Tuesday, March 26, 2013

King Narai mystique

The museum at King Narai palace in Lopburi closes half past four.  We were late. But the ruins outside the inner palace gate were perfect for the time we arrived- less than thirty minutes to five. Sunset was approaching. We were among the few visitors who loitered behind. We couldn't have chosen a more wondrous time to be there.

A resident mystique envelopes relics of the past, especially those that enjoyed splendor in their day. We explored in peace.

Trying to get an idea of what was in store the next day, I peeped through the slit on the huge gate: outlines of edifices even bigger than the skeletal remains standing on the outer grounds, still proud.

The shadows lengthen as the sun hurried west. Waxing meditative is easy when ruins speak to you

I imagine a wedding here at night aglow with fireflies. Lotuses gliding on the pond, chimes in the soft breeze, real fairies for bride's maids....

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lights, camera, emotions and cut!

If you dined at Sometime's Cafe & Bistro, you do so surrounded with books and antiques. What I remembered while admiring old decor at Sometime's is the same as when I saw one feature of this week's Sepia prompt: cameras.

My Aunt Rebecca is a widow who raised a brood of nine on her husband's photography business. Endeared to the device that played an important role in their survival, one of her grandsons was named Yashica.

Something during Aunt Rebecca's husband's funeral always made me wonder why it was like that. No one in the family ever discussed it. I suspect it's because everyone thinks her crying got a bit out of control. Once I took my mother aside to wring out her opinion of her sister's behavior, and she frankly observed that her sister's display of emotions was rather exaggerated.

The scene at that wake must have created different emotions among those present. This pen and ink Study in Emotions by Charles Le Brun shows Aunt Rebecca's grief - third face from the left, first row above.

Do you see any of your emotions in the photo? 

Third one to the right, bottom row is my facial expression when trapped in something boring but obligatory. Meanwhile a variety of emotions swirls around the latest drama of a national hero's daughter. Everyone is either tired or annoyed. Some are smirking, some cursing, some just don't give a damn and yet some are stoic to the whole thing. Personal issues, no matter how prominent the individual or how many times their Dad's face is printed on the country's currency, should be managed in a way the entire nation does not have to watch it on prime time TV.

The ongoing national brouhaha is portrayed well right in Charles Le Brun's work!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Celebrating Equinox

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

Happy Spring Equinox, everyone. What book are you choosing to celebrate with?
Timeline by Michael Crichton. It works around some of my most favorite topics: archaeologists discovering something shocking at a medieval site.

Thursday 13: Dasa's bestselling travel non-guidebooks in my side of town. Any familiar author or title you might be interested in?

1. A fortune-teller told me by Tiziano Terzani
2. A cook's tour by Anthony Bourdain
3. Off the rails in Phnom Pehn by Amit Gilboa
4. Holy Cow! by Sarah MacDonald
5. The great railway bazaar by Paul Theroux
6. Notes from a small island by Bill Byrson
7. Finding George Orwell in a Burmese teashop by Emma Larkin
8. Ghost train to the Eastern star by Paul Theroux
9. Defiled on the Ayeyarwaddy by Ma Thanegi
10. Into the wild by Jon Krakaur
11. Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
12. Down under by Bill Bryson
13. To Myanmar with love by Things Asian Press

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jesada Technik Museum

While wandering around Siam Paragon waiting for a film premier, I found a display of what I thought were toy cars. They turned out to be some of Thai businessman Jesada Dejsakulrit's antique cars.

The decade-old collection of practically all means of transport includes "a helicopter, a London Bus, and very soon it will have a Russian-made U194 submarine." Mr Jesada enthuses, "apart from rare cars, I began accumulating other means of transportation such as boats and airplanes. At the time being we have about 400 cars, including an assortment of old tricycles from all corners of the globe; military and commercial aircrafts and land vehicles, and a whiskey-class submarine coming in from Sweden."

According to an online source, Mr Jesada conceptualized Thailand's very first museum of exotic cars after a trip to Hanover, Germany, famous for the Bubble car. He wants to 'offer school children the opportunity to see these rare and exotic vehicles' up close. Bless his heart. He even reportedly gives them free lunch.

These photos are from my old blog, and this post is not in any way associated with Jesada Technik. But in case you fancy a visit, the museum is located on 100 Moo 2, Tummason Rd, Ngio Rai, Nakhon Chaisi, Nakhonpathom 73120. It is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 9:00 - 16:00.





Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reading green

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

Does your current mood affect your reading? Affect your choices?
It does. This week I'm in the mood for the St Patrick's day color so I'm reading a book of nature quotations. Its cover is of course green. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus is up next. Its cover also happens to be green.

Thursday 13: Random things that are green in honor of St Patrick's Day.

