Friday, 31 August 2007
We have to have attendance sheets finished for our classes; we have to have all our lesson report sheets and lesson plans ready to be handed in to the head of EBP. I usually keep on top of it all and pretty well up to date. I write all my lesson reports onto sheets of paper as they are scribbled ideas and stuff written that I can decipher. So after I have finished a lesson I transfer it onto a lesson report neatly and what went well and bad and how it could have been improved.
So last night I spent a few hours transferring all the scribbled lesson reports onto the official school lesson report sheets and then an hour doing my attendance sheet records for the month. So it was a lot of fun I can tell you!!
Late last night I was able to read few papers and a few of my favourite blogs and then it was pushing 1am so I had to get to bed.
My day at school yesterday was pretty good. I have 4 periods of contact teaching and 2 are with year 11 and 12 and these are classes I really enjoy teaching as you can really interact with these kids as they usually have a much broader vocabulary which makes this enjoying when you can bounce ideas off of them and illicit information for the lesson from them. The other good thing is that there are always a few students who are well ahead of their classmates and you can use them to help with the lesson by either translating some things into their mother tongue or even going around the class and monitoring and helping explain to their friends.
I do enjoy teaching the younger classes but at times their text books are very confusing and no matter how much you simplify lessons or use flash cards or even miming to help them understand, there is a limitation.
I enjoy having students firing questions at me so we can go over things they aren’t understanding relating to the lesson, this is more exciting than boring repetitious reading and repeating which the lower levels are only capable of.
Yesterday I was lucky to have a lot of fun with my year 6 class and it was involving a song that for once was catchy and had a good beat to it. Sadly there are many songs in the text books that are just utter nonsense and so hard for the students to sing.
This song was teaching the students about using will/won’t for the future. When I first previewed the song I was happy to hear the catchy tune and easy lyrics. So the day before we spent going over the lyrics and pronunciation. I explained the use of will and won’t but this wasn’t too important at the moment as it is being covered more in the next lesson.
So after the preparation yesterday the students were put into groups and I made sure that the students with a higher level of English were split evenly in the groups and gave them positions of responsibility so they could help their weaker friends. After explaining the competition we were going to have and what the rewards were going to be (it’s always good to offer a bribe!!) we left the classroom and went outside which we don’t get a lot of chances to do.
The groups picked an area each and got to work learning the song. They had to work out a dance routine as well to go with it. They didn’t have a lot of time so today they carried on with the practice and working out their moves.
It was good to see them having a lot of fun and laughing a lot at some of the dancing moves being practiced. The leaders were doing a good job of organizing and helping there mates with the lyrics.
So come Monday the competition should be fierce and I will video them on the day as I am sure there will be a few funny things to see.
So, all up today a good day and I was happy to head to the weekend with mostly good memories of the week.
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
It said that owners had failed to pick up vehicles they had confiscated when people were unable to pay their fines on the spot. You see here in Thailand, the police stop you and if you have money you go on over to the little fold out table that a policeman is sitting at and you pay the fine and he gives you a receipt and you are on your way.
If you don’t have money they will take your license if you have one and you can have it returned to you at the police station when you pay the fine.
If you don’t have a license the original ownership papers will be fine, and they will be held until the fine is paid.
Lastly, if you don’t have any of the above they will load your motorbike onto the back of a waiting police pick-up truck and you end up walking down the road with your helmet in hand, if you were wearing one and when you come up with the money you can retrieve it from the police station after the fine is paid.
Apparently at The Chiang Mai, Chang Puak, Phu Pingkrachnivet Mae Ping stations have no space left to keep the motorcycles.
Police have been forced to post guards to stop owners from stealing them back.
I know Thailand is a third world country but I am sure they could come up with a better system for punishing people who continually break the laws. Does Thailand have a demerit point system? I am sure it doesn’t as I asked my Thai friend and he said “no”.
The simple thing is put people who break the driving laws again and again in jail; Stick them behind bars for 30 days and see if this changes their attitudes. I know Thai prisons are already too overcrowded with real criminals so this wouldn’t happen.
