Surprise Holidays and Copy Cats…

 dsc_0044.jpg

Happy Thursday folks!  I’m going to go ahead and warn you now that this is going to be one of those random though/self analysis sort of posts so who knows where this will go.  Firstly, I ended up with a surprise week off since we had a minor drama unfold at work first thing Monday morning.  We were having our annoyingly boring little administrative morning meeting and we got a phone call that 2 of our students had come down with hand, foot, and mouth.  Now, don’t jump to conclusions…this is nothing like mad cow disease or anything and apparently it is common amongst schools with large numbers of young children.  You get these flu like symptoms and spots like you have measles on your hands and feet.  Also, you get ulcer like blisters in your mouth, and the last time it swept through the school i got it as well.  It is HIGHLY contagious sooooo, after learning we had more than 5 cases we quickly moved to close the school for a week.  It can be dangerous for young kids, so better to shut down and let it pass.  Therefore, Tom got a surprise week off work!

Sooooo, I had meant to sit down this week and pound out a final copy of my research proposal for Grad schoo.  However, I’ve been to busy being as lazy as possible to accomplish anything productive.  I did at least manage the gym every day, so at least the week hasn’t been a complete loss thus far.  Which reminds me of something I wanted to talk about with you today.  I noticed a commercial on the train coming home for a new Thai movie coming to theaters soon.   I made a mental note to mention it today in my blog because it is something that slightly irks me.  It is a Thai movie about eccentric, comical pirates and I noticed some various low budget scenes from the movie trailer with giant squid and crabs.  The set, scenery, and costumes were blatantly copied from another blockbuster pirate trilogy which recently sailed through the box office earning millions.

Thais have to be the world’s best copy cats.  Let me give you another example that comes to mind.  I remember going to a Thai theater production a while back that was supposed to be an “amazing” and creative in dealing with gay life and culture.  There were big billboards around town for it, and some very famous Thai celebrities were even cast in leading roles for it.  So, I went with my ex to see it and all they had done was make a Thai theater version of the movie Love! Valour! and Compassion! which was written and released in the States in 1997.  There were some very slight changes, but they kept the same plot, characters, and I even recognized familiar scenes from the script.

I guess I blame the education system here for this phenomenon as Thai students are not taught to think creatively.  Children are not encouraged to think outside the box in traditional schooling, and most learning here occurs much the same way a mother bird feeds a baby bird.  It is considered rude here to question anyone older or an authority figure so Thai students will sit in class looking at you like they are following along able to understand, but not.  They are quite, and respectful, but rarely ask questions to extend their grasp of the subject being learned at hand.  You can see it here in all aspects of society.  Healthy debate is discouraged and ridiculed, and thus creativity is often stamped out at an early age.  Now, I say all this in general of course as there are of course exceptions.  I know some very creative Thai people, and thus there are those that do well in spite of the system, as opposed to growing because of the system.  Well, I think that is more than enough rambling for today, so i’m going to head off and try to get some school work done.  Love to everyone and will write again over the weekend!

Firemen and Richard Simmons…

richard_simmons.jpg

This is going to be another one of those very random scattered thoughts sort of blog post, as I really don’t have a set topic in mind to write about. I’ve actually started keeping random ideas i get to write about in a little notebook i have, but just not in the mood to go to deep into a topic this evening. I had an interesting day today and thought i might share it with you here. We had the fire department come to the school today to do a demonstration for the students, and it occupied most of the morning. They tried their best to put on a little presentation in English about fire saftey, and though the language they used was a bit harsh, it got the point across. The guy kept telling the kids that if you do this….you will DIE! If you stick your finger here and play with this….you will DIE! Fire will kill you! Fortunately, by this point in the presentation the students had all but lost interest, and most of them are so young anyway that it didn’t really register what the fireman had was saying.

Then after a brief demonstration of their water hose, we got to go out front and have a look at the fire truck. It was one of those big ones with the ladder and bucket, so it was quite impressive to see. However, to show the kids it was safe they asked me and my superior to climb aboard for a trip upwards. “Sure, why not!” I thought, but oh the regret I was soon feeling. Up, up, up we went till i could see the top of the 4 story building next door, at which point i was squeezing the arm of the fireman with us. My blood started to run cold! They took some pictures, so i’ll post them over to the flicker when I get them.

I was watching the Martha Stewart show (Yes, I watch it…get over it) earlier and Richard Simmons was on as her guest. I know that some readers will not know who he is, but if you are an American then you surely will! Has anyone seen him lately? Did you know he will be 60 this year? I can remember seeing and watching those horribly camp videos of him in his little neon colored tank tops and go go shorts when i was a little boy. He bounces around the set of any show he visits and either he’s just insane or the old queen is taking speed. He was the first ever in my life openly camp, mincy, queen I ever saw in my life. However, the strange thing is not how over the top the old queen is….It’s where i saw the videos. My grandmother used to have a at least one, if not several of his video tapes which she used regularly i think. My memories of her are very conservative, strict, bossy, but here was this mincy old queen getting her to sweat to the oldies several times a week. People like him or Liberace were adored by women of that generation, and yet they were more camp and gay than anyone i can think of off the top of my head today. Why is that? Surely someone noticed along the way, but it seems that their eccentricities were overlooked in a time in our history not so friendly to men of my persuasion. Just a little food for thought.

I’ve got a birthday party to attend after work tomorrow, so I’ll be back over the weekend for the next post. Just hold your breath….the weekend is almost here!