On my old computer desk
1-  poinsettia leaves on my tea cup
2 - candelabra 'legs' and a bowl where I put water for flowers to float in it
3 - coffee table book of nature quotations

On my dresser
4 - key and coin dish, Marks & Spencer hand lotion
5 - essay on political negotiation tactics
6 - vintage hand bag and ear rings
7 - books: Men are from Mars..., Piano preludes and postludes, Hallelujah Chorus

My restaurant brunch yesterday (I deliberately chose the greens from the menu)
8 - green shumai
9 - green tea ice cream
10 - green noodles with pakchoy and braised beef

On the pages of my illustrated and picture books
11 - birthstone, Everyday handbook for magical mothers by Mary Cicely Barker
12 - Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
13 - the May fairy by Mary Cicely Barker

Memories of green

"Let us make, instead of war, an everlasting peace...."
~ Virgil, The Aeneid 
Book 4, lines 130-136

For years I wondered why my father liked green.

I didn't mind that he bought Mama a pair of high-heeled glass slippers with a light green tint until he bought me a dress that was military green. Of all colors!

He was a typical man of few words and when he passed away, I realized I would never be able to ask him why he favored green so much. I resorted to guessing.

There are instances when I ask myself why I do certain things.
It was most probably Father why I colored this girl's dress green. She's around books and I relate to that.

Father gave me The Aeneid when I was in 6th grade.

I didn't understand the gift and wished he gave me the normal Nancy Drew instead. Why The Aeneid? Of all books!

Could it have been his Jesuit upbringing? (which reminds me of the new pope right now) I vaguely remember him mention they were grilled in classical poetry during his Notre Dame days.

Father was born in May. There sparkles the emerald.

Ex-MIL wears an emerald-studded ring. Rock in the center is almost as huge as this one illustrated by Mary Cicely Barker, which precedes her description of the May Fairy:

"The tiny May fairy always wears her lucky birthstone colour, a clear bright green"

In honor of loved ones who like green, I deliberately choose my tiny cup with green leaves today for tea, and of course picked a green book of quotations to read while sipping green tea.

Would you believe I got this tea cup for just 34 cents? That was thirteen years ago which makes the purchase 'vintage' in my books. One more green: when I ordered this green tea ice cream I had no idea it would be served in a bowl that's exactly what we used to have at home in the 70s!

Charles Baxter says in The Feast of Love, "put your trust in ice cream." Like joy I will!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Invader and incense

Fourteen years ago a small field of lilies was abloom right on the spot where that condominium stands. Remember Big Yellow Taxi? "... they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot?" I call this building The Invader. As I walk by every morning I daydream of that lily field.

This Spirit house is my side view as soon as I reach the computers to sign in at work. If the wind blows my way I get a whiff of incense. It's easy to get used to the fragrance, not the high rise.

Incense sticks perpetually burn in temples too. I took notice of the one behind this part of the highway as it's where my boss's Dad will be cremated come March 30th. I was on a moving bus opposite this lane. The teapot is a serendipity :)

Students in their scout uniform pass by the temple after school. The yellow and green vehicle is a government taxi. You can ride the red bus all day for free. Guy with a blue tie is running for Bangkok governor. Election time is around the corner in my world.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bible spring

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

Clocks change this weekend here in the US, which means one less hour to read … does anybody else begrudge that hour like I do? Wish the Powers That Be would just pick a time-frame and stick to it instead of inflicting clock-driven jet lag on an innocent public twice a year?
Luckily we don't have clocks changing in Thailand. There was that time thingy in the Philippines they called Daylight Savings Time or something when it seemed an hour was taken out of the usual 8 hours in a working day. I would not want an hour less to read if a clock change happened in our part of the world.

Thursday 13: Bible Story Titles that stumped me. MV Logos Hope is currently in Bangkok and I went book-shopping there yesterday. My loot includes an illustrated Bible for the kiddo. Over coffee this morning I skimmed the index, confident that at first glance and even despite not having read a Bible for 20 years, I still know every single story in the entire collection.  

The Wrestling Match - of course that's Jacob wrestling an angel for a blessing; or A Wall of Waves - easy peasy that's when Moses whacked the Red Sea with his staff for the Israelites to cross. But these titles? No idea. So I took a peep as it won't be much fun to look blankly at them forever.

Which Bible story do you like? Do you have a favorite?

1. Higher than the Clouds (Genesis 11: 5-9) it's when one man's 'hello' came to mean 'confused' to another. The Tower of Babel. When the whole world became multi-lingual: the origin

2. Mission Impossible (Genesis 24: 1-61) what the heck is Tom Cruise doing in the pages of my son's Bible? Ops. They were just finding a wife for Isaac.

