July 2013 Archives

Apple released the fourth beta version of the upcoming iOS 7 today, and I decided to finally take a leap of faith and give it a try. We are going to have to update all of the ITS4Thai language apps next month to prepare for iOS 7, so I wanted to check it out to see just how different it really is.

Well, I was not prepared for it to be THIS different. When you get a new iPhone, you have to go through several setup screens -- set up your wi-fi, iTunes account, Find My iPhone, etc. And here is the screen for turning on Location Services:

ios7thaisetup.PNG

Yup. Everything was in Thai. And not only Thai, but in that really difficult to read "modern" Thai font. According to one of my Thai friends the system font for iOS 7 is "Sukhumvit", as opposed to "Thonburi" which was used on Versions 1-6. This is an important distinction because for our ITS4Thai apps, we need a font that is easier for beginners to read, and Thonburi is definitely easier than Sukhumvit!

There was no way to change the language to English, so I had to try to read the Thai and make guesses what was going on based on past experience, and I think I eventually got everything set up correctly.

And then this is what I see next:

ios7thaihome.PNG

Oh boy. So now I have to go through the settings (in Thai) to figure out how to turn off the Thai! I guess we have to start with clicking on the Settings app. Luckily there is an easy to spot Settings icon in the lower right corner. But just in case the icon wasn't there, it would be good to know that การตั้งค่า (gaan dtâng kâa) = Settings or configuation.

Next, I knew I had to look for "General", and here I found it as ทั่วไป (tûa bpai).

ios7thaigeneral.jpg

Then, just click on International, which is นานาชาติ (naa-naa châat).

ios7thaiinter.jpg

And the last step is to look for something that says Language, or ภาษา (paa-săa) -- and sure enough, it's set to ภาษาไทย (paa-săa thai) at the moment.

ios7thailanguage.jpg

So actually, that's several very useful words to know. Now that I think about it, maybe I should leave it in Thai as a way to practice and learn more!

Hong Kong, Keyboards, and Blogsy

A couple of weeks ago, I visited Hong Kong with Piyawat's family. I haven't written about it yet here, because there wasn't much to talk about. It was mostly a shopping trip, and so we spent hours and hours and walked many miles through the malls in Kowloon.

Shopping for clothes, shoes, and bags is not really my idea of a good time (as anyone who has seen my wardrobe and shoe choices can attest). But I do love shopping for technology. So one of the highlights of my trip was my visit to the huge 3-floor Apple store at Causeway Bay. While I was there I picked up a very cool Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for my iPad.

The keyboard was highly recommended by my friend Rupert, and as it turns out, I love it. It has really changed the way that I use my iPad. Now I carry it with me most places that I go, and it has been a lot easier to do "real work" on it -- whether that is reading and replying to emails (using Mailbox) or taking notes on academic PDFs (using Sente).

 

And then yesterday, I saw a review of an iPad app called Blogsy that allows you to post to a blog from the iPad. Lots of different blog software are supported, including Movable Type, which is what I use to run this website. It looked promising, with an incredible percentage of 5-star reviews in the iTunes App Store, so I thought I'd give it a try.

So here I am, on my first post with Blogsy and putting it through its paces. The picture of the Apple store came from my iPad Camera Roll. The link to the keyboard came from the built-in web browser. This image of the cool looking Blogsy icon came from the Blogsy app website.

Unfortunately though, I wanted this image to go over on the right side, but I can't figure out how to do it. And I have had to flip over to the HTML editor several times to put the picture in the right place.

So although this app shows a lot of promise, it seems to be quite difficult to use. I am getting pretty frustrated at this point, so I think I should stop here. I'll try to publish this to my website, so if you are reading this, it worked! (I just have no idea how it is actually going to look.)

 

But before I go, I'll just throw in one more photo, this one from Instagram. Yes, the Blogsy app gives you a lot of options for bringing in media, but so far, I haven't really figured out how to make it do exactly what I want. Again, I was able to pull in the pic from Instagram (cool!) but had to open the HTML viewer to put it in the right place (not cool!).

 

So let me go ahead and publish this post and then to go the App Store to write a scathing 3-star review.

