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Published: March 30th 2010
No, I really couldn't think of a better title
...That's just kind of how I feel right now. I'm on my dinner break, listening to some good music.
For some reason, perhaps simply the whims of fate, I woke up in an excellent mood today. Accordingly, my day has been going well. Attitude really is everything, although there have been no catastrophes to speak of on my shift so far. There usually aren't any problems, come to think of it, but that doesn't mean there haven't been the occasional odd and/or stressful experiences. You see a lot of weird stuff when you work in the service industry.
I discovered today that translation can be about much more than knowing how to use your dictionary. A colleague from another department asked me to translate an advertisement, and I suddenly had to brush up on my knowledge of Thai culture. Actually, make that begin to have
knowledge of Thai culture.
Beyond the use of coconut milk and curry powder when cooking stir-fry, my experience of Thailand is next to zilch. The advertisement in question was for a celebration of Thai New Year; this meant in order to understand the text, I had to understand the festival and know the Thai words involved. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. Somewhere a college professor just felt a chill, but seriously, it is a fast way to get basic information. Like, for instance, what the word 宋干 (Songgan) in Chinese could possibly represent (upon investigation, I found out the festival is called "Songkran" in Thai. There you go).
Other fun facts about Songkran: it is based on the passage of the sun through twelve constellations in the ecliptic; people once ritually bathed their household statues of Buddha and used the left-over water to bless family members...and somehow this tradition has been transformed into the biggest water-fight in the world. People will literally stand outside with their garden hoses and super-soakers at the ready to douse passersby. That would sound tremendously fun to me if I wasn't living so close to Siberia right now.
Have to get back to work, so signing off for now (from the Blue City) - Sam
p.s. - If you like good acoustic guitar music, I was listening to the song below, by Taiwanese artist Zhang Xuan. Click "试听 " once the webpage loads.
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