Posts Tagged With: Women in Thailand

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Joseph 0002 (December 22, 2012)

 

Happy New Year. Today is the first day of the second year of my new calendar. I hope you all had an enjoyable free day yesterday. Not only is today the winter solstice, but if you are reading this you have also survived the end of the world. I spent my free day and observed the world’s end at Paradise by the Sea.

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. Shopping.

Today I went shopping. My friend Ann asked me to buy a knock-off name brand watch like the one she bought during her trip to Thailand. Her new husband had admired it so she wanted to give him one as a present. LM and I headed off to the market to find something suitable. We took the number two bus. I have developed a love hate relationship with that bus. It lacks air conditioning, but its 25 cent fare allows you to stand and sweat among a class of Thais one does not often associate with. Being a foreigner, I have no idea what actually, if anything, is going on during the bus ride. On the other hand, throughout the world, riding a bus usually means disappearance of that part of ones life, a form of temporary death. We arrived at the stop closest to the shopping area. It was not the great Chatuchuck Market, beloved of tourists, where we had purchased Ann’s watch several years ago. To get there I would have to take the Skytrain all the way to Mo Chit, and I recently have had enough chit to last me a long while.

We were going to the Pathunam shopping area, a vast section of downtown Bangkok that contains at least a square mile of shopping, from the toney malls like Central World, Paragon and the like to the bazaar like emporiums of Pathunam.

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A night-time photograph of Central World in the heart of Bangkok’s downtown shopping district.

LM seemed out of sorts, and though I could think of a lot or reasons for that, since it was lunch time I guessed that was it and suggested we first stop to eat in the food courts one of the more down-scale markets. The food courts serving Thai or Chinese food, whether in the most expensive malls or least fashionable ones, are some of the cheapest places to eat in the city other than at the sidewalk stands. About one dollar and a quarter gets you a plate of typical Thai or Chinese fare. Some people think that the food court food is safer than that sold on the sidewalks. I am not so sure about that, there is usually no refrigeration at the food courts either. Of course, the larger malls often contain a second more upscale and expensive food court where one can get all the McDonald’s, Swenson’s, Taco Bell’s, KFC’s and the like that one would want.

After lunch, with LM in better spirits, we plunged into the market. Thai markets lack the picturesque mystery of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul with its hot tea and haggling for hours over a dollar. They also lack the raucous hawking of the souks as the shopkeepers there beg, cajole and entice you to enter their stores. In Thailand, a barely post-pubescent clerk is usually sprawled on the floor of the shop avidly playing on a smart phone. Only in the few Arab or Indian owned shops do the employees actually try to sell you something. In Bangkok Indians control the custom-made rag trade. They stand in front of their shops calling out to whomever walks by. In the hotel where my health club is located there is a small tailor shop in the lobby owned by an Indian gentleman. For the last decade every time I have walked by he has invited me to have a look in his shop. Every time I pass by his shop I feel, not annoyance at his ceaseless importuning, but fear that this time he would not.

Anyway, the shopping areas of Pathunam are endless open front cubicles lining each side of a three-foot wide passage way. They are vastly larger than anything I have found in North Africa or the Near East and packed with two or three times the people per square meter than there. After several tries we found a shop that sold the particular name brand knock-off I was looking for and LM and the clerk began to haggle.

I admit, I had no idea of the difference between one watch and another, and although the shops had large books with the names of the most well-known and expensive watches as well as photographs of their various offerings, I figured I was ok as long as whatever I bought had the brand name on its face.

The haggling concluded with me buying the watch at about one-third the originally quoted price.

After we left the shop, I knew, in Thai fashion, I was now obligated to reward LM for her help. We agreed that I would buy her something of her choice at the market costing about 1/2 of what I had spent of the watch. After going from shop to shop for about an hour, as I expected and typical of Thai women I have known, LM said “Why don’t you just give me the money and I will come back later and buy something.” I readily agreed, handed over the cash and we pushed our way out of the market and walked to the bus stop.

While we waited, I learned some things: first although going in the direction from where we started the number 2 and its air-conditioned counterpart number 511 (Fare 50 cents) pass every two minutes or so, they arrive only about every half hour going back and; second not all of them (the 2 and 511) return along the same route. So, there I stood for the next hour or so, next to the endless lines of mostly stopped traffic, breathing in the exhaust fumes while the insides of my nose dried out and caked like the ancient lake beds of Death Valley and my eyes burned from the soot until they teared and the sweat from the 93% December heat dropped from my armpits and ran down over my ribs, evaporating in a dollop of coolness before reaching the lowest rib. I stood there wishing I were standing instead in the number two bus, crushed among hordes of zombie Thais. Heaven is a relative thing.

