By Alessandro Carosi
Here we are on the road again back to Thailand,have been 2 years from last time i went to visit the land of smile and now trough synchronicities I’m heading back,last time i had a great time visiting Bangkok and neighbour towns and my Thai friend/fratello wonderful in showing me around a hidden Bangkok i would never seen without him guiding me trough amazing food,people,suburbs,it was great to know from him about Thai history,Buddhism,Hinduism and about real Thai life,I’m heading back soon just 2 more weeks and then my plane will fly from London trough Finland to Bangkok,last time i went i spend a week in Seoul first to meet a girl i haven’t seen for long time but this time i will go straight to Bangkok and spend a couple of months or maybe three,let’s see when there.
When in Bangkok 2 years ago my friend offered me the opportunity to open a cafe’ and i have been thinking about it for so long,it took me 2 years to take a decision and had to be my brother divorce from his wife and my indecision about relationships that led me to be in relationship basically just with myself and the boring routine to make me think that such an opportunity would be one in life and shouldn’t have been missed ,when my friend told me wanted to open a cafe’ in Bangkok i was really excited about the idea,i knew it could be a great project and would enrich me mentally and spiritually but in London i had really good time,i met a girl months earlier i was really happy to be with,life was going pretty well and i was enjoying my comfort zone so even if i really liked the idea wasn’t easy to make a choice,get involved in the business or stay where i knew everyone and feeling safe? I told my friend i would take some time to think about when back to London,all i wanted in that moment was to enjoy Bangkok.
I stayed at his place and for 3 weeks i have been part of his family,he introduced me his parents,brothers,his friends and sometime i went to work with him,one of his customers an old lady freaked out a morning that saw me at the entry of her shop she might have thought i was a Russian criminal 🙂
Traffic in Bangkok is insane and we spend sometime hours just stuck between cars moving 1 cm every 10 minutes,it makes look traffic in Rome nothing special,even if we spend a lot of time in the traffic still was an interesting experience seeing all those people calm inside their cars waiting patiently the traffic to move.
It was around April when i made my trip to Bangkok unaware that was Thailand new year and i got lucky to enjoy the celebrations with Thai people playing water guns on the streets,the Thai new year is called Songkran
Songkran (Thai: เทศกาลสงกรานต์, pronounced [tʰêːt.sā.kāːn sǒŋ.krāːn]) is the Thai New Year’s national holiday. Songkran is 13 April every year, but the holiday period extends from 14–15 April. In 2018 the Thai cabinet extended the festival nationwide to five days, 12–16 April, to enable citizens to travel home for the holiday. The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti (Devanāgarī: संक्रांति), literally “astrological passage”, meaning transformation or change. The term was borrowed from Makar Sankranti, the name of a Hindu harvest festival celebrated in India in January to mark the arrival of spring. It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart and with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia, in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.
In Thailand, New Year is now officially celebrated on January 1, Songkran was the official New Year until 1888, when it was switched to a fixed date of April 1. Then in 1940, this date was shifted to 1 January. The traditional Thai New Year Songkran was transformed into a national holiday.
According to the Buddhist scripture at Wat Pho, Songkran originated from the death of Kapila Brahma Thai: กบิลพรหม (lit. reddish Brahma). In the past there were billionaire and his drunkard neighbours. The drunkard, who already had two sons, bragged and criticised the billionaire. The heavily frustrated billionaire then always bedded the Sun and the Moonfor almost three years. His attempt failed until he decided to offer cooked rice to the angel living in fig tree. Later, the angel informed Indra to send his servant into the womb of billionaire’s wife. The child was named Thammabal (Thai: ธรรมบาล, or Dhammapala), which means one who protects righteousness.
Thammabal was a clever child who learnt three vedas and bird language and also taught many people to avoid sin. Kapila Brahma later learnt about the child and wanted to test if the child is truly clever or not. The Brahma asked
where is the aura in human beings, in the morning; at noon; in the evening? If you failed to answer me, your head will be taken!