Three things I would like to see in Thailand within 2 years would be:
1- Police officers out patrolling at nighttime. Police here in Isaan never or I have never ever seen them just out in a police car driving around checking the city out and also many of my friends say the same thing. Young people know this and after dark the roads aren’t overly safe.
2- Put in red light cameras and speed cameras throughout of Thailand. I am sure that this could be done and the money raised in fines would come into the trillions of baht mark as anyone who lives here knows that ignoring red lights is a Thais favourite past time and also is speeding.
3- Have professionally set-up mobile booze buses as they do in Australia. Have these out every night in Thailand going to all different locations. This would also bring in so much money that the government wouldn’t know what to spend all the money on. It would be overflow the bank vaults in the major banks in Bangkok.
So they are my 3 wishes for Christmas that might come true, one day a million or so years down the road. You never know the “new” government might take the law and order and safety of the Thai people seriously and set things in action to make Thailand an even better and safer place to live.
In short a 38 year old man has raped and murdered an 11 year old girl while her parents were working on the farm in the rice field. She had only been left alone for around 90 minutes and when they returned discovered the heart breaking scene. He was caught because he was trying to steal a songbird that he stole from the house.
When police questioned him he admitted to the crime and also others that he has committed and it was also revealed he had spent time in jail for rape a few years ago.
He has been remanded in custody as the police fear for his safety as the girl’s family would kill him if they had the chance. The other reason is that he would rape again.
They say he faces the death penalty if convicted of the charge but sadly this is too nice for scum like this. Give him to the family of the girls and let them use rusty blunt knifes and machetes to tear him apart.
This world is such a revolting place at times. I am glad I don’t see it in my backyard too often here in Isaan country.
Story here but link could go down fast
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Here in Isaan country, Ubon Ratchathani the downpours don’t usually last more than a few hours thankfully as if they did I would be swimming in my house. I live at the bottom of 4 little streets that all flow down to my street and here in Ubon and most of Thailand the storm water drains are really nothing more than a joke.
They don’t work, it’s that simple. Here in Ubon they have just finished installing new drains all through the main part of Ubon with no success. They dug up my road and put in new pipes 5 months ago and if anything the water runoff is worse now than it was before with the old drainage system.
This is also the case on the main road through Ubon. They ripped the edge of the road up and tore out an old culvert style drain to put in enclosed storm water pipes. These pipes were too small for the amount of water that can fall in a short period of time here in Isaan country but for some reason the engineers and town planners if they have them didn’t realize this. So now when we get a downpour the main road floods worse than before, but again this is such a common thing in Ubon. Instead of fixing a problem they seem to add to it through either ineptness.
Anyway, the other morning starting around 5am, we had one of those downpours you can get here in Isaan. It started to rain, and rain it did. It rained or more to the pointed poured down for around one and three quarter hours. I got up early in the morning and shut the windows to the house as it was blowing a gale and also some light drizzle falling. Not long after that the lightning and thunder started and then the rain fell.
I got up at 6am and when I looked out the front door was greeted by a sea of water again. The rain was now falling lightly compared to before. Only for about an hour it came down hard then after that for another hour it rained lightly.
The water had flooded my little street like it has done so many times before but today it was actually creeping up into the yard and this hasn’t really happened before. My house is up off the street a good 20 metres and a lot higher than the street by a good few feet.
Even when I opened the backdoor there was a good puddle of water forming around the motorbikes. I have had water lying about out there before but not like this. I wasn’t worried about my place flooding as this would take a massive amount of water but to get out and go to work was going to be impossible as the water would be too deep for the motorbikes.
At 7am I decided to go and check things out again as the rain had just about stopped.
My lovely girlfriend and her younger sister had finally awoken and decided to have a look at the situation; they didn’t venture outside but stood at the front door to the house. They mustn’t have wanted to get wet feet so early in the morning. As you can see from the picture the water was just below the first step going up to the front door. I have never seen the water this high at home. It actually went over this step about 20 minutes later but that was as high as it got.
Out on the street it was knee deep on the shallowest part of the street. There was rubbish and all sorts or junk washing down the newly formed river. If you know Thai people they don’t really care too much to where they throw their rubbish out. A vacant paddock is a very popular place.
The water ran to the end of my street and out into some vacant blocks. There are some large culvert drains downs there but are so full of overgrown grass and full of rubbish that they don’t work to the best of their ability.