2. Fun in the labyrinth or giggles in the heart of darkness (continued from last post).

I arrived at the building that housed the Thai Visa and Immigration Office and a number of other agencies. It was one of the 20 or so government buildings in the Government Complex. It is a huge building that looks like a giant arrow-head plunged into the ground. It has an enclosed central court as large as half a football field. The Complex is so remote that the basement of the building houses a complete shopping center, including banks, restaurants, grocery stores, a car dealership I believe and a lot more.

I was in good spirits. I entered the crowded visa and immigration offices, marched up to the intake desk and handed them my passports. I had two passports because my previous passport was due to expire in December and while I was in the US I had its replacement issued. The smiling young woman behind the desk sporting a badge that announced “trainee,” took my passports and earnestly leafed through them. Her ever-present smile creased into a frown and collapsed. Sensing the anxiety rising in my gut, I babbled my explanation for the two passports. She asked did you show the passport officer at the airport both passports. “No,” I responded, “one had been cancelled so I showed him only the valid one.” Her frown deepened. She turned and spoke with another woman dressed in a military uniform.

Panic rose to my throat as they spoke and rifled through the document every now and then glancing in my direction. Then the uniformed one broke away and walked to the counter at which I was standing. She was not smiling. Said, “you have the wrong stamp.” Forcing a smile I inquired, “how do I get the right stamp.”

“You need to go to immigration to get it changed.”

Relieved I responded, “where is that,” hopeful it would be in the same building.

“At airport”

“But,” my smile gone, “this is immigration. Can’t you do it here” I pleaded?”

She looked at me for a moment then turned went back to the no longer smiling trainee. They leaned close together and spoke Now and then they would glance at me. Then the Trainee, smiling again came back to me and said come with me. My heart leaped with joy.

We walked into the large processing room with hundreds of people stagnating around staring perhaps fifty or more cubicles with red lights on the front flashing various numbers. We walked up to another counter behind which sat a man in uniform. She spoke to him in Thai. I gave my story again. They spoke some more. He gave her a piece of paper with a number on it. She then turned and said come with me.

We marched to one of the cubicles with the same number as on the piece of paper. She went in. Came out again said “you have to go to airport. Have stamp changed.”

“But” I sputtered, “Why not here? Where in airport?” and things like that. I was losing it.

She took me back to the first uniformed man. They spoke animatedly. She came back to me. We returned to the cubicle. This time I went in and sat before a grim-faced man in a uniform with ribbons on his shirt and braid on his shoulder. I started to explain again. He took the passports and looked through them going back and forth among the pages; looked at me and said, “You have the wrong stamp. You have to go to the fourth floor immigration at the airport and have it changed.”

Although I sensed defeat, I pleaded, “how do I know where at the airport. What happens if they refuse?”

He looked at me took the little paper I have been given with the number of his office and on the back wrote, “Fourth Floor, Immigration” in English and Thai and handed it back to me.

Knowing that it was the best I was going to do and guessing that at least I could wave the piece of paper around the airport and claim it was from Bangkok Central Immigration Office, I left the building and caught a van back to the Mo Chit Skytrain station.

My confidence slowly returned. I was on a mission. It was still only 10am. I could get it done today. I felt like Willard on the Mekong. Giving up was not an option. (To be continued)

3. Reading.

I have been spending some time reading and rereading the novels of Ken Bruen and Tana French.

In Bruen the old Ireland meets the new and shudders. With French, the new Ireland meets its future and despairs.

Old Ireland had its language, its music, its religion, its poverty and its “Playboy of the Western World.” The new Ireland has its failing malls, crumbling subdivisions, its bewildered immigrants and the likes of the playboy will not pass that way again.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

2013 Pookie’s Predictions:

Last year at about this time, in keeping with the fashion at this time of year I made some predictions for the year. Now it is time for Pookie’s predictions for 2013. Unlike most other prognosticators (guessers) who almost never remind anyone when they are wrong, Pookie always owns up to his mistakes.

1. The US Economy:

Last years predictions: Last year I predicted for the US economy:

“a. As money floods into US treasuries on account of the perceived lack of “safe” alternatives, it alleviates pressure to deal immediately with public and private debt allowing for some minor stimulus actions by the administration, such as;
b. encouraging an escalation of inflation both “natural” and government induced, and;
c. there may be a slight temporary improvement in trade balance.

The economic upturn will reverse by years end (but not in time to effect the presidential race) and the nation should sink into another recession, because:
a. the European crises will get worse and the US administration no longer has a political reason to prop it up ,
b. the value of the dollar will rise eliminating any balance of trade benefits and
c. inflation will surpass deficits as the focus of Republican wrath.”

In March I updated these by commenting that the mild upturn the nation currently is experiencing had been stronger that expected and that no reason to alter downturn prediction had appeared.

