Palm reading, otherwise known as palmistry or chiromancy, is practised all over the world, but you have to be lucky to find a skilled hand reader. I was lucky to find one while visiting Chiang Mai on a holiday. His name is Dennis and he has been doing it for 15 years and originally learned about it in Mexico (although he is American).
Hand reading has its roots in Indian astrology and Roma fortune-telling. The objective is to evaluate a person’s character or future by studying the palm of their hand. Dennis, however, does not reveal bad things about the future, because he rightfully believes it gives negative visualisation. What he does, is to give you very personal information about your character, which can help you in your personal and professional development.
Without going into details about what he told me, I was positively surprised about the indepth knowledge he had of my personality and past life – things no-one could have told him. This is why I give him my finest recommendation (being a sceptic myself). Dennis himself thinks is it a kind of magic to be able to read people’s hands because it seems unreal, but is possible. He says that he also uses a lot of intuition and it just comes to him. To me he is a psychic hand reader. He is very dedicated and gets very excited and caught up in the “visions” he has of you and you have to listen carefully to remember everything he tells you (it’s a lot).
I loved his animated character and he made me laugh – something I cherish a lot in a person. Whether you are a sceptic or a believer, I definitely think it is worth your while to try a session with Dennis.
His website is: https://www.facebook.com/DennisHandsReader?fref=ts
I have not had a TV for many years already and this has led to the funniest comments from friends and acquaintances over the years. The most common comment being: “What do you do with your time?”
While living together with Thomas I used to answer “we argue”. It was an ironic joke to illustrate that there are many things to do besides watching TV. Instead of watching TV we used to have long dinners and talk, hang out with friends, write articles for the website or make pod-casts and videos, do sports, read books, go on trips on the motorbikes and many other things. Needless to say we would have had even more activities if we had children with whom I am sure we would have wanted to spend as much time as possible.
In Denmark I get exactly the same question when people visit me for the first time. They enter my living room and say “Where is the TV?” and are very surprised when I say that I don’t have a TV. I rarely find enough time to do all the things I want to in a day – I really don’t need a TV to clutter up more time.
But I do often wonder how people find time to watch TV? Most people I know tell me that they are really busy and it is normal in Denmark to arrange to meet up with friends at least a week in advance – to make sure that both parts have the time. Interesting.
According to statistics from 2009, Danish people watched TV on average 3 hours and 2 minutes a day: http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Indland/2009/10/14/180601.htm
The article suggests that people watched more TV in 2009 than 2008 because the selection of TV programmes were bigger and that the financial crisis kept people at home instead of spending time out. But I honestly don’t think this is the reason. I think it comes down to habit. Danish people are simply used to being entertained by the TV instead of spending an evening playing games with their spouse and children, reading books, going for a walk, talking, creative activities like painting, listening to music etc.
And really I think it’s fine that people entertain themselves with the TV – I just hope it is not at the expense of other things.
I guess the best way to evaluate an activity is to ask “Does this activity enrich my life today and will I look back at it in 10 years and think that it enriched my life?
And in the case of TV – “Does watching TV enrich my life today and will I look back at it in 10 years and think that spending more than 1095 hours a year (10.950 hours in 10 years) watching TV enriched my life?
Santiago, being the capital city of Chile, is a big city. The city was founded and named Santiago de Nueva Estremadura on Feb. 12, 1541, by Pedro de Valdivia. Santiago has spread over a broad valley plain and is today one of the largest cities in South America. Low foothills surround the valley, and the snowcapped Andes, forming a beautiful backdrop, rise in the eastern distance. For most of the year the climate is nice: warm days and cool nights.
Santiago is the political, commercial, and financial heart of the country, although Valparaiso has been the seat of the Chilean congress since 1990. Much of Chile’s industry is distributed among other cities, but Santiago is an active manufacturing center. Textiles, foodstuffs, clothing, footwear, and other goods are produced. There are also large iron and steel foundries in the city, which has a subway and an international airport.
The industries are heavily felt. If you climb up to a view point in the city you will not be able to see very far in certain parts of the year. The smog is so heavy that even the mountains are hidden. So although I actually like Santiago a lot: the Chileans are very nice and the city (apart from the occasional demonstrations) is orderly, courteous and feels pretty safe, I would not like to live there. Having gone through a pollution emergency crisis in Thailand in 2007, I will never again live in a country with such heavy pollution – regardless of the salary – my health is priceless!!