The boy deferred Brahma for 7 days. At 6th days, he could not find a solution to the riddles. He laid below a sugar palm tree and immediately heard a conversation between a pair of eagles. “What are you going to eat tomorrow?”, female bird said. “We are going to eat a dead body of Dhammapala, who will fail to answer three riddles?”, male bird replied. The conversation went on until the male eagle said “In the morning, aura appears on the face; people wash face every morning. At noon, aura is at the chest; people spray perfume every noon. In the evening, aura goes to the feet; people clean feet every evening.” The boy remembered everything. Next day, Brahma met the boy and asked the questions. The boy said everything he heard from the eagles and successfully conquer the prospective killer, whose head must be cut off. However, without proper storage, the Brahma’s head will cause end of the living world. If thrown into the ocean, all seawater will dry; if thrown into the air, serious drought will occur; if put onto the earth, great fire will engulf the world. He ordered seven daughters, who also served Indra, to see him before cutting his head. Thungsa, his eldest child, stored her father’s head in the cave in Mount Kailash.
Every year when the Sun enters Aries, one of Kapila’s child, called Nang Songkran Thai: นางสงกรานต์, and other angels form a procession. One of them takes a phan with Kapila’s head. The lady stands, sits, reclines or sleeps on the back of the animal depending on the time. From the dawn to midday, the lady will stand on the back of her vehicle. After midday until the sunset, she will sit down. Between the sunset and midnight, the lady lies down on her vehicle but leaves her eyes open. After midnight, she sleeps. This postures and other details were previously drawn as part of Songkran notification and now being part of the lunisolar calendar made by the Government Savings Bank. The procession lasts for 60 minutes around the Mount Meru. This event is subsequently called Maha Songkran in order to distinguish from other Songkrans that occurs when the Sun moves from one to another zodiac. For simplicity, the name was later shortened as Songkran.
New year traditions
The Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions. Mornings begin with merit-making. Visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks is commonly practiced. On this specific occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues and the young and elderly is a traditional ritual on this holiday. It represents purification and the washing away of one’s sins and bad luck. As a festival of unity, people who have moved away usually return home to their loved ones and elders. Paying reverence to ancestors is an important part of Songkran tradition.
The holiday is known for its water festival. Major streets are closed to traffic, and are used as arenas for water fights. Celebrants, young and old, participate in this tradition by splashing water on each other. Traditional parades are held and in some venues “Miss Songkran” is crowned. where contestants are clothed in traditional Thai dress.
I had great fun and felt like when kid in Italy in ferragosto we celebrated in august the hottest period of the year throwing each other balloon full of water,what wonderful memories Songkran brought me back,in Thailand they play with water guns splashing water each other,the weather was so hot that after few minutes i was completely dry,the day was one of the best.
Not too far from his house a beautiful park where i would spend sometime strolling and refreshing and the famous JJ market the biggest market in Bangkok where you can find anything,literally anything and easily spend all day walking around just enjoying what the market has to offer,obviously i couldn’t miss the chance to get some souvenirs to bring back to my friends and after few hours i found what i thought would be perfect to buy,some colourful paintings where represented Buddhas statues and Buddhist monks and mini Buddhist sculptures,i know it might seems I’m Buddhist but I’m not its just that the figure of Buddha gives me good feelings.
I have been living in multicultural cities for a while now and got the chance to make friends from all over the world,i have friends in every continent and i could probably have free accommodation in most of the cities around the world 🙂 in Bangkok i knew a girl i met in New Zealand and had a short story,she moved back one year later i moved to England,we kept in touch in those years and being in Bangkok I thought would be nice to catch up for the day,we spend a lovely time sightseeing the city,eating and drinking and like magic time flow away,i promised to my Thai fratello to have dinner together that evening so i had to leave but we promised to catch up again,unfortunately didn’t happen,it will happen again now that I’m back and probably more then just one time considering I’m staying much longer then before,its funny how nowadays trough social media you get to see even if virtually your friends all the time so now even if 2 years passed by it feel like we met already many times I don’t know if is just me to fell like this.
