Em oi! #365: Our Class Trip to the Market

This all happened at a place called “Việt Hoa Market.” To judge from the characters on the sign (as is not uncommon for Asian shops in the US generally, the sign is written in both Chinese and Vietnamese/English), the name means “Beautiful Vietnamese Market.” The Việt used is 越, meaning of course the country of Việt Nam. The hoa used is 華, meaning đẹp tốt (beautiful). Of course, why the market is called this in the first place is a bit confusing, since my Ajaan (professor) thought that the owners are Chinese…

Interestingly, the dipthong “-oa” is not one used in Thai (the Thai dipthongs are, I think, -ua, –ua, and -ia). This means that when my Thai professors pronounce the store name, they say “Viet Hua.” I guess -ie is close enough to -ia that it makes sense to their ears, but -oa is not? Of course the ODDEST part of the whole experience (beyond watching, you know, the purchase of blood) was finding myself pronouncing the store name “Viet Hua” DESPITE THE FACT that I speak Vietnamese and KNOW how it should be pronounced!

By the way, if you are wondering how I came up with the Chinese characters/Vietnamese pronunciation (i.e., chữ nôm), you must check out Cao Dai Tu Dien. It has never been entirely clear to me why the Cao Dai are maintaining a dictionary like this, but when you know a little Vietnamese and a little Chinese and want to put the two together, it is invaluable.

I’ll file this comic under: GN450.2 L86 2012, for Anthropology—Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology—Cultural traits, customs, and institutions—Economic organization. Economic anthropology—Distribution of goods and services—Commerce and trade—Markets.

If you were curious, the blood looked almost exactly like I have drawn it: rectangles of a dark brown-red color suspended in a water-like liquid (possibly water). I have no idea what it was treated with to make it do that.

Em oi! #364: I Have this Talk with Myself Every Day

Once in the Orlando Airport B looked in my bag for a pen. He was baffled by the array of writing instruments he found there.

“I have one that I use,” I told him, “But then I brought a backup.”

“And what are the other seven?”

“Backups for the backup? Also what if I needed a different color?”

Now when I sit down in class and pull out the pens I need (typically at least two felt-tip pens, a pencil, and two highlighters) I think of that conversation.

The word for pen (ปากกา) was, incidentally, the first word I learned in Thai.

I’ll file this under RC569.5.H63 L86 2012 for Internal medicine—Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry—Psychiatry—Psychiatric aspects of personality and behavior conditions—Other personality disorders, behavior problems, situations, etc., A-Z—Hoarding. Compulsive hoarding.

Yesterday I biked 65 miles, so today I was a bit stroppy and moody. This is somehow related to a number of factors, including how much I worked yesterday and how much I ate and slept. I’m not really sure how to avoid it, but I’m trying to figure it out. Anyway, I decided I was unfit for public company and, after class, took myself home. I made a quiche for dinner and napped, then went to the gym to swim. The Aqua Zumba people were at it, so I got shoved into the wall side of lane four (see diagram). The guy I was splitting the lane with (I’ll call him angry green shorts man) was swimming a lot faster than I was, and between his passing and the aquarobics going on, it was about as much fun as swimming in a washing machine. I kept getting whanged up against the concrete, and now I am all scraped up. Also Aqua Zumba finished at the same time that I had to go change to meet B for lifting, so they were all in the showers and I didn’t get a shower.

But then while I was waiting for B, I jumped on a dreadmill and managed half a mile (in 7 minutes, or a speed of about 4.5 miles per hour). The only special thing about this is that my leg didn’t hurt at all, and afterward my muscle didn’t start to cramp up like it did the last time I did a run of any significant length. So that’s something! It is not much but it is a starting point. Maybe I can stop freaking out and start building back slowly.

Anyway so that’s the news. Now I have a bunch of Thai homework to take care of, so I will take my leave of you, kind readers.

Em oi! #363: Picking a Lane at the Pool: An Illustrated Guide

I have been logging a lot of time at the pool lately (14,300 yards total last week alone). I think I mentioned last week that there is something wrong with my leg*, and so I am temporarily off running for a bit. This is driving me crazy. I was already pretty depressed by the time I got to the PT, and then he said something like, “Take two weeks off, and then you can go back to running two days a week.”

WELL. I mean, I went to the PT for an aggressive plan of treatment that could get me back into shape fast so I could start training for my damn marathon. So I guess I was disappointed with his advice. I didn’t tell him this though, because I was upset, and I know from experience that if you show you are upset in front of a medical professional, they will write in your file things like, “Shows inappropriate emotional reactions.” I don’t even know what that really means, but I have a feeling it isn’t a good thing to have in your record. So instead of telling Mr. PT that I wasn’t satisfied, I did the following:

  1. Hid my feelings.
  2. Went to the pool.
  3. Cried while swimming laps.

No one can tell you’re crying when you’re swimming. It is a perfect solution. Well, ideally not crying would be a better solution, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Anyway, yesterday B sent me a link to this TED talk. He was really sending it to a friend of ours who suffers from various chronic pains and PTSD from a term of service in IRAQ (that’s some serious shit, yo), but I immediately seized on this as a method for making myself happier despite the injury and attendant stress. And so everyday I think about what might help me get a little bit better, a little stronger. Everyday I try to notice how far I’ve come from the day three weeks ago when I had to cut my run short because my SI joint was stuck and running was just too painful. Also everyday I do things that make me happy and reduce my pain, like eating half a loaf of focaccia (oops), a mango, or doing my PT exercises (somewhat more usefully).

