Main | October 2002 »

September 23, 2002

A mansion and a temple

yesterday was very neat. i got to see a temple that in all of the 15 years of traveling to Thailand, i've never seen. it's called Wat (Temple) Pra Kaew. according to the travel books, the emerald buddha inside is one of the most sacred buddha's in Thailand. lots of foreigners roaming around as it's one of those "must-see" tourist attractions.

(rant) one thing i hate about Thailand is their perception that since westerners make more money, they are somehow allowed to charge them more for the same services. this is complete and utter nonsense. at the front of the temple entrance they had "free clothing rental" (not including the socks you must buy) which included renting skirts if you were wearing shorts and black sandals (which if you're Thai you do not have to rent). they take a piece of I.D. from you and give you a key to a locker which all have numbers on them. these numbers on the key, locker, and cubby hole with shoes in them are non-descript. of course me being an american somehow could not comprehend how this system was used so when kris and i got back to retrieve her shoes, found a locker that was double-locked. well according to the lady running the show, i failed to easily realize that the system in place was to take crappy black sandals from and put own shoes into locker with corresponding number. the system was so backwards that i started ranting like a mad man when we got back. no signs posted, no nothing about how people are supposed to do things. just little white cards that say "use these sandals", "lock things in locker". this rant is getting way too long but the whole fact that Thai people didn't have to "rent" the "free clothing" and could wear crappy shoes irritated me. so walking out of the place I was ranting in Thai about how screwed up the system was and that they didn't know what they were doing. of course Thai people being non-confrontational, were a bit surprised and were caught off guard. in this day and age when people go other places expecting to be treated the same, this sort of thing is intolerable, it irritates me just as much when they think they can charge foreigners a different (read 2x) price for goods. as soon as i start speaking Thai, things usually are a bit more fair. (/rant)

one of the interesting things i pondered while i was there is about how Thai people are so superstitious and lifes triumphs as well as difficulties are explained by 'luck'. while visiting grandparents, after saying goodbye and leaving, one of the last things they always say is "good luck". after thinking about how my beliefs have switched from luck to fate and destiny, i've realized that the change in my fundamental beliefs are huge. however the majority of the population in Thailand which is buddhist believes in chance and reincarnation. more microcosmically, we're talking about the other half and largest part of my family. it doesn't put me off or bother me though, to each their own i suppose.

after the temple, my step-mom took kris and i out to lunch. kris is doing amazing with the food and all of the culture. i don't think she gives herself nearly enough credit as she deserves. a lot of times she'll tell me what she likes and doesn't like so after awhile i got concerned about her being able to handle the different culture and world that makes up thailand. nope, no trouble with the food, the people or anything like that. (the only thing she's complained about so far is the hard bed's we're sleeping on which are as soft as a blanket on a tile floor)

after lunch it was on to the mansion of king rama the fifth. kris and i went on the english speaking tour alone while my mom waited for us. the lady giving the tour speaking the english was so unintelligeable that we got maybe 30-40% of what she said. the tour was very cool though, much like that of the biltmore estates in north carolina. no photography was allowed but that was understandable. fortunately today the whole place which was open-air up until a few years ago has class window panes and full central air-conditioning now.

aside from some of the moronic idiosyncracies, the day was much fun. these sort of trips force you to think more and analyze the fundamental cultural differences as well as suck in all the beauty of the moment.

pictures are here

Posted by beamz at 8:47 PM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2002

Traveling


I haven't posted in awhile but that's because I was getting ready for my trip to Thailand. Kris and I have been here for a couple of days and are enjoying it immensely except for the jet lag.

The trip here was rather tiring but we got to bed at a decent time after we arrived. On Saturday we went to the weekend market. I have to say the most fun was getting to show Kris the different things. We looked around for trinkets for our wedding and decided on something. After that we went to visit my grandmother on my father's side at my uncle's house. A lot of people were there and it was nice to get to visit everyone.

Today we went to my grandfather's house (also my father's childhood home). We took a lot of neat pictures and enjoyed ourselves. The drive was about an hour and half one way.

Tomorrow I will probably meet up with my cousins. I'll post in my galleries soon as well.

Posted by beamz at 9:54 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2002

Well... the presses did indeed stop

Since work has been the pure focal point of my life lately, it's no surprise that I've stayed until 5am. I've been a failure lately at keeping my days shorter than 12-14hrs.

So a transformer decided to blow up outside of our building right after we had begun our nightly press run for Thursday morning's paper. This was in addition to the fact that we were starting 1hr late. Standing in the middle of a lot of moving machinery and all of the sudden *WHAM* and the lights go out. A lot of running around, making sure systems aren't completely dead and restarting things, we've managed to get things running.

Despite a really bad string of events, I have faith this night will come to a close. I thought I would have an even more descriptive log of the days escapades but for some reason, my motivation is all drained.

Posted by beamz at 4:53 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2002

A short update

I took an opportunity to post a 9/11 tile on Yahoo!. Though paragraphs of writing can go into analyzing events, sometimes thoughts at the very top of ones mind are the best.

Click here to view the tile.

Here's the comment I wrote to go along with the tile:
Doubts may go through everyones minds but giving up hope is the greatest mistake a person can make. Challenging those who threaten the foundation of our lives is crucial for survival. Yet recognizing the errors of our ways is even more important.

Posted by beamz at 4:00 AM | Comments (0)

STOP THE PRESSES & 9/11

Tonight was interesting at work. The conveyer system that transports bundles of papers to machines that load them into carts just stopped mid-run. It's been hacked to run even though it's registering an emergency stop. Everything started off smoothly until that happened.

A lot of bantering about 9/11 going on. People sharing a lot of the emotion and thoughts that have been building up over the past year as people try to comprehend what's going on. So much so that I think people are shooting down others' opinions in frustration. A lot is coming out sideways. Unfortunately, I agree with the first lady, people need to try not to get sucked into all of the media. Taking a minute to enjoy life isn't so bad, especially when there are no guarentees.

Posted by beamz at 2:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2002

My sleep schedule is off

Working nights this week has gotten me a bit off kilter. Thank goodness I don't have to deal with school right now. I will go to sleep soon only to wake up and go to work around 11am, participate in meetings up until 5pm and then work offsite until 3am. A very long day to come.

On the way home I put in the Busted Stuff (DMB) cd and listened to Big Eyed Fish which is one of my favorites from the disc. I don't have an exact lock on my thoughts but enjoyed how provoking late night thought can be. It reminded me of when I used to have an hour commute and worked nights on occasion. That hour long car ride at 2am back home gave me a lot of time to think about life.

In the end maybe the thoughts don't severely influence actions but the comfort or resolve they may give someone is just as important.

Posted by beamz at 3:19 AM | Comments (0)

September 9, 2002

I must say...

I'm very impressed with Movable Type. Anyway today has been fairly active, car maintenance, web site work etc. I'm still contemplating what I'm going to write here every now and again. But thanks to Espidre, I've finally put the gears in motion.

Oh and it's off to Thailand in 10 days so preparations for that is getting more hectic.

Posted by beamz at 6:20 PM | Comments (0)

Well well well...

MT is installed and running.

Posted by beamz at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)