Actually, the “flood” of money into US treasuries as predicted continue even today, however, although the up-turn in trade balance this engendered occurred (thank god it did, since it to a great extent moderated the recession) the predicted inflationary pressure did not.

The economic upturn did stall briefly sometime in September but my prediction that we would sink into another recession by year’s end was wrong. My predictions on the European situation, the value of the dollar and the political focus on inflation was flat-out wrong.

2013:

Assuming we stumble through the so-called “fiscal cliff” on more or less the terms laid out in the Presidents budget (see above) and I expect we will, the nation can expect an accelerating recovery through the middle of the year when inflation fears will be fanned by those concerned that a recovering economy would be bad for their political aspirations. As a result, the recovery will be moderated but continue throughout the year. I suspect the stimulus portion of the Presidents budget will not be adopted in as robust a form as proposed so that the recovery although generally positive will not be particularly vigorous.

Return of manufacturers to the US will increase as the economy improves and as production is increasingly automated (robots). (That is lower wages in low-cost jurisdiction will not be able to compete with robots producing goods near to the consumers thereby cutting down on transportation costs. As a result shipping revenues increases should begin to level out by the end of the year.)

Employment rebound will lag during the recovery because it usually does and structural problems (such as mentioned in the above paragraph) will appear. (Also, I have discussed elsewhere the effect of social media on employment and chooses people with make as to what and how much they chose to work, e.g., more people willing to work in lower paying service jobs and work part-time. Reducing demand for “big-ticket” items.)

The value of the dollar should begin to increase by mid-year or so placing a slight moderating influence on the recovery.

In short, be happy you probably will have a job but you will not be paid as well as you hoped. If you are in the financial trades you should begin to think about a new career. Since you probably are not qualified for anything, Wal-Mart or Starbucks jobs may be available for most of you, although Costco would be a better choice (see below).

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

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TODAY’S QUOTE:

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I posted this not because of “The Chairman’s” view of religion [much of which, however, I share], but because of my surprise at his knowledge of the travesty that occurred at Alexandria when Christian mobs burned whatever books remained in the various libraries of Alexandria, closed the schools in favor of teaching religion at home or in churches instead of science at the various schools Alexandria was famous for (sounds familiar) and, for trying to save some books from the bonfire, murdered Hypatia, one of the greatest mathematician of antiquity, by cutting her into pieces while she was still breathing.

TODAY’S CHART:

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The total populations of the six countries listed about equals the total population of the US. Gun murders however total about eighteen times less. The six countries have strict firearms legislation. They also all have vibrant democracies and except for Spain have economies similar to or more robust than that of the US. Of course, the argument against any gun control usually is that if someone wants to kill someone with a gun they will do so no matter the law and that an emphasis on crime prevention and arming yourself would be better approaches than regulating gun possession. Nevertheless, it seems to me that, since these other countries find it not to be the case that people wanting to do harm to others grab guns and do it even in the face of strict gun control laws, that argument implies Americans are a bunch of uncivilized and out of control beasts that should be quarantined by the rest of humanity.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Christmas in Thailand — Merry Christmas to all…

Categories: October 2012 through December 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 11 Pookie 0001 (November 25,2012)

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have still not ventured far from my apartment. Perhaps in a few days I will go to the health club. Then again maybe not.

The dreams have come again. Not those frightening, exhilarating or annoying things that disturb your sleep and leave you groggy in the morning and then completely disappear from memory a few hours later. These other dreams I have while I am floating between sleep and fully awake. They frequently recur again and again. They do not disappear in the morning. I remember them for a long time.

It used to be that some of those dreams became so imprinted in my memory that they became as real as anything else that I could recall of my past. About a year or so ago in “This and that…” I wrote that I eventually realized many things that I thought had happened to me were mere dreams. When I went through them and understood that what I remembered could not be true, they disappeared from my memory just like the normal nighttime disturbances did. Their sudden disappearance would leave me with a strange sense of emptiness as if a piece of my past had gone missing leaving behind a hole in my life.

For example, I convinced myself that I spent several enjoyable summers at a resort on the north coast near the ocean. When I sat back and thought about it however, I realized it could not have been true. It happened on the wrong coast and too far from where it should have been. The moment I realized the memory was bogus, it fled like a thief from the scene of his crime.

Strangely, I get these dreams only in Thailand now, never in the US. I do not know why. I have some suspicions, however.

There have been two since I returned to Thailand.

In the first, I am at a party in my sister’s house. Of course, dream-like, it is not her house at all. There is a grand piano by a window. Standing next to it is a tall man with blond hair wearing a pale plaid jacket. He would now and then pick out something someone says and would lean over the keyboard sing a few words of whatever he had overheard and rhyme it with a few more while playing some brief simple tune. When he finished his little riff he would then stand back up and with a large smile on his face and with shining eyes look around the room for appreciation before hunting for the next snippet of conversation. He reminded me of a 50’s lounge singer or one of those hacks banging out tunes on Tin Pan Alley during the Depression. When the conversation moved away from him he would remain anxiously standing the by the piano never moving from his post alongside of it.

