Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Thai Cultural Lessons #6 [Cinema]

The first time I went to the cinema in Thailand, I was just trying to get comfy, trying to sit in the position that would bring me the most warmth (the Thai cinema is also known as 'the fridge'), and preparing myself for 2+ hours of a Thai dubbed X-men film, when suddenly the screen went yellow and everyone stood up! I dutifully stood up also, and soon realised that what was playing on the screen was the King's anthem, with pictures and video clip tributes to the king! The video features people in different eras, social classes, settings and situations, all looking to the picture of the King for strength. As soon as the anthem finishes everybody sits down. This happens before the showing of every film in a cinema in Thailand. The song is very beautiful and I now look forward to hearing it when I go to the cinema!! But I now know not to get comfortable until AFTER the King's anthem has played!

Thursday, 3 September 2009


It's too hot to linger there for most of the day. But in the hours that frame the day, as the sun starts her slow but sure climb onto the main-stage, and then again when the performance is over, and, all sung-out, she slips quickly and quietly back-stage, that's when I step outside and watch, listen, read and whisper small, broken words of response.

Tonight: Ecclesiastes. Ears drink in audio, while eyes follow text, breathing ink.