Monday, December 31, 2007

Farewell for 2007

This is going to be my last post for the year 2007. It has been a good year for me in general. However, I hope to make the next year even a better year than this one. Next year is going to be the turning point for my life. I am transforming my self, behaviorally, professionally, morally.
Today I end the year B.E. 2550 with good deeds, some merit making, and meditations. This year started with a good deed and ends with good deeds. Next year 's coming in the next few hours will start likewise.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wat Amphawa in Samut Songkram

Wat Amphawa was built in the land which belonged to grand parents of King Rama II. They later donated their land and built a small monastery there. Around 200 years later (around 1998 or so), it was renovated to commemorate bicentenary of King Rama II. His stature was built next to the Uposoth. Inside the Uposoth, beautiful wall paintings can be found. I was informed by a local keeper that the painting was ceremonially first-touched by HRH Princess Mahachakri Sirindhorn in the area pictured.

Amphawa, Samut Songkram

Amphawa is a district in Samut Songkram, one of the smallest provinces in Thailand. Amphawa is not far from the town of Samut Songkram. After we had lunch in Don Hoi Lord, we continued our tour there. Of interest to visitors are a commemorative garden and museum for King Rama II (pictured), and a small floating market (also pictured).

Wat Satthatham 's perl inlaid teak Uposoth

In "Don Hoi Lord", there is a Mon style Buddhist monastery (a Wat) named Wat Satthatham. I could tell that it 's a Mon style temple since it has a decorative pole with a golden swan on the top in its compound. Later when I checked a book, it said this area is inhabited by descendents of Mon families who escaped from Burma and immigrated few hundred years ago. This Wat is interesting that it has a teak Uposoth (ordination hall) built with teaks which are engraved and inlaid with perls. This perl ordination hall was founded by the late abbot of this temple. Some international tourists know of this and came to visit it almost daily.

Lunch at "Don Hoi Lord" in Samut Songkram

I and my wife went to have lunch at "Don Hoi Lord" ดอนหอยหลอด in Samut Songkram สมุทรสงคราม , some 70 km south-west of Bangkok. The name of the area roughly means "the mud flat full of tube snails". There are perhaps over a dozen of sea-food restaurants over there on the sea-side waiting to serve Bangkokians looking to fill their stomach with sea-foods. We did not order the locally popular dish "tube snail hot pan". We ordered a Tomyam Talay (all sea-foods), a marine crab fried in (miky) curry (pictured), and deep-fried grouper fish in 3 flavor chilli sauce (also pictured). These are already a lot for 2 persons. The sea foods were really really fresh. I personally belief this freshness quality can not be matched by any restaurants in the city of Bangkok. We had a great time and plan on the next trip in the near future. I forget the name of the restaurant but there are its signs along the way. It has received a few quality assurance certificates (framed and posted in the entrant). And there were a lot of cars in front of it too. We were lucky to follow them there.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Who is going to be the next PM of Thailand ?

A Thai adage said "Nothing is certain: the only thing certain is uncertainty". Some local (Thai) and international presses have already drummed up news from the result of the recent 's general election on December 23, B.E. 2550 and they seems to say that it is definite that a septuagenarian would become the next prime minister of the Kingdom. I am curious to see if that will really be true or not in a month or so from now. I 'd not bet on that. History showed that a Thai government could be formed by a small party before (during the premiership of M.R. Kukrit Pramoj, when his SAP party got only 18 seats, but that was few decades ago).

I try to ignore political news these days since I feel helpless about it. I have already casted votes (for the party I like and for the 3 representatives for my district) 3 days ago, and that 's all a small guy could do. I have a feeling that what ever is going to happen, it 's got to happen. Buddhist principle indicates that "Every result has its cause".

December, a month of change for me

December usually coincides with Thai 's first lunar month. In Thai, we called it "Duan Aye", translated into English as the first month. Obviously, it was an ancient Thai New Year, long before Songkran Festival (in April) was adapted as a Thai New Year from Indian culture.

For me, I also turn to be half a century old man this month and am fully aware that I am entering "the terminal life period".
Realize that my life may likely be on a shorter term now, I have set a number of goals to improve my health and life-style onward. Many of them seems to be running fine so far.

There are also some changes. My 19 year old car has just been sold to an acquaintance for a very friendly low price. I had teary eyes for it a bit since it represented a gift of love from my long passed-away mom. But as Buddhist principle goes, everything has a start, it also has a stop. I do not want to keep the car since I do not use it any more and it will free some parking space in the garages. Our family still have 2 cars and that is enough.