying for 2 years or more, whereas Thai has 10 different levels. Still, the other students are nice and super welcoming, two are super lovely housewives from Taiwan and Korea, and one is a Philipino woman married to a Japanese man.

It’s sort of weird because the common language we all speak is Thai so we are speaking Thai together (coz I don’t yet speak enough Japanese to talk with them) even though none of us is Thai!

Today’s class was about stealing because of one of the teachers recently had his wallet stolen! So we talked about different kinds of stealing and how to be careful about our belongings and ourselves in Bangkok. And also about how can you tell if someone looks Japanese.

i love globalisation

Thai traditional desserts!

(rose-shaped Thai traditional desserts at local food fair)

I’ll probably think differently once you can’t get a programming job in Canada coz it’s all been outsourced to India, but right now, I love globalisation.

And there is reason number #104 why:

Strangely, all French bakeries in Bangkok are crap (if you have a counter-example to this, I’d love to know about it!). If you want proper French bread, you have to go to a Japanese bakery. According to my friend Yoshi, Japanese people LOVE French things, and they particularly care about getting the true flavor of French-style goods, aka what it’s really supposed to taste like. The two best ones in town are Custard Nakamura in Phrong Pong and De L’Etoile in Paragon.

I was shopping in Paragon grocery store. I had a little De L’Etoile bag in my cart from just buying some bread, when this Japanese woman runs up to me, says “Excuse me! Where did you get that? Is there a store in here?” and points to my bag. I give her directions to the store and say “oh, do you like this store?” and she says “yes, this is a Japanese brand”, and runs off like this was an emergency mission to find good bread at long last (I understand this feeling).

This was pretty much +6000 on the scale of stuff white people like.


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A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

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Giving presents to the facilitators!

Giving presents to the facilitators!

Giving presents to the facilitators!

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