When the water had just about finished running out the grass in the vacant blocks reappeared and then I realized our wheelie bin was missing and was down there somewhere and when I went to investigate it was just around the concrete wall full of water, so I emptied it out so the rubbish could float away and then floated it back to the house.
After about and hour of the rain stopping and the sun was out shining and the morning looked beautiful, the water from the yard had receded but not so in the street to a level of getting the motorbikes out yet. I didn’t have to be at school until 10:15am as that was my first class for the day so I wasn’t worried but Noot and Ben had to be at university and school but neither looked overly stressed about the situation.
I walked down the end of the street to check the conditions and depth of the road. Looking back down the street to my house the lovely murky brown water was still flowing out into the empty blocks although very slowly.
My neighbours hadn’t faired to well as I had thought. They have been pretty unlucky as about 8 months or so ago when we had another big downpour and really strong winds that removed some roof tiles from their house and then of course this flooded the house with water but nothing too bad. This wasn’t the case this time; they had a good foot of water al through the lower part of the house, the living room and kitchen took the brunt of it. There was some furniture floating about and they were in the process of bailing the water out of the house. The worst part was their 3 motorbikes at the front of the house as they had been submerged, the motors well and truly covered but hopefully they will be lucky and no damage would have been caused, I would be taking mine to the mechanic just to check as if water has penetrated the motor then rust forms and then your bike is RS.
All the class rooms on the lower floor had water go through them but luckily these aren’t carpeted and can be mopped out easily. The students had cardboard folders and books on the floor that didn’t fare too well and where outside in the sun drying out.
So that was the excitement to start the working week and I don’t think I will be able to top that this week but again this is Thailand and anything is possible.
P.S –Sorry but the photo’s aren’t from Flickr as my upload amount is maxed out an I am having a hell of a time joining opening an account at the moment but hope this is rectified soon as the quality of the pictures are just so superior to blogger pictures.
Sunday, 26 August 2007
There is a 300-400 metre stretch or road that has shops lined along it serving all kinds of Thai food and also some farang dishes at cheap prices and the best part is it tastes great.
My favourite shop is this one. I usually buy from here most nights. It serves a variety of huge variety of Thai meals and also foreign dishes.
Fried rice, noodle, meat and vegetable soups, Chinese type soups 20 baht each,then there is the best tasting Tom Yum Goong or spicy prawn soup and that comes with heaps of seafood and is only 50 baht. He also makes a really good pasta dish and an excellent omelette, because of the variety you never get bored with the foods.
You can dine in under some large marquees that are set up in case of rain with fresh air blowing through or you can takeaway and go home and sit in the comfort of your home.
The roadside shop where we watch the football is a normal Thai set up. I first meet the owner when he was selling fake Levi jeans in a different location but it was hard to do as moving the stock in large numbers and also paying the men in brown a large sum to stop being busted. This still happened a few times and he decided enough was enough and opened a shop across the road from the busy food stalls.
He started with very basic set up and not a lot on offer and that has now grown to a large size shop that sells all sorts of things needed by everyone form shampoo, washing liquid, plastic bags and the list goes on and on. Obviously the biggest demand is snack foods and beer.
My Thai friend and English mate were on site to watch the football and also a good group of Thai people. Usually it is mostly younger Thai men who cannot afford UBC at home and they all meet somewhere for a few beers and to watch the footy. Tonight there were a lot of younger Thai girls who had tagged along and they were into the beer as well and one group of girls just sat at a table well out of the way and drank beer and chatted.
At half time the crowd had grown to a good size and my mate was busy and happy of course. The men were enjoying their beverages after a hard days work and talking crap more than likely and just being guys like all over the rest of the world. The thing that’s different here is I haven’t ever seen 2 different groups ever face off. There is hardly any yelling and this only happens when a goal is scored or nearly scored.
My friend rents his shop at a cost of 6,000 a month. It is also his home as his sleeping area is out the back of the shop and also he has a small lounge room. He has a wife and 2 small children that run around here and there or play computer games inside on the other TV. He doesn’t have a shower or anything like that in the shop but across the road is the public toilets and also showers that are very clean but there isn’t hot water. I just couldn’t do that. I am too much of a pussy.