I watched him from across the room. Now and then our eyes would meet but he would quickly glance away and nervously move on in search of the next snatch of conversation to play around with. Gradually, the party-goers left until only he and I remained. He looked at me for a moment before turning and with that wistful aura that surrounds musicians after a gig as they pack up their instruments, wires, stands and other paraphernalia, picked up his coat and quietly left.

The second dream concerned a young Thai woman. She was tiny but not skinny, rounded somewhat. Her black hair was shorter than usual and cut in bangs. For some reason, what she was wearing made no impression on me. She was new to Bangkok having arrived only three months ago. The big city still awed her a bit. She found work in a local bar in Bangkok that specialized in oral sex. Today was her day off and she was spending it alone wandering around the Big C market, a slightly down-scale shopping mall, somewhat like Sears is downscale compared to Macy’s.

She often went there, not to shop but because she liked to wander about and look at things. She would stop and stare for a while at the various shows on the sets that lined the walls in the television department. She specially liked the animal and travel shows. She would wander about, fiddle with the smart phones and cameras in the electronics department or pick up a plate or a bowl in housewares, turn it over and closely examine its bottom. Whenever she passed by the clothing department, she would stop and finger the fabric of various items of clothing that caught her eye. All the while her mind would flit from thought to thought and memory to memory. She would often think about her tiny village somewhere in Issan and her parents, brothers and sisters. She pictured in her mind the fading image the little baby she left behind when she came to Bangkok to earn money to support him. She sent most of what she earned home to her parents to take care of the child and to save something for her for when she returned to the village. She lived a frugal life in Bangkok, sharing a tiny room with four other working girls, eating at the least expensive sidewalk food stands and entertaining herself by wandering around the malls.

At one point, she drifted into thinking about her little school girl uniform with the short pleated skirt and the plaid tie she wore at work. She liked the way she looked in it. She preferred working in the BJ bar than in the other bars. She did not like going to the short-time hotels or to the man’s hotel room. It made her feel shy and uncomfortable to take off her clothes. She thought about the old farang man who came to the bar and regularly choose her. That excited her. She hoped he would soon begin buying her things like some of the customers do with the other girls. Maybe he would take her here to Big C and buy her a smart phone.

As she stood in the electronics department holding a smart phone connected to the stand on which it was displayed and aimlessly played at pressing the icons, she saw herself with him walking up the stairs at the bar, waiting for him to sit on the bench then taking the pillow and placing in down and kneeling on it while he prepared himself. She could not recall what he looked like, only the liver spots on the backs of his hands and his few strands of wispy gray hair floating around his head. The image suddenly fled as she delightedly struck the icon for one of the games and started to play it.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

New not to be missed theme park opens in Korea:

In South Korea a new theme park has been opened called the Restroom Culture Park dedicated to the toilet industry and toilet behavior. It also contains a museum with exhibits demonstrating toilet technology through the ages. The park also displays fun facts about poop and statues of people going to the bathroom. The park is dedicated to former mayor Sim “Joe” Duck aka “Mr Toilet” who was reportedly fascinated by bathrooms.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

I am always happy to transmit something that interests me written or said by one of my “This and that…” correspondents. The following was published in the New York Times letters to the editor section. It contains some interesting background on the training received by some of the nation’s general staff at West Point.

Re “A Phony Hero for a Phony War,” by Lucian K. Truscott IV (Sunday Review, Nov. 18):

I take great exception to the description of David H. Petraeus as a “phony hero.” Far from being a “phony,” Mr. Petraeus is part of a long line of soldier-scholars trained by the department of social sciences at West Point. Founded by a legendary colonel, George Lincoln, after World War II, the department recruited outstanding cadets to be soldier-scholars and future generals who had more than the ability to lead troops in battle. Inspired by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Colonel Lincoln tried to develop officers with political and diplomatic skills, sending them to outstanding graduate schools like Harvard and Princeton. His goal was to develop soldiers who could deal with the complexities of the late 20th century.

Mr. Petraeus is only one of many such officers, but he is probably the most famous. And for good reason. He used his diplomatic and political skills to end the Sunni uprising in Iraq and to turn the Afghanistan conflict from a certain defeat into a marginal “good enough” success.

I know Mr. Truscott. Some 40-odd years ago I taught him at West Point. It’s sad to see him kick sand in the face of a real hero.

TERRENCE P. GOGGIN
New York, Nov. 19, 2012

The writer was an Army captain and assistant professor at West Point.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

An old man’s memories: Donald Lundy (Cont.)

