1934. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast with its capital city in Birobitzhan with Yiddish as its official language was formed in the Russian Far East. In 2007 the First Birobitzahn International Summer Program for Yiddish Language and Culture, was held.
Today’s news from Thailand:
The following item recently appeared in the Bangkok Post. It is not about Thailand but I hope you enjoy it anyway:
SYDNEY: an Australian woman was convicted of manslaughter yesterday after burning her abusive husband to death during an attempt to set fire to his penis.
Rajini Narayan, 46 said she set out to “purify” her husbands genitals but threw petrol on his back and set it alight when he sneered at her plan and called her a “fat, dumb bitch.”
“He was my hero, the man of my life, the love of my life” she told the Adelaide court earlier.
“I was going to purify his penis, leave a mark there and he would remain with me. He would be mine.”
Narayan had told a neighbor she wanted to disfigure her husband’s penis so that no other woman would want him, after suspecting him of having an affair, prosecutors said.
The fire also burned down the family home.
Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:
NOWHERE AND BACK AGAIN
CHAPTER VI – A NOT SO BURIED TREASURE
After departing Ayutthaya we trundled across the remainder of the Central Lowlands and entered a small town called Batong. Here we planned to stop at a restaurant that Gun Girl said Is one or her favorites in all of Thailand.
We got off the main road and passed through several interconnected alleyways and arrived at a place called “Banmai Resort”. There had been no signs advertising the place that I saw anywhere during our drive through the town . Nevertheless, when we did arrive at the resort there were several large ones announcing that you indeed had arrived. It was difficult to assess from the outside what we arrived at since the entrance just beyond a wide spot in the alley, gave no indication of what existed inside and the signs were no help either, being written in Thai.
We entered into a large wide hall. On each side of the hall stood many glass fronted exhibition cases containing collections of dolls of all sorts and a huge variety of antique packaging of everything from laundry detergent to canned soup and a lot of other things besides.
The hall eventually ended in something like a small covered plaza that marked the connection between what seemed like several large old wooden buildings, giving the place a look and feel of a large open barn. In these buildings, each going off in a different direction, there appeared to be several places to eat, some quite large and some quite small and one containing only a single table. Some had separate kitchens and some not. On my right a raised room appeared containing a large sofa on which sat life-sized models of the “Blues Brothers”. Another restaurant extending off to the right seemed to be closed but the staff looked like they were preparing for a later opening.
In front of me, life-sized figures of Colonel Sanders and Marilyn Monroe stood on each side of the entrance to a large room stuffed full of curios like in an old antique shop.
What I saw all around me, crammed into every space appeared to me to be one of the largest collection of curios and Bric-a-brac I had ever seen. I felt as though I stumbled on the place that collections of, nick-knacks, tchotchke (Yiddish), Gotsadella (Southern Italian mispronunciation of the italian word for “dust catcher”) kitsch, and junk of all sort, go to die.
As many of you know, all my life I collected strange and useless things (all gone now, lost or given away) and pursued the purchase of such curios assiduously. I always searched out folk art museums and museums of strange obsessions wherever I travelled. But, I had rarely seen anything quite like the vastness and range of examples of useless human endeavor that I saw all around me today.
There were the obligatory collection of Betty Boop dolls, glassware of all sorts including commemorative drinking glasses, things made out of wood out of plastic, out of metal and just about every the substance imaginable, toys, metal trucks, trains and airplanes, photographs, old soda bottles in old bottle crates, perfume containers, a complete collection of Japanese nymphet figurines, movie posters, post cards, old condom packaging and on and on. Even a few antique foosball games and pinball machines appeared here and there among the clutter.
We all sat down at one of the larger eating places overlooking the swollen and flooded river flowing past the buildings. I wolfed down my meal and spent the rest of the time walking around in wonder examining the displays while my companions ate at a more leisurely pace and rested a bit to recover from the day’s travel.
I tried to identify if there were collections of memorabilia they may have missed. At first I thought they had failed to include a supply of those devotional lucky penises that the Thais like so much, but found a number of them tucked away in a display case in one of the back rooms. They had literally hundreds of commemorative plates. But, I could not find one of Jack Kennedy.
In 1968 while I was living in Italy, there was at the time a small industry in commemorative plates and figurines containing the images of both Kennedy and Pope John XIII together. I collected almost all of them – but, alas even that is now long gone. Anyway I could not find any examples in this hoard.
I tried to see if there were things I had acquired that they did not. I could not find a collection of walking sticks, but I was sure they had them somewhere.
Anyway, eventually Gun Girl decided the time had come to leave and I reluctantly followed her and her companions back into the automobile. We drove off into the darkness and the rain to find the place where we intended to spend the night.
“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
– The Princess Bride.
Today I begin my 71st year of life. I wish all of you live lives as interesting to you as mine has been to me so far. Then again, maybe not.