We left last night at just after 9pm and there were plenty of people just turning up to watch the Manchester United side play at 10pm. The most popular sides are Man U and Chelsea, then Liverpool and Arsenal and now Manchester City is popular with Taksin the new owner.
The ice trucks deliver ice late into the night to the shops;
So that was the excitement of the night and sadly for me my team Newcastle United drew with Middlesbrough 2-2 but that is better than getting beaten, I suppose.
I will take my camera and get some pictures of Thai lifestyle and watching the football Thai style. There are always some interesting characters getting about and plenty of good looking distractions to catch your eye going past on motorbikes and on foot.
Today I slept in and then we went to the market to do some shopping and we bought lunch and came home. We bought a heap of food for the 3 of us. There was processed pork roll, deep fried fish cakes, deep fried pork, deep fried chicken skin, a tangy pork sausage that I don’t know what it is even called in Thai, papaya salad, a thin noodle with vegetables and a fish sauce and 15 baht worth of sticky rice.
So how much did this smorgasbord cost you ask? Well, it was 100 baht on the nose or just over $4 Australian dollars. It filled me right up and I am still not feeling hungry now. There was a lot of deep fried stuff consumed so I ran 10 laps at the park tonight and walked around 5 with my friends to make up for all the oil.
Well I must go as kick off is in 30 minutes and I need to have a shower and I rang my friend the shop owner and he has reserved a table for us. So to all have a good night as I will in Isaan Country Thailand.
My first lesson is at 9am and is 3 young boys in year 7 and they pay 200 baht each for an hour lesson or around $21 Australian dollars. After they leave I teach 5 primary students at the same price per student for an hour. I them have 3 year 9 students, after that it’s lunch then another lesson of 3 girls and then at 2:30pm a class of 20 students at a friends school. So all up today it adds up to over 3,000 Thai baht.
On Sunday I don’t teach until 1pm and in the mornings usually sleep in or go and play golf. I teach 3 classes of Sunday for 2,000 baht. So for 36 hours of teaching for a month I earn in excess of 20,000 baht but at my school job I work 161 hours for the month and receive just over 30,000 baht.
I have turned many students away as I don’t teach through the weekdays after school and I am happy with the students who I now teach and there are some who I have been teaching for 15 months and they just really enjoy coming and studying with me.
Anyway, this afternoon my lovely girlfriend asked if I wanted to go out to the village in the evening and I politely declined the offer, nothing against the village but I have seen what happens there and it really doesn’t interest me in the least.
My English mate and our Thai English speaking friend who supports Liverpool made a date to meet at the food stalls near my house to watch the football game tonight that kicked off at 6:45pm local Thai time. We have to do this if we want to watch the football as none of us have UBC or True Move as it’s now known, I think. My English pal and I have cable TV which is 61 channels of mostly Thai and a few different language channels thrown in here and there.
There is Arabic, Chinese, Laos, English (about 7 channels but always changes), Vietnamese and there were some good South African sports channels that have now disappeared. On cable TV a channel will be there one day and gone the next. They swap and change channels all the time, which is a pain in the ass but the main thing is the Australian channel doesn’t disappear and I get my dose of Aussie TV and news and that keeps me happy.
The problem at the moment is they aren’t showing any Premier football on any channels. Last season you could watch it on so many different channels but now nothing. I refuse to pay 2,000 baht for UBC as that is just a rip off, I only pay 350 baht a month for cable and that’s 2 outlets in the house.
So we head on over to a little shop about 250 metres from my house and sit down to watch the football on his TV. He gets a good crowd in for the football games and we all sit on the edge of the road where the car parks should be at fold down tables and enjoy the game. Thai men are football mad and they love to gamble on football as well and the other great reason to watch football is it gets them away from the girlfriend or wife and they can be with mates and drink that is also a big favourite of Thai men.
I arrived a little earlier than my mates and secured a table brought a bottle of coke and a bucket of ice and the football kicked off. My English mate turned up 5 minutes later and our Thai mate arrived right when Liverpool scored their first goal. I half shit myself as he let out a huge roar when he was a metre behind me. He had brought a spirit with him called Hong Thong and is a blended spirit of some kind that is cheap at 85 baht for a small bottle.