In Tuckahoe, like most towns in the US at that time, the calendar followed by most little boys was not the Gregorian with its celestial seasons. Nor was it marked by the simple alternating rhythms of school and vacations. It was the round of sports seasons that directed our lives. There were three “Great” seasons, Football, Basketball and Baseball. They did not overlap each other as they do at the college level and in professional sports. Instead when one ended the next one began, often the following day. I never knew how the other kids knew one season ended and another started. It was a mystery. I would wake up one day and everyone would be there playing at something other that that which they were so obsessed with the night before. Hockey, Lacrosse and other sports did not penetrate our consciousness. Soccer was some weird thing the italian immigrants played, not we sophisticated first generation types and our African-American comrades.

There were however a few minor game seasons that intruded or sometimes overlapped the big three. For example just before baseball season began, for about two weeks we all played “marbles” with deathless concentration on both the games and on the collecting and trading of our marbles. These little glass balls had more arcane and mysterious names for them then the Eskimos have for snow; gobaloons, pee-wees, bowlers, aggies, clearies, steelies and on and on. There were basically two types of games played. One common in Mount Vernon and Yonkers consisted or drawing a large circle in the dirt. The players would each put up an agreed number of marbles in the center of the ring and then stand on the outside of the ring taking turns trying to knock the marbles out of the circle. The other game, favored in Tuckahoe, would be to draw a football sized and shaped “pot” in the dirt into which we would place the agreed upon marbles. Then a line was drawn about four feet away behind which the players would take turns trying to knock the marbles out of the pot. Only the first shot was taken from the line. Thereafter one would take his shot from wherever his shooter landed.

Near and during Christmas vacation we would buy chestnuts from the local chestnut vendor who appeared on the sidewalks of downtown about that time. We would drill a hole through the chestnut into which a string was knotted. We would then take turns striking each others chestnut until only the winner’s was left unbroken.

I do not recall ever seeing Dondi playing any or the sports and games the rest of us did (I was mostly an inconsistent participant hating games in the first place. It did not matter, most of the other kids thought I wasn’t very good anyway.)

In high school Don joined the Tuckahoe High School football team called the Tuckahoe Tigers. He became a local legend.

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Donald Lundy, number 12, catching a pass for the Tuckahoe Tigers (From Don’s son Donald Lundy’s Facebook page)

Football in Tuckahoe, at least the team that Don ultimately joined, had an interesting history. The gang began playing tackle football together when we were all in the first grade. No one had a full uniform or equipment until we got to high school. Mostly we played in our street clothing augmented by a piece of equipment here and there acquired over the years. Each year they would play four or more pick up games against teams from other neighborhoods or schools. There were no coaches or adults of any sort involved. Sometimes I would play with them (when they were desperate for players) and sometime against them when I lived somewhere else or attended a different school. No one was particularly big, strong or fast and none except for Peter White would one consider a natural athlete. Yet they won all their games that first year, and the year after that and in fact every year even all through high school where they formed the core of the Tuckahoe Tigers football team on which Don was the star running back. (Continued)

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

Late 1800’s: The Toggle Bolt, originally called the Tuckahoe Toggle Bolt was invented in Tuckahoe N.Y. by William H. Ruby.

Ruby sold his hardware store to the Cornell family who changed the name from Ruby’s to, you guessed it, Cornell’s. During the depression the store fell on hard times. Being Quakers, the Cornells felt they could not fire their employees in order to restore the business to profitability, so they sold it to an employee who had no problem with firing his fellow workers. While in high school, I dated the daughter of the scab. One date was all of me that she could stand. Perhaps it was my gobaloons or more likely, my pee-wee.

1822: deposits of high-quality white marble were discovered along the Bronx River between Tuckahoe and Eastwood in Westchester County. Tuckahoe Marble was used to construct grand early nineteenth-century NYC Greek Revival buildings such as Federal Hall (1830), and Brooklyn Borough Hall (1840), the Italianate Stewart’s “Marble Palace” (1846)–New York’s first department store–and the Washington Memorial Arch in Washington Square. It also provided most of the marble for the Washington Monument and the rebuilding of the Capitol in Washington DC. Tuckahoe Marble was the single most important white marble deposit in America until the latter part of the 1800’s, at which time reliable access to the extensive high-quality marble deposits of southwestern Vermont was established. Quarrying of Tuckahoe Marble ceased in 1930.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

It is the interest stupid: why bankers rule the world: Part I.

