Money!

I’m not a numismatists or serious collector of coins and notes.  Not by any means.  Even so, I usually grab a few notes and/or coins when I’m traveling.  The part that is cool for me is to find old money that is still in circulation.  The old Mao notes in China.  Older notes in Thailand that have an earlier version of King Bhumipol.  The notes in Cambodia that highlighted the various peoples and ethnic minorities or have varying versions of Angkor Wat and other sites. The notes used in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, the Civil War and the Taliban eras.

These notes convey a sense of history to me.  They’re part of the fabric of the history of these lands. That fascinates me. I’ve monies of varying sorts from nearly every country that I’ve visited plus a few other notes that were gifts from the homelands of folks whom I’ve met out on the road.

These are a collection of items from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.  The Lao and Khmer notes, I picked up in Luang Prabang, Vieng Vang and Vientiene (Laos).  The Thai notes were given to me by Unny’s parents.  She was telling them that I had a crazy fascination with money so that brought me some from her Grandfather’s house.  Some of the notes are pretty old with the oldest dating to the 1920s.

The coins are all Thai with the exception of the old French Indochine Piastres.  They are probably fakes, but, they were too cool to pass up.  I tested them as I have been instructed.  The ring test and the obverse/reverse line test.  They actually passed those test.  Even so, they were much to cheap and felt too light to be solid silver coins of that size.  Perhaps, I’ll have them checked one day.  I don’t care if they are real or not.  They look cool and that’s all I’m interested in at this point.

A few pics from a recent trip

awgreenWat Arun and Angkor Wat in dramatic repose…

plus the silhouette of my beautiful girl.

I shot the Angkor Wat photos at dawn and then took the one above and photoshopped it a bit to obtain the pink, green and blue effects.  Just thought it looked cool.

The Wat Arun photos were taken at dusk.  I spent a night at the wonderful Arun Residence.  Just across the Chao Phraya from Wat Arun and only a short walk from Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.

These are just a few shots of some of my favorite places in Asia.  Hope you enjoy.  If you like ’em, leave a note.

The Thai Wai

Wai, like many other gestures e.g. no loud or bang when talking or shutting doors, reflects your overall etiquette that is perceived to link to your family background and stand in the society.

Thais are rooted from the hierarchical order of society; our wai thus has different height levels. To wai beautifully, it takes time to practice (and many details that i do not even remember!).

Not sure if a proper wai is at all significant in today modern lifestyle. But since i was put in the Queen school, hope that I can be little helpful here.

We wai when we want to (1) pray, (2) greet, (3) thank you, (4) apologize, and (5) denote a receiving / wai back.

Wai Monk = Thumbs between eyebrows. Index fingers touch forehead.

Wai Parent = Thumbs touch nose (parents are your breath of life). Index fingers between eyebrows.

Wai Teacher / Master = Thumbs touch lip (teacher words of mouth make you a better person). Index fingers touch nose.

Wai Senior Person than You = Thumbs touch chin. Index fingers touch lip.

Wai Same Age / Younger Person than You / or Wai Back = Thumbs touch between breast. Index fingers touch chin.

Note, bend your head down slightly a bit to cater the reaching of your index fingers.

One of the the best and simplest explanations of the Thai traditional wai that I’ve come across.

With thanks to ConcreteAngel of ThailandFreinds.com


Kanchanaburi

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On an early morning not too long ago, a few ladies and gents got together and made the world better for a school in a sleepy little place called Kanchanaburi near Bangkok, Thailand.

Funds were collected.  Supplies and Equipment purchased.  Then the task of planning and executing the movement from Bangkok to a sleepy village called Kanchanaburi and a little school on an Island.

That narrow little rope/plank bridge looks a little treacherous.  lol

The kids all look happy.

These generous folks put on a little show for the kids.  Played them a couple of animated movies.  Kung Fu Panda and another.  Served up a meal or two.  Handed out school supplies, uniforms and a few other essentials.

Spent the night in tents out on the school grounds.

And then quietly made their way home…

Leaving behind a hundred or so smiling young faces.

Here are pics of the event:

Helping others is good for the soul.