Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just a bunch of stuff....

Thanks for all the well-wishes yesterday. My cold feels much better and I'm hoping it will be gone by the end of the day. The weirdest thing about having a cold at my age is that sense of embarrassment that comes with sniffing, snorting and having a runny nose like a toddler. There's not a thing to be done about it. It is just has to run its course.

Snoskred asked last night if I feel naked without my full array of Thai wonder.

It was an interesting question. :)

Yes. In some ways, I do. It's become standard now. It's a part of my personal landscape.

It's a unique style. Very colorful and pretty, yet rugged and sturdy. Most of mine is Hmong-influenced. It has a lot of embroidery, ribbons, layers upon layers of color.

It makes me feel happy.

At the same time, I'm not a nut about it. I don't get all decked out in full ceremonial gear each day. It's just the influence, the general sense that might remind those who have traveled to that part of the world of the Hilltribe people.
Most of my jewelry is Hilltribe also. Silver. Gold. Bangles. Lockets. Pendants. Ankle bracelets. Sometimes earrings. I'm so highly allergic though that the earrings are not common. Let's just say I look definitely unusual without looking bizarre. There's an unspoken line that can't be crossed and I don't cross it.

So.. in short, 99.9% of my clothing is of this style. I beg and plead and promise everything but my queendom (such as it is) to friends in Thailand to buy it for me or I buy it from specialty shops. I've even been able to get some of it on eBay.

Some of it is from night markets and street markets, the same as those in the picture on the left.

It makes me feel closer to home. Call me a nutball.. but there it is... on the world wide web for all to know.


D. left for Texas a while ago. V. and I helped her get all packed up and on her way. She will be seeing relatives she hasn't seen for years and, in that regard, this trip seems to be an important one. Given her age, she might not be able to take that many more.

V. has gone to work.

And as for me, blessed peace and quiet.




Snoskred said...

I don't think it makes you a nutball, but I do think it makes you distinctive and different. That's a good thing. :)

Last weekend when I was in the city, I saw many girls all wearing the apparent latest fashion, which I can only call stick thin street slut skin tight denim leggings meets inappropriate footwear with a side of butt crack and visible G string. The footwear is Ugg boots. I don't know if you know what those are, but they aren't appropriate to be worn *out* unless you're running down to the shops for some milk, in my opinion.

And *all* the girls were wearing it. Nobody was going their own way - except one woman who I can only assume was a high class escort wearing a mini-skirt and thigh high boots in the style of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Again, something I could have done without seeing.

As we get older we all tend to find our own style, our own way, we become less of sheep than we are when we're teenage/young adult. I've gone through many different styles, one with an excessive amount of crystal jewellery myself a couple of years ago.

I just think with your style it is easier to put a name to it. I couldn't name my style if I tried. I think your way is the better way. Me, I'd like to try saris, even just once would do me. ;) or Tibetan monk habits, because they look really comfortable to me. And maybe as I get older, I'll do exactly that.

The only question I have is, how can I talk my other half into adopting the leather kilt as his personal style? ;)

(Don't google image search leather kilts, ladies. I warn you!) (ok but I'm not taking any responsibility for what happens as a result of you googling that) (like maybe running off to Scotland) :) (where real men wear kilts and speak with devastatingly sexy accents)

Hmm, did I type that out loud? ;)

thailandchani said...

Snos, I also see young women out in those slutty looking outfits and it really bothers me. It doesn't bother me for me. It bothers me for them. Do they have any concept of the message they are sending?

"I am nothing but a body. Objectify me. Use me. I'm worthless beyond possible sex appeal."

I am so glad I'm not raising daughters these days.

The Thai style I've developed is very modest and I'd like to think reasonably appropriate for my age. No one wants to see some middle-aged woman looking like a slut. LOL

(Not that I ever did anyway. That look never appealed to me.)

On most people, the bohemian look is great!



heartinsanfrancisco said...

Oh, dear. I assumed that V had gone, too. I didn't know he worked.

I think the people of Southeast Asia are some of the most beautiful on earth. The only other area I can think of that seems to produce only gorgeous people is Somalia. Even the men are exquisite, with delicate fingers and toes.

I don't think you odd for feeling as you do about Thailand. It's just natural that you would want to surround yourself with things that remind you of your soul's home, and what better way than to wear clothing and jewelry from there?

I wouldn't be surprised if you can actually smell Thailand in the fabrics, as nothing evokes memories like scent.

You are unique and beautiful by any standard, Chani.

Tabba said...