“The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”
Albert Einstein

“You are not a loan.”
Occupy slogan

“In the 2012 edition of Occupy Money released last week, Professor Margrit Kennedy writes that a stunning 35 percent to 40 percent of everything we buy goes to interest. This interest goes to bankers, financiers, and bondholders, who take a 35 percent to 40 percent cut of our GDP. That helps explain how wealth is systematically transferred from Main Street to Wall Street. The rich get progressively richer at the expense of the poor, not just because of “Wall Street greed,” but because of the inexorable mathematics of our private banking system.”
Ellen Brown, Truthout

B. Yiddish words everyone should know:

baleboste
A good homemaker, a woman who’s in charge of her home and will make sure you remember it.
bissel
Or bisl – a little bit.
bubbe
Or bobe. It means Grandmother, and bobeshi is the more affectionate form. Bubele is a similarly affectionate word, though it isn’t in Yiddish dictionaries.
bupkes
Not a word for polite company. Bubkes or bobkes may be related to the Polish word for “beans”, but it really means “goat droppings” or “horse droppings.” It’s often used by American Jews for “trivial, worthless, useless, a ridiculously small amount” – less than nothing, so to speak. “After all the work I did, I got bupkes!”
chutzpah
Or khutspe. Nerve, extreme arrogance, brazen presumption. In English, chutzpah often connotes courage or confidence, but among Yiddish speakers, it is not a compliment.
feh!
An expression of disgust or disapproval, representative of the sound of spitting.
glitch
Or glitsh. Literally “slip,” “skate,” or “nosedive,” which was the origin of the common American usage as “a minor problem or error.”
gornisht
More polite than bupkes, and also implies a strong sense of nothing; used in phrases such as “gornisht helfn” (beyond help).
goy
A non-Jew, a Gentile. As in Hebrew, one Gentile is a goy, many Gentiles are goyim, the non-Jewish world in general is “the goyim.” Goyish is the adjective form. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich is goyish. Putting mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich on white bread is even more goyish.
kibbitz
In Yiddish, it’s spelled kibets, and it’s related to the Hebrew “kibbutz” or “collective.” But it can also mean verbal joking, which after all is a collective activity. It didn’t originally mean giving unwanted advice about someone else’s game – that’s an American innovation.

Now, why you might ask would it be important for we goyim to learn a few words of yiddish. Well, in addition to the fact that many of these words are already common and well-integrated into English, there is another reason as well. You see, some languages have many words that essentially describe what a non-speaker would imagine to be the same thing. For example, 200 words or so for snow or a hundred and fifty words for a camels hoof. Yiddish enriches English because it contains hundreds of words to describe human foibles. Even when it ostensibly refers to a thing like a knickknacks, the yiddish word “tchatchke” seems to say more about the observer and the owner than about the object itself.

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Although capitalism is not a Ponzi scheme, credit-based economies, sic capitalism, and Ponzi schemes share the same fatal flaw. Both must constantly expand or they are in danger of collapse.”
– Darryl Robert Schoon

 

TODAY’S CHART:

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“Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.”
~Investors Business Daily
TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Categories: October 2012 through December 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 25 Joey0001 (April 14, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

The dread Songkran holiday began today. Although originally a festival welcoming in the new year at which time a person gently poured fragrant water over the Buddha images to cleanse them and bring good luck, it has turned into a loathsome frenzy in which gangs roam the streets drenching each other and the unwary with buckets of water thrown from the backs of pick-up trucks, or expelled at great velocity from hoses and giant water guns. I hate it.

(photo courtesy of Cordt)

Today also was the Little Masseuse’s day off and she wanted to spend it “looking around” at the temples near the royal precinct. She often enjoys her days off just “looking around.” I frequently join her. Sometimes we go to the mall and just, you know, “look around.”

We set off and thought we already were rewarded with the good luck that was to be ours for our pious intent to visit the temples when the driver of the courtesy vehicle for the hotel next to our apartment agreed to drive us the half mile or so to Sukhumvit the main road where we would catch the bus to the Royal Palace area. Alas, the vehicle was a converted Tuk-tuk, those ubiquitous three-wheeled vehicles that patrol the streets of Thailand. It was open on all sides. We had gone no further that about 20 yards when the vehicle became stuck in traffic and was immediately surrounded by hoards of revelers who drenched us with water from just about every possible means of violently propelling a liquid.

Soaking wet, we got on the bus to take us to the temple compounds. As I sat and thought dark thoughts about the crazed revelers I could see filling the streets as we passed, a woman of about LM’s age approached her and began bragging about the two-legged mobile ATM that she had also snagged and asked LM if she did not also think he was handsome. LM insisted that I turn around and look at this handsome American and so I did and saw a tall emaciated bald individual slightly younger than I with sepulchral look and washed out blue eyes to whom I would not apply the word handsome. I thought it somewhat endearing that these two middle-aged Thai women at their age and appearance were so pleased with their ATM’s.