So, he sat down then let us know that his team was a goal up, I support Newcastle and Keith supports Chelsea, so we didn’t really care. He ordered a bottle of soda water and set off about demolishing his bottle of spirits. We bought another bottle of Pepsi when the Coke ran out, Keith and I hardly ever drink and then bought some beer nuts and dried squid.
So we sat there and chatted and just generally what guys do watching the football, talked shit and enjoyed each others company. After 2 hours and Liverpool had come out victors at 2-0 over Sunderland it was time to depart. So my Thai friend asked for the check of; a bottle of Pepsi and Coke, 2 bottles of soda water, 2 small packets of nuts also one big packet of dried squid and 3 buckets of ice 3 buckets of ice.
The bill came back at a total of 83 baht or just a few cents over $3 Australian dollars. The guy who owns the shop I know well as I have been buying odds and ends off of him for well over 16 months now. I always get my ice and snacks from his shop. I added the bill up myself.
25 baht for each bottle of soft drink (50 baht), 2 bottles of soda water (18 baht), 5 baht each for the 3 packets of snacks (15 baht), and the ice is usually 5 baht a bucket but tonight he gave to us free of charge. I said that 90 baht was okay but he wouldn’t accept it and would only take the correct money. My Thai friend gave me 50 baht and I also told him not to worry but he insisted and you can argue with a Thai forever and it wouldn’t change the outcome so after 4 attempts of returning his money I gratefully accepted it.
So for over 2 hours of fun with drinks and snacks it came in at a whopping $3 and a bit dollars. I then stopped at a fried chicken roadside stall and bought 3 pieces of deep dried chicken that is 100% better tasting and nowhere near as greasy as KFC and to go with it 10 baht of Thailand’s famous sticky rice. All up a total cost of 45 baht or well under $2 Aus dollars.
I really love Thailand.
Friday, 24 August 2007
I am going to go looking for the materials to build it hopefully on Sunday morning. It will probably cost me 2,000 baht all up ($65 Australian). The current set up is finer for them as they aren’t just cooped in a small cage. They have an area of a metre plus square that they can run around in.
In the cage they have a small burrow that I made from a cardboard box, it has a small entrance and they can go in there to get away from whatever they like. It has a cardboard floor and is filled with shredded paper so they can make a sleeping area if they like. They also run in there if they feel threatened; a loud noise and they go scooting into the burrow for a few seconds and then come out to check things out again.
They have some basic toys at the moment and I am looking for some more suitable toys for them but just have to find them. They love paper as they shred it with their teeth. They love the cardboard to claw their nails on it trying and dig through it. They best and easiest toy is the inside of a toilet roll which they pick up and throw around and then pounce on it and do it again.
They are feed well with pellets and fresh vegetables. They get small pieces of corn (they really love this), I introduced carrot to them this week and this is also a favourite. The vegetable they really like to munch on is Bok Choy. This is on top of their list of eating, I would like to get them some hay but I just have to find where I can buy it from as I have read how good it is for them and also their teeth.
I am going to see about having them neutered as I have read at the 8 weeks plus mark they can start getting a little testy with each other when they start trying to stamp their authority. I also read that marking their territory is also a favourite and I don’t want this. So tomorrow I am off to the vets to see about getting it done and how long it will take for them to recover and so forth.
They are way smarter than I gave them credit for. They hadn’t ever seen a litter tray before as when my friend had them they would just go in a certain area of their hutch. I introduced a litter tray the second day they moved in and I read on a good rabbit site about putting the food tray in the litter tray until they are used to it as they tend to go to the toilet as they eat (this is true). I did this for a week and now I have moved the food tray out into the living area and they always go into the litter tray to do their business. There are a few droppings in the living area but I think this is from being stuck to their fur and then they fall off.
They haven’t urinated once outside on the tiled area, they did a few times in the cage the first few nights but now it is always in the litter tray. They get the run of the house for about an hour or so every night. I open up the fenced area and they can get anywhere in the living room area but not into the bedrooms or kitchen. They will run around and jump and leap into the air which at times is very funny. They are really inquisitive and will sniff everything and also try and eat everything, so that means watching them carefully.