It doesn’t hurt that the exercises are working and every day I am feeling less pain and my gait is getting stronger. I hope I will be back to running very soon.

Clearly, this gets filed under GV838.53.S85 L86 2012 for Recreation. Leisure—Sports—Water sports—Swimming, diving, lifesaving—Special topics, A-Z—Swimming pools.

*The PT thought it was a “strain,” which is actually not, as it sounds, a mild case of overdoing it. Strain, in medical terminology, refers to a torn muscle–in other words, you really fucked up. I do not think I have strained my leg, based on how much it hurt during the course of the injury and a lack of precipitating circumstances but WHATEVER I AM NOT A PHYSICAL THERAPIST I GUESS.

Em oi! #362: ชีวิตประจำวัน (Daily life)

Translation by panel, with a few corrections and notes:

Panel 1/2: ฉันตื่นนอนที่๖โมงเช้า แต่ไม่ลุกจากเตียงก่อน6:05
I wake up at 6:00 in the morning, but I don’t get out of bed before 6:05.

Panel 3: ฉันไปห้องน้ำฒเพื่อ ล้างหน้า แปรงฟัง และแต่งตัว
(Original said: …แปรงฟัง ล้างหน้า…)
I go into the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth, and get dressed.

Panel 4:: ฉันต้องเดินเงียบๆ เพราะสามียังไม่ตื่นนอน
I must walk quietly because my husband is not yet awake.

Panel 5:: ฉันกับหมาไปเดินรอบๆบ้านและบริเวณใกล้ๆ (6:15)
The dog and I go for a walk around the house and the nearby neighborhood.

Arrow pointing at dog: ไมยะ

Panel 6: พอเดินเสร็จฉันทำกาแฟ บางที่ฉันทำอาหารเช้าด้วย
As soon as the walk is finished, I make coffee. Sometimes I also make breakfast.

Panel 7: 7:05 ฉันออกจากบ้านไปมหาวิทยาลัย ฉันชอบขี่รถจักกรยานมากกว่าขบขับรถ
7:05 I leave the house to go to the university. I like riding my bike much more than I like driving.

Panel 8: ประมาณ๔ชั่วโมง(ตั้งแต่ 8 โมงเช้าถึงเที่ยง) ฉันเรียนภาษาไทย
For about four hours (from 8:00am to noon) I study Thai.

(Those are my classmates. I won’t embarrass them by naming their names. They are nice people and very tolerant. Also they come to class looking very put-together, whereas I come to class looking like I have been dragged backwards through a bush. Biking is excellent for the posterior but not great for the exterior, if you catch my meaning. But even if I were driving, I probably wouldn’t look fantastic when I arrived. I guess I figure I am wearing trousers and a shirt that is clean (or was when I left the house). What more do you really want from me?)

Panel 9: เรียนเสร็จแล้วฉันก็ไปกินอาหารเที่ยงและทำงานที่ห้องสมุดเมโมเรียล
When class is finished, I eat lunch and go to work at Memorial Library.

In panel (top): ฉันไปหาที่OCLCเพื่อสืบค้นทะเบียนของหนังสือ
I look on OCLC to find records for books.

Arrow pointing to books: หนังสือเป็นภาษาฮิบรู
Books in Hebrew

On books: ספר של המת
Book of the dead

Panel 10: ฉันกลับบ้านราวๆบ่าย๓หรือ๔โมง แล้วฉันก็ไปวิ่งหรือไปยิมออกกำลังกายกับสามี
I get home around 3-4:00pm, then I go for a run or work out at the gym with my husband.

(This is kind of a lie because I haven’t been running in several days due to an SI joint problem. Instead, I have been swimming. Win? I have swum more than 10 miles since Friday. I keep trying to find a way to deal with this gracefully, but I’ve started to realize I usually deal with adversity by punching it in the face, so kind of a no-go. Still, someday maybe I will be a cool and calm individual who can cope with adversity without, you know, freaking out.


Panel 11: หลังจากกลับบ้านฉันอาบน้ำ ฉันและสามีทำอาหารหรือโทรศัพท์ไปสั่งอาหารร้านอาหาร Curry in the Box ขอให้พวกเขาเอาอาหารไทยมาส่งที่บ้าน (ราวๆ๔โมงเย็นหรือ๑ทุ่ม)
After we get home I shower. My husband and I cook food or call to order food from the restaurant Curry in the Box and ask that they deliver it to our house (around 6-7:00pm).

Panel 12: กินอาหารเย็นแล้วฉันก็ทำการบ้าน ฉันไปนอนราวๆ๔ทุ่ม
After eating dinner I do my homework. I go to bed around 10:00pm.

In panel: ความฝันของฉันเป็นภาษาไทย
My dreams are in Thai.

So there you have it. This was my midterm for 5th semester Thai. I believe we were supposed to be demonstrating our use of relational time words (like “and then,” “as soon as,” “after that,” and so on). I don’t know if I really demonstrated that, but I did do a drawing big enough to distract everyone from the problems with my Thai.

File this one under PS3612.U686Z46 2012 for American literature—Individual authors—2001-—L—Biography and Criticism—Autobiography, journals, memoirs. By date.

This took a long time to color. That is why I am late posting it. Next week: Less Thai.