 

Update: Well, it turned out looking ok, but the design view in Blogsy is not really WYSIWYG. And it looks like I can edit the text, but I can't really edit the photos. Perhaps I have to save a local draft on my iPad and edit it there? Can I be bothered to go to the Blogsy site and figure out how to work this app? Or is it just easier to use the usual web interface for my Movable Type installation? Only time will tell.

 

Now that I am back in the academic world again, I find myself visiting the Google Scholar search engine very frequently. There are several excellent tools there for researchers, which maybe I will write about later. But for today, I wanted to talk about the "2013 Scholar Metrics" that were released a few days ago.

The Scholar Metrics are a ranking of journals in every field, based on the number of citations that the articles in the journals get. You can browse all of the topics (Business, Health, Science, etc). When you browse for the journals, you are given their h5-Index and their h5-median scores. These scores show how often articles are cited from these publications, with the h5-median basically showing the distribution of the citations. (For more information, see this help page)

I went through and made a list of all of the top journals that were listed in "Humanities, Literature, and Arts" under the four subcategories of Humanities, Literature and Arts (General), English Language and Literature, Foreign Language Learning, and Language & Linguistics. Here are the 66 unique journals that I found, sorted by h5-median score.

  • Journal of Memory and Language
  • Language Learning
  • Applied Linguistics
  • The Modern Language Journal
  • Language
  • Linguistic Inquiry
  • Natural Language & Linguistic Theory
  • Language Resources and Evaluation
  • Language and Cognitive Processes
  • Journal of Pragmatics
  • Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
  • Journal of Phonetics
  • Lingua
  • Second Language Research
  • Language Teaching
  • Studies in Second Language Acquisition
  • Journal of Child Language
  • Language and Linguistics Compass
  • English Language Teaching Journal
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning
  • Applied Psycholinguistics
  • Language Teaching Research
  • Phonology
  • Journal of Neurolinguistics
  • Journal of Second Language Writing
  • English Today
  • Poetics
  • TESOL Quarterly
  • Journal of Linguistics
  • Journal of English for Academic Purposes
  • International Journal of Bilingualism
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • International Journal of Corpus Linguistics
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Language and Speech
  • Humor-International Journal of Humor Research
  • Literary and Linguistic Computing
  • Foreign Language Annals
  • International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
  • Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
  • Language in Society
  • World Englishes
  • International Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • Language Policy
  • International Journal of Multilingualism
  • Canadian Modern Language Review
  • Pragmatics & beyond. New series
  • Regional Language Centre Journal
  • Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
  • English Journal
  • Studies in the Novel
  • English World-Wide
  • Nordic Journal of English Studies
  • Language Awareness
  • Journal of English Linguistics
  • English Language and Linguistics
  • College English
  • European Journal of English Studies
  • TESOL Journal
  • Changing English
  • Shakespeare Quarterly
  • English in Education
  • English Studies
  • Journal of Modern Literature
  • English in Australia
  • English Literary History

However, there are some potential problems with this list that someone noticed last year. Another problem that I noticed was that for each of the 3 subcategories, Google only showed the top 20 results. For example, Language & Linguistics only goes down to a h5-median of 25, while English Language & Literature goes all the way down to 7. So this is not a "Top 55" list because a lot of Language & Linguistics journals are missing.

And just as another point of comparison, there are other rankings as well, such as the Language & Linguistics category in the SCImago Journal & Country Rank website.

In spite of the problems, it's an interesting attempt to rank journals automatically and makes for a fun one-time snapshot (in my opinion). Hopefully Google will continue to improve Google Scholar and these metrics reports.

At my department's Research Cluster Discussion last month, one of the professors gave a presentation about research purposes in our field of applied linguistics. What seemed to be a cut-and-dried topic actually turned out to be quite complex. And the more I thought about it over the past month, the more confused I became. So this week I decided to spend a few days in the Resource Center to do a little research on this topic in order to sort things out in my own mind. Hopefully this will help me get my own research started on the right foot. The remainder of this blog post is my current understanding of what goes into the research before the research even starts.

There are three main areas to consider when planing research. As I read through the literature on this topic this week, I realized that these three areas go by a few different names, which include:

  • the purpose, goals, or objectives
  • the rationale, or justification
  • the aims, or research questions

If someone were to ask, "What is Research X about?", the answer is likely to be the purpose of the research. It is what the researcher is "doing", and is therefore often described with a leading verb, such as finding, evaluating, collecting, investigating, showing, specifying, modeling, extracting, examining, establishing, producing, proposing, developing, describing, providing, interpreting, creating, arguing, extending, using, uncovering, applying, or testing. At least those were some of the verbs I found in a quick search in my folder of PDF research papers.

