It has been a fairly uneventful week-and-a-bit during which I have been going to work in a semi-holiday state of mind. April is definitely the slow period as far as education in Thailand is concerned as it is the summer vacation between school years. As the Thai New Year — Songkran — comes mid-month, most businesses close up shop as the entire country attempts to relax. I still have a few lessons each week with individual students as well as a business course on Saturdays but it is a very relaxing atmosphere at the moment. My agency will actually close down completely from this Saturday (April 13 is “official” Songkran Day) and will reopen next Wednesday. My student has already cancelled his Friday evening lesson (which happens to coincide with our payday), so I will start holiday festivities early. I do have some tentative plans for the long weekend but I will report on those in next week’s update, hopefully with some photos and video.
Wow! I managed to finish a whopping eleven (11) books in November, the last of which I completed just an hour before midnight on the 30th. I did spend about 200 minutes longer reading during the month while absorbing almost 20 pages less. I think that means I’m ruminating more on what I just read before turning (sorry, is that flipping or flicking?) the page. I’m rapidly approaching 75,000 pages read since I began tracking such numbers back in January 2010.
Day 13: Your Favorite Writer
I have quite a few favorite writers, depending on my mood — Tony Hillerman, Clive Cussler, and J. K. Rowling all have spots at the top. There is one writer, however, whom I favor more often than all the others. And yet I haven’t read any of his books in several long years. The last was a re-read and I sold off a collection of his short stories before I even had a chance to finish it.
Day 3: Your Favorite Series
Today’s topic is fairly easy although it’s more in the “”Young Adult/Fanstasy” category than the mysteries I usually read. That of course is the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.
Prior to last year I’d never read a single one of these books, nor had I watched any of the movies. I don’t know what prompted me to pick up The Philosopher’s Stone (yes, all of my copies were the British editions without all the changes that were made for those sold in America) back last 16th May. I’m glad I did and I finished the novel the morning of the 22nd, watched the movie, and immediately launched into The Chamber of Secrets (I finished that one in just one day!). This was a trend I maintained for the next couple of months (with a few breaks for variety) and managed to finish the seventh in the series on 26th July. In a way I didn’t want to complete The Deathly Hallows as I would actually have to wait another couple of months before the movie was released (and, then, only Part 1!).
I don’t like to waste money so I tend to budget everything, maximizing my usage to the nth degree. That includes using the internet cafe, even more so now that they’ve increased the cost per hour from 15 baht to 20 baht at the one I frequent. That means I’m now paying 60 baht (almost USD $2.00) for three hours online compared to the 45 baht (USD $1.50) it used to cost me. It’s a significant amount when you’re as poor as dirt like I am — and have an online addiction.
In maximizing my online usage, I don’t do a whole lot of reading while in the internet cafe. Time is money so I do a lot of skimming — downloading stuff to read later. I’ll be armed with a ton of links to follow, gleaned from emails and news feeds downloaded on a previous visit. If I’m researching a topic such as “schools in Hat Yai, for example, I’ll run a Google search and then open the most interesting/informative-appearing links in multiple tabs and then save the pages for perusing upstairs where my time is my own. I throw the best of these articles, etc. into Microsoft Office’s One Note — I prefer this to Evernote — for future reference.
I’d like to share a few of this week’s most interesting links with you today — there’s some local news and bits on books and what not.