We arrived at the Palace area and stopped at a shrine in the middle of traffic round-about. LM purchased some orange carnation like flowers in a wreath and some joss sticks from a table at the side of the shrine. She laid the flowers at the base of the shrine, poured some water over them from a nearby bucket, lit the joss sticks and dipped her head in prayer. While she prayed, one of the attendants at the table that sold the flowers picked up her floral offering and returned them to the table for resale. I have always marveled at how miraculous it has been that throughout history religions could create flourishing economies out of nothing but belief in the unknown and unknowable.

We then walked over to one of the temple compounds themselves. On the way there I realized that I had left my wallet in the apartment and told LM that whatever we spend today it was going to have to be on her.

We walked on a bit further when suddenly the sole of LM’s shoe fell off so we had to attach it with rubber bands scrounged from those lying on the sidewalk that had been been thrown away. They had previously secured plastic bags in which the sidewalk vendors sold various liquids. LM was obviously frustrated and annoyed and said to me what amounted to “why is it that my ATM has to be so often out of money?” Why indeed? I often ask that question myself.

Upon arriving at the Temple grounds LM purchased some more of the orange flower wreaths and disappeared into a temple building while I waited in front of another building in which a traditional Thai dance accompanied on traditional instruments was in progress. The dancers were dressed in elaborate brocade costumes complete with the tall spiked golden headdress. I guessed that they as well as the musicians were all in their 50’s or more but were proficient enough in bending back their fingers and toes and rolling their eyes to attract a good number of camera wielding tourists eager to preserve their efforts for all eternity in electronic pixels.

We then went to a group of large open sided tents where LM sat me on a park type bench, all wood slatted and wrought iron, and went off on a tour of the flower and sundry tables. I sat facing into the tent. I could see a the backs of a large number of kneeling Thais and through the other side of the tent I could see a construction site.

LM arrived back carrying what could only be described as a small-sized metal pizza dish on which were more of the orange flowers, some other floral bulbs whose name I do not know, some more joss sticks, a bit of brightly colored gauzy material, a few packets containing gold leaf, a bottle of what looked like clarified butter and a larger bottle of something that appeared to be olive oil. She asked me to hold the pizza plate while she took one of the wreaths and some joss sticks and joined the other Thais where she knelt before a low table on the other side of the tent and deposited the flowers, that were immediately gathered up by the attendants. She lit the joss sticks and placed them in receptacles full of sand. They too were quickly gathered up before they had a chance to burn all the way down. I was curious about what they planned to do with half burned joss sticks but was too shy to ask.

LM returned and beckoned to me to follow her. We walked to another building. It was a small temple surrounded by a little plaza encircled by a polished stone balustrade. I was left to lean against the balustrade and guard the pizza dish while she took the rest of the flowers and disappeared into the building.

Looking around me I noticed, in addition to the hundreds of worshippers and piles of empty pizza dishes, a number of objects that looked quite phallic like. On several about waste high platforms, a four or five foot column rose from the center of each. On the top of every one was  a representation of the ubiquitous floral bulb whose name I do not remember and refuse to look up in Wikipedia. Around these poles people were affixing the gold leaf, tying the diaphanous fabric or pouring the clarified butter on them.

When LM returned she joined in pasting her gold foil on several of these phallic like objects. She then wrapped one with her gauzy colored fabric and began to pour some of the clarified butter on to another one of them. She stopped, called me over and asked if I would pour it over the top since I was tall enough to reach. I gladly accepted the assignment and happily began pouring the contents of the bottle over the tip of the glans. Noticing my exuberance LM pulled me away warning me against pouring out the entire contents on just one.

Anyway, after emptying the contents of the bottle on to several of the columns, we abandoned the pizza dish and taking the remaining bottle of what I thought was olive oil went to a pavilion that had a number of lamps burning. Into each LM poured the contents of the bottle until it was empty.

Having completed our temple duties, we decided to return home. But first LM purchased some more flowers. There were not “flowers” as we think of them in the West, composed or brightly colored and delicate petals. They looked more like green patties of play-dough on a stick, embedded with acorns. The image of floral beauty inculcated into our consciousness by the romantic and mostly drugged poets of the 19th Century apparently was not carried over to Thailand. They are also edible, LM mentioned.

And so we set off for home. After a long bus ride, I took a short trip the final half mile to the apartment on the back of a motorbike where this seventy year plus body clutching the play-dough flowers in one hand and straw hat in the other prayed that a gang of Songkran thugs would not attack while I was in such a precarious position. The driver, either understanding my concern or sharing my dislike of the water wars, maneuvered through back alleys and deposited me at my apartment building safe and dry.

So to all of you, I wish you too, a happy Songkran and may the penis of your choice be covered on gold, tightly wrapped in gossamer and bathed in clarified butter.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY, MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES, THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Have fled from Thailand to escape Songkran.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. Where or where has the ice gone?