If the purpose is what the researcher is doing, the rationale, then, is the reason why the researcher is doing it. The rationale should be based on previous research in the field, and it gives context to the proposed research and explains why it is important (Allison, 2002, p. 223).

One perspective of viewing the rationale is to consider the value of the research, and who is benefiting from that value. My first thoughts were that the research community is the main beneficiary of research. This is the cliched "adding to the body of knowledge" that much research tries to achieve. But in addition to the research community, there are two other potential beneficiaries: the researcher personally, and others outside of the research context. (Allison, 2002, p. 166-167). A great example of a researcher doing research for themselves personally is action research. And an example of doing research for others is research that has general pedagogical implications. For example, research that helps EFL teachers be more effective in the classroom helps both the teachers and the students.

None of the research method books I looked at this week gave many examples of research rationales, or much advice on how to write them. Perhaps this is because many papers do not explicitly have a rationale section nor do they say something like, "The justification of this research is..." So I am not sure exactly what a rationale will look like, but as I read papers in the future, I will try to pick them out and see if I can find any patterns. My initial instinct tells me that they might, for example, look something like:

  • Previous research does X, but they didn't do Y
  • Previous research did X in location Y, so now we will do it in location Z.

My interests are in the use of technology for language learning (Computer Assisted Language Learning - CALL) as well as language research (Computer Assisted Applied Linguistics - CAAL), so in many of the papers I have read, the rationale behind the research is technology-based. This wasn't mentioned in any of the books I read, partly because it is a new area of study in applied linguistics. For example, now that we have the technology to analyze millions of words automatically, the field of corpus linguistics has exploded in popularity. So an example of a purpose and rationale for a research paper might be something like:

  • Purpose (What are we doing?) - Creating a computerized analysis tool based on Linguistic Framework X.
  • Rationale (Why are we doing it?) - Because technology allows us to process a lot of data automatically that we could never do before. This will help us better understand language in use, and will help other researchers to do additional research in this area.

So now that we have the purpose and the rationale of research, the final piece of the puzzle is the aims, or research questions. A lot of the books I was looking at this week had advice and guidelines for research questions, so I won't talk much about this now, except to say that the research questions must come directly from the purpose and the rationale. Research questions are in the form of questions, of course, and often start with a question word, such as who, what, how, or when. They are usually very easy to find in a paper, as opposed to the purpose and rationale, which may be hidden somewhere in the abstract, literature review, or other sections.

So now I have to ask myself, why is all of this so important? Well, it hopefully will not only help me plan and organize my own research, but it will also help me to critique and better understand others' research. Brown and Gonzo (1995) listed 6 questions that one should ask when critiquing and understanding others' research, and 4 of the 6 are directly related to what I have talked about above. (For the other two, one was about data collection and one was about research conclusions.) So my plan from now on is to keep track of the purpose, rationale, and aims of everything I read, in hopes that it makes me a better researcher, teacher, and maybe even someday, supervisor.

References

Allison, D. (2002). Approaching english language research. Singapore: Singapore University Press

Brown, H. D., & Gonzo, S. T. (1995). Introduction. In H. D. Brown & S. T. Gonzo (Eds.), Readings on second language acquisition (pp. 1-12). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall

Sharing Instagram Photos on My Blog

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One of my favorite activities since I moved to Thailand is traveling and taking photos. Perhaps that is a bit of an understatement. I checked a few days ago and I have over 20,000 photo files (30+GB) on my computer. Wow.

Recently, I have enjoyed the Instagram app. If I take a photo now that I really like, I crop it and put it through a filter (if it helps) and post it to Instagram. They just released a new feature that allows one to embed Instagram photos on a website, like this one. Let's see how it looks on a pic from a day trip to Phi Phi island from a few months ago:

Ok. That looks pretty good! But I had to edit the height and width of the tag to get it to fit. Editing the iframe to height="580" width="500" seems to work here. (Thanks to Stowe Boyd for doing the math for me :)

If you want to follow me in Instagram, feel free to add me at sgtowns (as usual). And if not, maybe I will share an Instagram photo or two here in the future anyway.