In the evening we had dinner in a restaurant near his house and we had Thai hot pot called Jim Jum made in Thai traditional way
Chim chum (Thai: จิ้มจุ่ม, pronounced [t͡ɕîm t͡ɕùm]) is a popular Thai street food, believed to have originated in Laos or Cambodia. It is traditionally made with chicken or pork and fresh herbs such as galangal, sweet basil, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, cooked in a small clay pot on a charcoal stove. It is often served with nam chim.
The name is derived from the words for dipping and dropping, the customary way of eating the dish
Literally the word chim chum derived from two Thai words: chim and chum. Chim means to dip in, while chum means to drop something down quickly or briefly in or into liquid. The name chim chum comes from the way we cook and eat this popular hot pot. Chim chum is an earthenware pot on a brazier at table top. The pot is filled with broth and to this you add various supplied vegetables and herbs. The herbs are often pulled from trees the selection criteria being as broad as bitterness to health aspects. Some dishes place a flower in the pot which is a unique bitterness. Thai Northeastern people call this dish chaeo hon (แจ่วฮ้อน)
Bangkok has a big Japanese community,my Thai friend’s wife is Japanese,he took me to a shopping mall all dedicated to Japan,from the food,gifts,products
city central has an area that is a sort of little Japan and walking trough makes you think to be in Japan for real,Japanese shops with Japanese signs,Japanese people walking around and even a “Kyabakura”
Hostess clubs are a common feature in the night-time entertainment industry of East Asian countries. They employ primarily female staff and cater to males seeking drinks and attentive conversation. The modern host clubs are similar establishments where primarily male staff adhere to females. Host and hostess clubs are considered part of mizu shōbai(literally “water trade”), the night-time entertainment business in Japan.
In Japan, two types of bars are hostess clubs and kyabakura (キャバクラ), a portmanteau of kyabarē (キャバレー, lit. “cabaret“) and kurabu(クラブ, lit. “club”). Hostesses who work at kyabakura are known as kyabajō (キャバ嬢), meaning cabaret girl, and many of them use professional names called “genji name” (源氏名 genji-na). Hostesses light cigarettes, provide beverages for men, offer flirtatious conversation, and sing karaoke to entertain customers. Hostesses can be seen as the modern counterpart of geishas, providing entertainment to groups of salarymen after work. A club will often also employ a female bartender, who is usually well-trained in mixology, and may also be the manager or mamasan. Hostess clubs are distinguished from strip clubs in that there is no dancing, prostitution, or nudity.
Hostesses often drink with customers each night, and alcohol problems are not uncommon. These problems are derived from mass consumption of alcohol by which many consequences may arise. Most bars by a commission system by which hostesses receive a percentage of sales. For example, a patron purchases a $20 drink for the hostess, most of the time which are non-alcoholic concoctions like orange juice and ginger ale, and the patron has purchased the hostess’s attention for the subsequent 30–45 minutes. The hostess then splits the proceeds of the sale with the bar 50/50. The light or no alcohol content of the drinks maximizes profits and ensures that the hostess does not become intoxicated after only a short time at work.
Businesses may pay for tabs on company expense with the aim of promoting trust among male co-workers or clients. At one establishment, about 90% of all tabs were reportedly paid for by companies.
Patrons are generally greeted comfortably at the door and seated as far away from other customers as possible. In some instances, a customer is able to choose with whom he spends time, while most often that is decided by the house. In either case, the hostess will leave after a certain amount of time or number of drinks, offering the customer a chance to see a fresh face. While most establishments have male touts outside to bring in customers, it may also fall upon a (usually new) hostess to do so.