They get their living area cleaned 3 or 4 times a day. They get plenty of attention and being in the living room area and they have plenty of interaction with people and noise. When I first took the rabbits on I was a little reluctant but now I am happy I did so as they are a really nice animal. They don’t take too much time to look after, it is a little planning and 10 minutes a day of cleaning and all is sweet.
I haven’t forgotten my 5 fish tanks and 35-40 fish (some just gave birth) and tonight cleaned 2 of the tanks and did a water change and vacuumed the gravel in the tanks to get rid of all the waste. These are Noot’s pets but I am the caretaker you could say. Noot is happy to feed them and admire them and I am the guy who does all the dirty work. I am happy as if this keeps Noot happy I always say. “If she’s happy then I am happy” and that means there are smiles all around.
Oh and most importantly I haven’t forgot our adopted lane dog Mew who gets feed every night and looked after well too.
I love Thailand.
Thursday, 23 August 2007
I was surfing and reading papers last night when I come across this story that I hoped I wouldn’t ever read.
Here in Thailand you will often see a whole family jammed onto a motorbike, that could be dad, mum, older brother around 7-8, younger sister around 4-5 and then a baby infant in the arms of mum.
This isn’t a one off thing but very common as so many Thai people only dream about owning a car and many of those who do own cars put their family so far into debt that their children end up being sent away to work and send money back to help finance loans and help the family live.
Anyway, the sad story involves a dad (Suthin) and a mum (Boonma) and dad and a young 1 month old baby (Ronnakorn). They were riding along and mum had Ronnakorn in her arms as they travelled along. This is just a normal sight in Thailand and nothing strange.
What happened next is something that I had never thought about: I had thought of a car hitting a motorbike and the baby go flying out of mum or dads grasp, or even worse just mum dropping the baby.
What happened is the towel the baby was wrapped in had come loose and a piece of it made contact with the chain, this then wrapped itself into the chain. What occurred next would have happened in the blink of an eye. Ronnakorn was ripped from Booma’s arms in a flash. In that split second Ronnakorn leg became jammed in the chain.
His parents tried to free him but were unable to and you could only imagine the horrible situation they were in. It would have been heartbreaking and terrifying seeing their infant son in this situation. After exhausting all attempts to free him they called for assistance.
Police arrived and they had to cut the chain and then they could remove Ronnakorn and this is when they discovered something horrible. Ronnakorn’s right leg had been severed.
Sadly this is all that was reported but I am going to try and follow up on this story and see what happened to him and if he survived (we can only pray). I am hoping that the papers do follow this story up.
I know that it would be near impossible to stop people carrying infants on motorbikes as this is there only available type of transportation. Again what price do we put on a life of someone so young and so innocent? Can the Thai government do more? Are the police really trying hard enough to stop this?
The answers to these questions are fairly easy to answer but implementing procedures to stop scenes like this would take a colossal effort of all the people of Thailand. This is sadly something that I know would not happen. Thai people and road safety just don’t congeal together. Thai road users are nothing short of disgraceful with the way they drive and the amount of care taken behind the wheel.
They are so selfish behind the wheel of a vehicle that it actually scares me to be out after 9pm at night on my motorbike because of the way people drive cars and ride motorbikes. The Thai culture of drinking and driving seems to be more of a right for the people. They get absolutely Molly the Monk and then hop behind the wheel and drive like they are a professional race car driver. These people aren’t the stains in the underpants of a race car driver and often when they do cause an accident they then leave the scene in the quickest possible way and leave their victims on the road to fend for themselves.
The amount of hit and run news reports I read every week is astonishing. I think this has to be one of the most cowardly and selfish self centred acts that any person on the face of this Earth can do.
Well I could go on for weeks about this but it’s really no point as so many people have covered it before. I just hope that I don’t see another news story the same as Ronnakorn’s in the near or distant future.
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
There is always a good crowd to watch the boys play and cheer them on. There are always big cheers for body clashes and near misses on goal. The last few days there have been games taking place every senior lunch hour.
Some of the boys are incrediably talented and the skills they have with the way they can control the ball in really memorizing to watch. It takes many hours of training and just playing around to develop skills like this.