"I've got a little black book with my poems in..."

The voice of "Pink" floated through my head as my advisor handed me a tiny black book that he had found when cleaning out his office. Part of my research is looking at the "rules" of writing, and this tiny volume was an ancient look at what passed for good writing many years ago.

It wasn't until I got home and looked the book up on Google when I realized what I was holding in my hand. The official title of the book is "Murray's English Grammar: With Several Important Alterations, and Comprising Copious Exercises on All the Definitions and Rules : Together with a Short Systematic View of the Formation and Derivation of Words". Whew. And from what I can tell from Google, the edition I was holding in my hand was published in 1850.

And no, that is not a typo. My advisor had handed me a 163 year old book to read.

My research interest is focused on investigating high-quality writing, so the last section of the book was the most appropriate for me -- "Rules and observations for assisting young persons to write with perspicuity and accuracy" (Owen, 1850). Should I be embarrassed that I had to look up "perspicuity"? In any case, now I know that it means "clearly expressed and easily understood" (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2010).

The rules outlined in this section are quite different from the ones I talked about yesterday from The Writer's Diet. Whereas the Writer's Diet breaks things down into parts of speech, the Murray's book has a more holistic approach. The rules are categorized into: The proper disposition of words, unity, strength, and judicious use of figures of speech.

Here are some examples from each section:

The proper disposition of words:

  • Words that are closely related should be near each other in a sentence. For example, adverbs and relative pronouns should be near the words they modify. (Ok, this one makes sense.)

Unity:

  • The scene (basically the subject) should not change inside a sentence
  • Avoid long parenthetical remarks inside sentences

(Both of these are ok, I guess. But the next section gets a bit wacky, in my opinion.)

Strength:

  • Remove all unnecessary words. (But what makes a word unnecessary?)
  • Do not split a preposition from the noun that follow it. (Ok.)
  • Do not leave out relative pronouns, such as "whom". (The example he gives here is "The one whom I love", which seems a bit old-fashioned to my ears. "The one I love" sounds better to me.)
  • Usually the important idea goes at the beginning of a sentence, but sometimes putting it at the end "gives weight" to a sentence. (This is a meaningless rule isn't it? Should it read, "Don't put the important idea in the middle"?)
  • If a sentence has two parts, the longer part should go second.
  • A weaker assertion should never come after a stronger one. (But no rules are given for how to judge strength.)
  • Do not end a sentence with an adverb, preposition, or any inconsiderable word such as "it". (Unfortunately, the author does not explain what makes a word inconsiderable!)
  • Pay attention to the sound and flow of the words in a sentence. The author had some interesting sub-rules to this one:

    • if a word ends with a vowel, the next one should start with a consonant

    • but if can not, then the vowels should be a long and a short one, or the consonants liquid and mute

    • do not have strings of long and short words together

And finally, the last section, which seems fairly straightforward:

Judicious use of figures of speech.


  • No mixed metaphors and no forced metaphors. In other words, metaphors should be easy to understand. (Duh. In order to write with perspicuity, write perspicuously.)

Many of these rules for writers are great examples of prescriptive advice which has no logic and nothing to back it up. Someone, somewhere decided they were good rules and set them in stone to be followed slavishly for generations.

This is in direct contrast to the rules from The Writer's Diet, which are "based on more than 1,000 writing samples" (Sword, n.d.). At least Sword used evidence to create her rules. My research will also be looking for evidence from real people writing real English in real communications. It is my hope that I can use this evidence to describe what good writing really is.


References

New Oxford American Dictionary 3rd edition © 2010 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

Owen, J. J. (1850). Murray's English Grammar: With Several Important Alterations, and Comprising Copious Exercises on All the Definitions and Rules : Together with a Short Systematic View of the Formation and Derivation of Words. Printed by Richardson and Son, London.

Sword, Helen (n.d.). Frequently asked questions about the WritersDiet Test. Retrieved 10 July 2013 from http://www.writersdiet.com/WT.php?faq

Putting my blog on a diet

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Today I found a new (to me) source outlining some rules and advice about creating a high-quality writing style, written by Helen Sword, a writing expert based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has written several academic books, the last two of which are The Writer's Diet (2007) and Stylish Academic Writing (2012).

