Twice a week, I teach a Japanese language class and a Japanese culture class to these students at Strisuksa School in Roi Et, the next town over. Last term I decided we should have a “kimono day” on the last day, so Nam came out to teach them how it’s done (she has a kimono cert from our time in Sumoto).
AKA Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Thailand’s Princess Royal, came to our university to open my faculty’s new building today (Official title: The Local Knowledge Learning Center). Pretty much every Thai staff member/teacher wears an official white uniform to these ceremonies, so it was fun being the only person in a black pinstriped suit (those not wearing dress whites wore white or black suits, but nobody else had pinstripes – I’m so happy I had this one made all those years ago because it’s BOSS). There was much discussion leading up to today’s event about where the best place to enter the campus and park would be, with some teachers coming in hours before the ceremony started, but I snuck in through an unguarded back gate on my scooter and talked my way past three roadblocks five minutes before assembly time. Then I sweated through the next three hours, happy I had an undershirt and a folding fan. It was glorious.
I’m having an eventful birthday. After dropping off Max and Mina at school, Nam and I drove by an accident on the side of the road. I saw my co-worker Bruce lying on the asphalt, so I told Nam to pull over and ran out to help. A middle aged woman riding a small motorbike with a little girl on back had hit Bruce’s mountain bike from behind. Judging from the damage, she had been going pretty fast.
There were already several people gathered around watching and talking bullshit, but typically, nobody was really helping. The woman was lying down, motionless, in a pool of blood leaking from her head, so I made sure she wouldn’t drown in it and left her alone, then helped Bruce who was down and in pain but seemed to not be seriously injured. Nam picked up the little girl so she wouldn’t get hit by a passing rubbernecker. The girl seemed totally unhurt.
The reason I am writing about this here instead of my blog is that my Facebook page has much more local exposure, and I would like to publicly shame someone – Nam saw a doctor that we know (who works at the university clinic just up the street) standing there, just watching with the rest of the crowd. She called his name and motioned him to come over to help as we couldn’t even hear sirens yet, and HE REFUSED. Instead, he just stood there and continued to watch for another few minutes until the ambulances arrived.
So I would just like to take a few minutes to publicly address this cowardly asshole: HEY ASSHOLE, your job is to HELP people! It’s NOT to inspect enough ears and throats to buy a big house, or to prescribe enough drugs to buy a new Camry every two years. When you see people injured on the side of the road, it’s YOUR JOB (and it’s actually the law) to GO HELP THEM AND STOP WATCHING LIKE IT’S A FUCKING MOVIE.
Anyway. Nam rode in the ambulance with the little girl, Bruce was followed in a second ambulance, and I drove our car there. The woman was hurt in a bad way. Her family eventually showed up and claimed the little girl, didn’t say thank you to Nam, were only concerned with the money the woman had been carrying (and apparently kind of accused Nam of stealing it!). So hey, fuck them, too.
Then I was in the ER with Bruce, explaining his condition to the nurses and doctors, when a baby was brought on to the next bed with bad burns. The nurses said it had been doused with boiling water and started taking photos for evidence. The baby was screaming at first, and then just crying, and it took about half an hour for it to get exhausted enough to fall asleep as they cleaned the burns and applied some kind of cream…. it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to see. But the worst part about it was that the young mother was more concerned about herself than about her baby. She kept looking at me and Nam and the nurses as if to say, “forgive me!” I could only shake my head in disgust and Nam actually admonished her, “take care of your child, he needs you!”
There is a lesson in here somewhere. I’m just trying to figure out what it might be.
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I’m in the middle of editing a particularly confusing English translation of an academic paper for publication. I usually decline work like this, but the client agreed to a generous hourly wage (it makes more sense than charging per page), so here I am, slogging it out all weekend. I hate doing work like this when the kids are home, because all I want to do is play with them and there are constant distractions.
Anyway, I had a sudden need to hear Mariah’s first album in all its Vision of Lovingestlyish glory, so I fired up the music transmogrifier and the tunes instantly flowed from my PC’s speakers… Took me back to listening to the Carpenters in my dad’s VW beetle decades ago, and I realized that there is a similar gap between musical generations – Mariah’s first album was released 24 years ago!!! Holy shit, I am old.
And now, back to the grindstone.
UPDATE #1: Let me be very specific. I keep playing one specific loop from a single song, to chase the bad English away. This one: http://youtu.be/I3_cOYvvjog?t=4m05s
UPDATE #3: Now I got myself stuck listening to Astrocreep 2000 while editing bad English and it’s not going so well..
Falling down I am a psychoholic
Erratic and sure I cannot fail
Replay slow smooth and automatic
Go easy riding danger
Yeah – two guns west I ride an instamatic
Polaroid rat crucifixion nail
Antenna down cruising in the deep red
Mouth of a demon angel
GET IT ON!
GET IT ON!
GET IT ON!
GET IT ON!
The sun shining just right can make anything look good.
Photo by Taro Machino.
Monkey Holding Peach Brand Co., Ltd., or alternatively, White Monkey Holding Peach Brand, are the manufacturers of the original “Tiger Balm” type ointment. This is the OG shit right here. They deserve your respect just for having the coolest brand and company name… If I ever have the chance to work with them, I’ll do it just so I can write it on my CV.
Taro came to visit, so I brought him along on an overnight English camp to the reservoir at Lampao Dam in Kalasin. Usually this point is so crowded with people going to the “beach,” I can’t wait to leave, but because off the cold weather it’s just our group here today. At sundown, even the souvenir vendors had already left… and getting here this morning in my Crown was one of the best drives I’ve had in a long time. She is queen of the road.
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