I agree that it does not make you a nutball at all. It's you. And it makes you happy. Nothing nutball in that at all.

Again, enjoy the peace and quiet. I bet in that quiet, your mind will fire up and we'll be the better for it in forms of interesting posts and walks of conversation....as always.

thailandchani said...

Susan, I believe that about southeast Asian people, too. For some reason, they are just beautiful to look at! Not that I am objectifying them, either, but they are just absolutely gorgeous human beings!

And their sense of color.. and their ceremony.. and their *being*.. just communicates to me like nothing else ever has!

I hope I will earn enough merit in this life to be Southeast Asian in my next. :)

The clothes do remind me of all of that ~ and more. It reminds me of how I felt there.. so warm and comfortable, so accepted. God, it was lovely!

Yes, V has a job now. He's been working for a few weeks and he works very long hours. I just hope it doesn't end up overtaxing him so that he'll crawl back in a bottle again. This is so typical of alcoholics though. It's all or nothing.



QT said...

Whatever brings you comfort and joy is ok in my book!

We have a VERY large Hmong community here in Madison. There has been a brouhaha recently because the City Council agreed to name one of the elementary schools after a Hmong leader. The Hmong community chose Vang Pao, and there has been nothing but arguing ever since, as apparently he has something of a questionable past (like we haven't doen the same thing?).


Can you recommend anyone peaceful, Chani? :)

I am glad you are starting to feel better. If you ever want me to look for Hmong stuff for you here, let me know - I would be happy to!

thailandchani said...

Tabba, it is so nice around here without all that chaos. Her complaining. Her sons in and out all day. (And none of them think twice about interrupting me, no matter what I'm doing.)

I might get used to this. LOL


QT, Vang Pao is a big issue around here right now, too. Vang Pao is not a nice guy! He was arrested along with some other men for plotting to overthrow the Lao government. It's quite a mess and the Hmong community is in an uproar. Locally, they are demonstrating in front of the capital building.

This is honestly why meeting southeast Asian people here is in no way similar to the SEA people I met in.. um.. Southeast Asia.

This is a complicated topic. :)

If you happen to come across a place that sells Hmong clothing through the mail, I would definitely like to know about it! Thanks. :)



jen said...

ah, yes. and now i have my answer.

i, too, love the Hmong style..but it always seemed hot to me, heavier fabrics. i might not be aware of all there is to offer.

i'd love to see a picture of your clothing sometime. your favorite outfit.

thailandchani said...

Jen, it is possible to find cotton clothing that has the Hmong influence . It can get very warm with the heavier fabrics and during summer, I switch to the cotton stuff. (wrap pants, tunics, da da da... )

Check out:


There's some beautiful Hmong stuff there.



meno said...

Chani, your mention of the Hmong reminds me to ask you if you have read the book "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down." If you haven't, please check it out. It's one of the more fascinating books i've read.

liv said...

ah, quiet. that is the part I seized on. now, just now, on this gray day I can see the trees thrashing about in the hot, summer wind. a baby is sleeping. a boy is playing quietly. their mother is reading your blog. ahhh....

flutter said...

I love that you do what makes you happy without fear. It's a wonderful thing

thailandchani said...

Meno, just ordered it. It definitely sounds like something I'd like to read.

Sometimes southeast Asian spirituality can get a bit weird. I've been told that I will suffer all kinds of horrid things if I ever should accidentally mistreat some of the amulets I have, you know, like putting them on a table that is too low... or blinking at the wrong time.

Needless to say, I don't buy it (I have them because they're attractive) but there are plenty of people who really believe it... strongly!


Liv, yes... quiet! It's been awesome~ LOL. I will be very spoiled by the time the house fills up again.


Flutter... sometimes that's true, sometimes it's not. Mostly it seems to be that way though. When you've been in a position where you don't have much to lose, fear comes rather slowly. :)




slouching mom said...

I'd love to see a photo of you in those beautiful clothes sometime...

Laurie said...

I'm so glad you are feeling better. Why is it that summer colds seem worse than winter ones?

Enjoy your week off, Chani.


Mary said...

Yay! Peace and quiet. Get on eBay and find more color for yourself. I like your style, Chani. Be YOU.

crazymumma said...

If i met you, I just know I would thing that there is a woman who know who she is, wears what she needs to complete herself in a way she feels best.

I'd probably want to get to know you.

caroline potato said...

Hi Thailand Gal,
I agree with Slouching Mom. It would be meaningful to see you in those colors and fabrics.

I'm sorry you have been sick. There is a potent summer bug going around our city too.