Sword has a website for The Writer's Diet which contains a "WritersDiet Test", and of course I immediately wondered how my own blog posts would fare. So I tried the test on one of my recent posts, and received an overall score of "flabby", the second worse rating (out of 5) possible!

flabby.jpg

So I took that as a challenge to "improve", and re-worked the post which I have included below. I use quotes around "improve" for a few reasons: 1) the actual algorithms for determining the scores are hidden, and as she said, come with "dollop of subjectivity", so it is unclear whether or not it is actually an improvement, and 2) her perspective mainly comes from her analyses of academic writing. My blog posts are certainly not academic (yet), but even so, perhaps I can learn something from her.

As can be seen in the image above, the test looks at five main areas: verbs, nouns, prepositions, adjectives/adverbs, and waste words (the words: it, this, that, and there). Here are some more details as she describes on her website, with, I assume, even more details in her two books (which I don't yet own).

  • Verbs: Be-verbs (am, is, are, was, were, etc.) should be limited. Instead, one should use "specific, robust action verbs" and not "weak, vague, lazy ones". The passive voice should also be avoided.

  • Nouns: Use concrete nouns and avoid nominalizations from verbs or adjectives.

  • Prepositions: Try to limit prepositional phrases, especially when they come between the main noun and verb in the sentence.

  • Adjectives and Adverbs: Limit these, unless they are adding new information. Use nouns and verbs instead.

  • Waste Words (it, this, that, there). This one is an interesting one that I would like to learn more about. This is where I had the worst score, but I am not quite clear on her rationale behind this rule.
Normally, the posts on my blog are just written without much editing. I sometimes think a little bit about what I will say or at least how I will start, and then just type, type, type and submit. But the Writer's Diet website encouraged me to edit at least one older post (as well as this one), and while editing I decided to move things around a little bit to (hopefully) improve the flow and added a bit here and there. I am not sure if it is better or not, but at least the Writer's Diet says that it is!

lean.jpg

So last week I wrote about the wedding I attended in Udon Thani, and here is the new "lean" version. I will leave the judgement of improvement as an exercise for the reader.

There is something magical and mystical about the Mekong River.
I don't mean the fireball-shooting snake monster living in its waters, although the annual Naga festivities do add to the charm. And the magic does not come from the beauty of the river either. Near Vientiane and Nong Khai, the Mekong cuts a wide brown path through a nondescript flat landscape.
But I feel something special every time I visit, and I am always happy when I stand on her shores.
The Mekong is one of the world's great rivers, one which every child learns about. Even though my childhood took place on the other side of the world, I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the Mekong many times.
Not only is it a famous river, but the culture that runs on both sides plays a role in my love of these waters. The Isaan/Lao culture fills me with a peaceful, relaxed feeling. Time moves slowly here and the land is full of warm and friendly people.
We travelled to Isaan last weekend to attend a Thai-style wedding. I have always wanted to see a Thai wedding and all of the special traditions involved, and so this weekend I finally had a chance. First, the groom had to pay the youngsters outside to allow him to enter the wedding room, then he paid a dowry to the family, and then finally adorned his bride placing golden bracelets on her wrists. The bride's mother tied a string between the bride's and groom's heads showing their new link, and every guest poured water over the happy couple's hands.
We enjoyed the more Western-style reception that night as well. Eventually we ended up at hip and trendy Wine Society for some late night (for this old man at least) wine drinking and dancing as the band played well-known English songs. (Every wedding needs Y.M.C.A., right?)
Between the Thai wedding in the morning and the reception at night, some friends took us for a afternoon trip to nearby Nong Khai, where I was able to visit the Mekong again. We spent a few minutes shopping at the huge riverside market (where I bought a bag of amazingly delicious and cheap golden raisins), and had Vietnamese style nam neuang at a riverside restaurant for lunch.
But as much fun as we had at the wedding, the highlight was spending a little bit of time on the Mekong shores. I hope I can return again soon.

Holy Grail Week 1

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The second half of the year started last Monday, and since I had set up my half-year resolutions then (which are no different from the usual full-year resolutions), I thought that maybe I should report on my progress here every week. I am the kind of person who is motivated by numbers, so let's see if I can gamify myself here.