Even if it is disappearing don’t you just love that it is called the Cryosphere. “Look my drink is filled with little bits of cryosphere.”

2. US teens are two and a half times as likely to give birth as compared to teens in Canada, around four times as likely as teens in Germany or Norway, and almost 10 times as likely as teens in Switzerland. Among more developed countries, Russia has the next highest teen birth rate after the United States, but an American teenage girl is still around 25 percent more likely to give birth than her counterpart in Russia.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-there-are-so-many-teen-moms-in-the-us-2012-4#ixzz1raiZIwlI

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

a. Let’s begin by shining some light on how political campaigns are really financed.

b. This:

BofA has gone downhill ever since they moved their headquarters from SF to Charlotte. In fact if you asked me, they have been going downhill ever since they changed their name from Bank of Italy. But wait, some guy in Detroit is collecting unemployment and not looking for a job. Just think how much better the US would be if we eliminate unemployment insurance payments so that those cheats are forced to get a job. Maybe BofA is hiring.

2. Could Reagan have won the Republican nomination for President this year?

3. Just clearing my desk top:

A bit of french political humor:

I think one has to be French to enjoy the humor.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/
TODAY’S QUOTE:

Pilots are expenses. They are not assets, like planes and computers.”
– American Airlines Vice President during contract negotiations in early 1990s.

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOONS:

1. Something for both sides of the ideological divide to feel superior about.


2. Honoring the “Fairness Doctrine” (besides, alas, it is all too accurate).

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

1. Spock speaks:

I am positive that Obama would agree also.

2. Wow:

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 23, 2010

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Hagia Irene over the Ruins of Byzantium

Hagia Irene over the Ruins of Byzantium (Photo credit: voyageAnatolia.tumblr.com)

Seventh CenturyThe veil, beloved by Muslims, began in the courts of Christian Byzantium. When Arab armies captured the cities of Syria and Egypt in the 7th century they adopted the practice for their own women.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

a. The catastrophic decline of the dollar’s value continues, but appears to be slowing. At the bank yesterday I received a little under 28 baht per dollar, down from the over 36 that I received when I arrived in January.

b. Russian, Chinese and Japanese travel agents are pre booking huge numbers of Thai hotel rooms for between 30 and 50 percent of standard rates.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Yesterday I went to Central Mall in the Outskirts of Hell to do some banking in preparation for my trip back to the US. On my return I thought it would be a good idea to walk back to my apartment along the sand the entire length of Beach Road.

As I walked, I approached one of the large boat ramps that lie across beach every kilometer or so. It was a fairly low tide, so instead of walking around the ramp by returning to Beach Road I decided to cross it. As soon as I stepped on to the ramp, I discovered it was slick with algae. I slipped and fell, banged my head on the cement and slid into the surf. I tried to get up but the ramp was too slippery and I continued to slip and fall. I rolled around in the surf helplessly for a while until two Thai fishermen hauled me out. After checking my head for blood, I went on my way thoroughly drenched with an aching head, scraped and bloodied knees and feeling greatly embarrassed. I also lost my eye-glasses. As I continued to walk along, I tried to convince myself it was not all my fault.

Today is Loy Krathung, the Thai festival of lights. Loy Krathung along with the Water Festival in April at the start of the monsoon, are the two most significant holiday’s in the country. They are analogous to Easter (the spring planting festival) and Christmas (The festival of lights) in the West.

It is my favorite festival. The Thai women dress up in traditional costumes, all silk with gilded floral headdresses and everyone goes down to the shore and launches small boats (Krathungs) made from flowers and containing candles and incense into the waters in and around Thailand.

Tonight, I went to the beach and waded out into the surf to launch my little flower boat. The scene was quite amazing, thousands of other boats had already been launched into the surf. They bobbed up and down lighting up the bay with their tiny twinkling lights. While up above additional thousands of large rice paper cylinders with a small flame in the bottom of each launched from the sand slowly and majestically floated up into the sky, filling it with a mirror image of the drifting lights on the sea below.

The following morning those krathungs that had not drifted out to sea or been picked up by the children swimming among them last night, washed up on to the sand. The umbrella and beach chair concessionaires were busy raking up the residue, sometimes assisted by the children of the tourists. Every now and then groups of tourists would gather up some mostly intact Krathungs and make figures ( hearts and circles) with them on the sand.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. More from the Princess Bride:

Prince Humperdinck: “Please consider me as an alternative to suicide.”

b. From God’s lips to your ears:

Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him. But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

– Numbers 31.17,18.
TODAY’S QUOTE:

“. . . the governments of the people are better than those of princes.”
Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses on the first Ten Books of Titus Livius. Book I, Chapter LVIII
“Ciao…

 

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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