Hostess clubs have a strict “no touching” policy and patrons will be removed for trying to initiate private or sexual conversation topics. However a red-light district version of the host/hostess club exists, called “seku-kyabakura” or “ichya-kyabakura” in which patrons are permitted to touch their host/hostess above the waist and engage in sexual conversation topics or kissing, although this type of establishment is not common. Normal hostess clubs are classified as a food and entertainment establishment and are regulated by the Businesses Affecting Public Morals Regulation Act, prohibiting any form of sexual contact between employees and customers. Normal hostess clubs also need a permit to allow dancing. Clubs are inspected often by the Public Safety Commission. Any club found violating its permitted activities can have its business license terminated or be suspended, until corrections are made.
Hostessing is a popular employment option among young foreign women in Japan, as demand is high. However, work visas can be difficult to obtain, so many choose to work illegally. The clubs sometimes take advantage of the precarious legal situation of the women. The industry and its dangers were highlighted in 1992, when Carita Ridgeway, an Australian hostess, was drugged and killed after a paid date, and in 2000 when Lucie Blackman, a British hostess, was abducted, raped and murdered by a customer. The government promised to crack down on illegal employment of foreigners in hostess bars, but an undercover operation in 2006 found that several hostess bars were willing to employ a foreign woman illegally. In 2007, the Japanese government began to take action against these hostess clubs, causing many clubs to be shut down, and many hostesses to be arrested and deported.
In December 2009, a trade union, called the Kyabakura Union, was formed to represent hostess bar workers. The union was formed in response to complaints by hostess bar employees of harassment and unpaid wages by their employers.
This can give you an idea of how many Japanese lives in Bangkok.
We visited many Buddhist temples and i have been lucky to have the chance to discovers wonderful temples that if i didn’t know my friend i would never seen cause they are far away from city central and not promoted by touristic guides book,some of them was breathtaking.
Synchronicities couldn’t miss the chance to show up in my stay in Thailand and this time was about 2 friends i knew in New Zealand,trough facebook where nowadays you can know everything from everyone i find out that a Filippina friend was in Bangkok for a breast implant so i contacted her if she wanted to catch up and find out that Jasmine a girl i had a story in Auckland was there as well,we met and i was so happy to see that they are happy and proud to be what they are,we had good time.
There is so much to tell about that i could write a book but i promise i will write more and if isn’t about my past trip to Bangkok definitely will be from the one coming soon,last thing,in my stay in Bangkok after my friend asked me to open the cafe’ together a number started to show up everywhere and i believe was the answer at the time about accept the offer or not,the number was 1112
Spiritual meaning of number 1112 by Joanne Sacred Scribes
Number 1112 is a blend of the attributes and energies of triple number 1 and number 2. Number 1 relates to new beginnings and starting new projects and taking new directions, motivation and ambition, progress, self-reliance, achievement and attainment. Number 1 encourages you to step out of your comfort zone, and reminds you that you create your own reality with your beliefs, thoughts and intentions. Number 2carries the vibrations of duality and finding balance and harmony, partnerships and relationships, diplomacy, mediation and adaptability, sensitivity and selflessness. Number 2 also resonates with faith and trust and serving your Divine life purpose
and soul mission.
Angel Number 1112 is a message from your angels not to be hindered or held back by old habits that need to be changed. It allows for the ‘old’ to be replaced with the ‘new’. Angel Number 1112 tells you to look to new experiences with optimism as they will bring about favourable and positive effects and opportunities that will help with achieving your goals and aspirations. Angel Number 1112 encourages you to be true to yourself.
You may feel inclined to begin a new course of study or learning, be it formal education or casually researching your interests and passions.
When the Angel Number 1112 appears your angels may be telling you to look to different ways to enhance your home, garden and environment. This may also include matters within the house and family arena. Use the art of Feng Shui to usher more positive energies into all areas of your life. The angels encourage you to surround yourself with love, beauty and gaiety.
Angel Number 1112 is a reminder from your angels to ensure that what you put out to the Universe is of a positive nature. You are asked to stay on a positive path and to use your natural skills, talents and abilities to their utmost for the benefit of yourself and others.