When there is a penalty kick in the goal area the ball is placed at the top of the arc or semi circle where the keeper can pick the ball up from. The team then huddles in front of the goal about 5 metres away.
The person taking the penalty kick takes a really good run up and lets loose with all he has and all I can say is that I am happy I don’t have to stand there and face up to a fairly hard ball coming at you from such a short distance and at speed. The people defending the line don’t know if they should face forward and risk being hit in the groin or face or turn their back to the penalty kicker and risk a ball in the middle of the back or back of the head. Somehow they kept this penalty kick out.
After the boys had finished it was the girls turn and I had never seen the girls play footsal before. They needed 5 girls to make a team and the girls in the black shirts were keen to get into it and start playing.
So the girls lined up and got ready to face off against each other. There were a few girls who obviously didn’t know what to do and seemed a little lost.
The referee got into position and the girls waited for the whistle to be blown and then they were underway.
Now the girl’s skill level was pretty low but they really got into it and they were really rough. These girls didn’t have too much fear. They would just focus on the ball and charge and if someone was in the way people were knocked out o the way or fell over.
This was bringing huge cheers from the crowd and mostly the boys as they really enjoyed watching the girls bash each other about a bit. There wasn’t any goals scored but it was very entertaining to watch.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Thai girls love to sing, they will sing any chance they get. My house is often a scene of Noot and Ben’s friends singing karaoke. They will sit and sing away for hours on end. It is cheap entertainment and harmless fun but at times can be very hard on the hearing and that isn’t because the music is load but the people singing can be more than average at times.
Ben has been to many parts of Isaan and also to Bangkok to compete on TV. Last year her dance troupe went through to the finals on a popular Thai TV show that has different schools competition against each other. They were beaten in the final by a Bangkok school but did really well for a team from a country town.
So Noot was there for support and to cheer on Ben and her friends. There were a lot of people there watching and it was near impossible getting anywhere near the stage to take photos. Thai people just don’t think about leaving a walkway for people and this at any event they will sit or stand in the smallest of gaps available. It’s like leaving a gap in the line at a checkout; A Thai person will jump into the gap with no second thoughts about it and with not an ounce of guilt about it.
Joom was also there to add more support for her sister.Joom can actually sing well. I was surprised the first time I heard her knock out a tune and at the level she could do it. She actually picked up singing English tunes pretty quickly but the pronunciation wasn’t overly fantastic but a lot better than I had heard in hotels around Thailand.
There were also plenty of friends from the village which is 22 kilometres away to lend support and yell and scream as many of the young Thai kids do at these things.
The girls did a really good job on their 2 shows on the Sunday and at the end of the competition came third which was a good result as they are on year 9 and 10 girls and the team that came first was from university and looked very well rehearsed. The team that came second was from Ben’s school as well and was made up of year 11 and 12 students.
So there were plenty of happy faces around from Ben’s school and they are now in practice for the next competition in a few weeks time. This is in a town about 120 kilometres away and I have traveled far and wide to watch Ben compete.
Ben loves being in the action and I am amazed at how confident she is dancing and singing in front of so many strangers. The funny thing is if you ask Ben to ask a waiter for a bill or go into a shop and buy something she is so shy to do it but put on some fancy dresses and make-up and she is shy free.
This is Ben’s good friend and just finished year 12 last year and has now moved onto university but keeps in contact with her younger friends as well.
My parents who holidayed here in April were lucky to see Ben perform at a concert in Mukdahan about 140 or so kilometers away from Ubon. There was a very large crowd there and some big Thai superstars in attendance, I would say somewhere around 3000,-4,000 people there watching. Ben and her school friends had to dance and sing around 8 songs and Ben got to sing 3 songs as the lead singer. She was a happy as a pig in shit as they say. There are 3 reports on that show. You can read and see the pictures by clicking on the links. Mukdahan Show. Pictures Ben and Mum and Dad also Photo's of Noot and Benjawan with Super Stars and also More Performers Mukdahan Show and Mukdahan. Mum feeding an elephant
So that was Ben the up and coming next Thai superstar in the making.
Flickr: Photos in 5 different sizes. Click here.