3. Fighting in the Tent (Genesis 37: 1-4) Potent jealousy. Jacob's ten sons mad over their brother Joseph's new robe. Parents, beware of playing favorites among your children.

4. A Hundred and One Excuses (Exodus 3:11-4:9) Moses debating with God about being sent to Egypt to tell the Pharoah to let the Israelites go

5. An Expensive Meal (Genesis 25: 27-34) the stew that cost Esau his birthright; and I was thinking of my dinner in Sirocco, one of Bangkok's most expensive restaurants

6. I Spy the Enemy (Joshua 2: 1-3) two of Joshua's best men sent on a secret mission to spy on Jericho. I should add The Spy Who Loved Me to my 007 collection now.

7. The Wise Woman under the Palm Tree (Judges 4:1-16) - Judge Deborah consulting with Obama...err... Barak to do battle in Mount Tabor.

8. Who Will Kill Sisera? (Judges 4: 17-22; 5:1-31) a cousin of Sapphira? Oh... a general who met his death at the hands of a woman who gave him milk and then hammered his head as soon as he fell asleep. Ouch.

9. On the Edge of the Promised Land (Joshua 2: 23 - 3:13) the day the Israelites marked the end of their forty years of wandering

10. Listening in the Night (Judges 7: 1-15) a Midianite soldier talked about his strange dream of a loaf of bread tumbling into camp; Gideon was listening behind a tent

11. Peninnah Hurts Hannah (1 Samuel 1:6-8) ahhh... two wives of the same husband competing over having children. My thoughts led to Kate Middleton's 'Born to Bred' news yesterday.

12. The Choice of Life or Death (Deuteronomy 29: 1-30:20; 31:2) Moses asking his people to choose life by obeying God's laws and not forgetting how He brought them out of Egypt

13. Samson Tells a Riddle (Judges 14: 8-15;20) The strongest man yes, but I totally forgot that he had a riddle: "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet."

Monday, March 4, 2013


Patty patter 
goes the chatter 
I burnt some patty 
while the rain was pattering 
and I was turning 
off the AC 
and saving

More than two centuries ago a certain grain was generally given to horses in England but in Scotland supports the people. It's the grain I used two days ago to make these patties to celebrate the rain. Bangkok has been searing hot for too long that when it finally poured, I thought a celebration was in order.

Although patties are originally made of meat, sometimes I concoct meals and I'm happy doing that. Tuna instead of beef. I mixed in minced purple onion, honey maple syrup, evaporated milk, soy sauce, salt, sugar, a large egg and butter cake flour.

If you're wondering about the taste, well, it was similar to the one I concocted two years ago with mackerel. My son kept stuffing himself with those as soon as I piled them on a dish from the wok. There was almost nothing left for me when I finished frying the last patty. At least that's the idea.

Back to the grain. It is said to be the "Horatio Alger of cereals, which progress, if not from rags to riches, at least from weed to health food." OATS. Yummy softies. And when I have them in the midst of books, life just seems so pleasant.

Food Friday * Favorite Things Hop * Share the Joy * Color Connection * Blues

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Curiosity sewed the thumb

My word associations from this week's photo prompt: 
boxes = Nanny McPhee and the big bang (2005 film)
skirt =  great-grandma Fortunata Paraiso Fronteras (I never saw her legs ever)
machine =  Singer sewing machine

A friend toured the house of the Marcoses in Luzon last week and she took this photo of an old sewing machine in one of their stops - Grandpa's Inn. We were telling fun stories on Facebook about how the pedal would move by itself in the dead of night. It looks so ancient, at least to us, that we just assumed it's haunted.

Does anyone know of a sewing machine brand other than Singer? I haven't seen any other, nor have I gotten around to finding the brand of the ones we see today. We had this sewing machine at home with a 'bloody' memory for me. Over the years it has served a different purpose - a table for flowers, the laundry, and sometimes stray books. Once a cousin hid a match of spiders in one of its built-in drawers.

I was about five years old when I thought of sewing one of my dolls a dress. The fact that Lydia, our bossy house help strictly told me not to get near the machine made me decide to have a go at it. Indeed "the most forbidden arouses the most curiosity." There was my chance at original designs; at creativity. Besides, how difficult could sewing be? I then snagged some cloth and began sewing. 

Rak - rak - garrraaakkk! The sound of my progress thrilled me. Pop went the plans. Next project would be a blouse for Velvet, our cat. And who knows what else? I was enjoying the process and so proud until I fed my thumb into the needle. Fast forward 36 years and this is now my thumb:

This sewing machine was my brunch table in JJ market. I didn't know the tables at that cafe were old sewing machines. My legs must have recognized what they were resting on, sent signals to my brain and whoa, what a reunion!

~ Head on over to Sepia headquarters for more stories. ~


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...