Resolution 1: Read/Write/Study more. As usual, I read a lot of news and blogs online, but not necessarily for my studies. I made 3 blog posts here, which is a good start, but I still want to try to write more about what I am studying.

Resolution 2: Exercise more. I exercised 5 times last week. That's a good baseline with the fastest/farthest run of 3.2 miles in 31 minutes (9:41 per mile). That distance and speed is definitely something that I am looking forward to improving over time.

Resolution 3: Learn Thai. I studied 5 times last week. At the moment I am focused on learning vocabulary, so let's see how I stand now using LWT and Anki:

Anki Stats:

Mature Cards: 360 (+45)
Young + Learning Cards: 352 (+172)
Unseen Cards: 3,446 (-217)
Mature/Learning Score: 9%/8%

LWT Stats:

Known Words: 441 (+231)
Learning Words: 195 (+32)
Unseen Words: 5240 (+2866)
Known/Learning Score: 7%/3%

For LWT, I basically doubled the number of words in the database by adding all of the words from the ITS4Thai database. One great feature of LWT is that you can set it to not duplicate words. So I just threw in my huge list of words from ITS4Thai and it only added the ones that were not already there.

There was also a big jump in the LWT Known words because I was just going through the list of terms and marking the ones I can already read. At some point, this number will grow more slowly and organically, similar to the Young+Learning Cards in Anki.

So, I have to say that I am happy with my one week of progress. I had a productive week and I hope that I can keep it going next week!

The 1000th Entry

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I just realized that this particular entry is the 1,000th to be published on this website, which is nearing its 11th anniversary this month. Even though I have slacked off on keeping this blog updated over the last three or four years, that still averages out to about 90 entries per year, or 7.5 per month. One or two entries per week for 11 years is perhaps not so bad after all.

My first trip in Asia was to Angkor Wat in September 2002, and I wrote about Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 on this blog. And my most recent trip was to Udon Thani and Nong Khai this past weekend (July 2013) which I just wrote about yesterday.

Here is what I looked like on these two trips:

stuart2002.jpgstuart2013.jpg

Angkor Wat, Cambodia (Aug 2002) and Nong Khai, Thailand (Jul 2013)


And wow, what a crazy, wonderful, exciting, educational, amazing 11 years it has been... and I guess I look none the worse for wear!

There is something magical and mystical about the Mekong River.

I am not talking about the fireball-shooting snake monster that lives in its waters. Although that story does add to the charm. And it's not because the Mekong is necessarily a beautiful river. At least near Vientiane and Nong Khai it cuts a wide brown path through a nondescript flat landscape.

But there is something special that I feel every time I visit it and I am always happy when I stand on its shores.

IMG_6774.jpg

The fireball-shooting snake monster vs an Elephant. Wat Pho Chai, Nong Khai, Thailand


Perhaps part of it is that the Mekong is one of the world's great rivers, one that every child learns about. And to think that I have the opportunity to visit it so many times, on the other side of the world from my childhood, it amazes me how my life has turned out so far.

And perhaps part of it is the culture that runs on both sides of the river. There's just something about the Isaan/Lao culture that fills me with a peaceful, relaxed feeling. Time moves slowly here and the people are warm and friendly.

This past weekend, I attended a wedding in Udon Thani, and on Saturday afternoon, some friends took us for a day trip to nearby Nong Khai, where I was able to visit the Mekong again. We shopped for a bit at the huge riverside market (where I bought a bag of amazingly delicious and cheap golden raisins), and had Vietnamese style nam neuang at a riverside restaurant.

The wedding was also a lot of fun. It was my first time to experience a Thai style wedding, where the groom first has to pay the youngsters outside to allow him to enter the room, then pays a dowry to the family and adorns his bride with golden bracelets. A string is tied between the heads of the bride and groom to show their new link, and all of the guests pour water over the happy couples hands.

IMG_6701.jpg

The groom "bribes" his way into the wedding ceremony.


The reception that night was a lot of fun as well. Eventually we ended up at Wine Society for some late night (for this old man at least) wine drinking and dancing in front of the band.

But as much fun as we had, for me the highlight was still to spend a little bit of time on the shores of the Mekong. I hope I can return again soon.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2013 is the previous archive.

August 2013 is the next archive.

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