Having now spent more than six months travelling in Latin America, from Guatemala in Central America down to Peru, and having lived in Thailand for three years prior to this trip, I think I’m fairly well placed to write a quick comparison of the pros and cons of each destination. So here goes!
They’re going to battle it out on the following points:
Safety & personal security
This one is easy, in Thailand you can pretty much wander anywhere you like day or night, with cameras, phones and everything else on display. In Latin America, every city seems to have no-go zones, the bus terminal areas are like the Bronx, you just can’t trust taxi drivers, and something you hear more often than you’d like is “Es muy peligroso”.
This one is hard to judge as there is such a variety in costs across Latin America. Nicaragua, Bolivia and Peru are vastly cheaper than Argentina and Chile. That being said, the average local meal in Thailand is about US$1, in Latin America it is probably about US$2. And travel is generally cheaper in Thailand.
Thailand is known as The Land of Smiles which says it all really. The moment you step off the plane in Bangkok, you’re made to feel totally at home with welcoming smiles wherever you go. BUT, and it’s a rather large but, is there a superficiality factor at play here? Are the smiles genuine, or dare I say just a clever ruse to empty your wallet?
There’s no doubt that it’s more a case of “what you see is what you get” in Latin America
Thailand has some unbeatable beaches, some amazing jungle and some interesting mountains. Latin America has smoking volcanoes, 6000 metre Andes peaks, tropical beaches, the Amazon and of course a plentiful supply of picturesque Spanish colonial architecture. Say no more.
Winner: Latin America
Thailand has Sukhothai, and a couple of other ‘ancient centres’ dating back a few hundred years. Latin America has its Spanish colonial heritage, many UNESCO World Heritage towns, and of course it’s dripping in pre-colombian cultures like the mysterious culture of San Augustin in Colombia – an archaeologist’s wet dream.
Winner: Latin America
Chips, beans, chicken, rice, savoury bananas, chips, beans, chicken, rice, savoury bananas, chips, beans, chicken, rice, savoury bananas, chips, beans, chicken, rice, savoury bananas, f**K I’m bored…compared to possibly (along with India) the best and cheapest food on the planet in Thailand.
Music & entertainment
Repetetive Karaoke poop vs. Latin Rhythms, Salsa, Samba, Spanish influenced classical guitar, pan pipes…ahh just listen to the music!
Winner: Latin America
Language – Ease of learning the language
Spanish versus a strange tonal language that sounds like a cross between someone being strangled and animal noises, and is almost impossible to learn to read and write.
Winner: Latin America
How do the people express themselves? Do they get excited? Do they argue, debate, put their true feelings across? Do they kiss their lovers passionately in public? In Thailand, the natural response to anything whatsoever is to smile sweetly, and of course they wear their jeans and long-sleeved tops in the sea which is utterly ridiculous. In Latin America, the blood is hot.
Winner: Latin America
It’s a hard one. Latin America wins more outright points, but the food is stodgy and dull, it’s a bit more expensive and frankly it some places it’s downright dangerous. If you like safe and easy travel, Thailand is your place, but for the shear scale, diversity of landscapes and archaeological sites, and passion of the people, Latin America wins hands down.
Arriving in San Pedro was by no means a surprise because I had no expectations for neither San Pedro nor Guatemala.
San Pedro de Laguna is a relatively small village (although not as small as I could wish for) on the shores of Lake Atitlan. It has 13.000 inhabitants spread out on the hillside.
Obviously San Pedro is very different from Asia where I have spent a long time. It’s much less developed than Thailand, but it is also much more traditional which has its own charm. The people here are very friendly and despite a growing tourism not jaded and unfriendly.
But don’t let this fool you San Pedro have been discovered many years ago and is not your "undiscovered paradise". It’s a growing village living from tourist, coffee and maize. It has everything from beautiful scenery, kayak trips, horse riding, restaurants, market, and internet shops to bars and drug problems.
We arrived at the end of the rainy season and thus the landscape was very damp, cloudy and misty. My feelings for the country are mixed. The people seem very nice despite the horrors of the past, the landscape is also beautiful, but the country suffers from the same problems as other developing (and developed) countries pollution. They still cook with firewood so three times a day the village of San Pedro is smoky wherever you go and it makes me long for empty spaces with neither people nor buildings just nature.
I admit though that I have had this longing for a very long time now Chiang Mai was too big and polluted for me, Copenhagen also contains too much cement for me too many people, too many cars, too much development. The older I have gotten the less of a city person I am I long for peace and quiet and stopping smoking (nearly 2 years ago) has not made me more tolerant to pollution, smoke, dust, fumes and all the other things that big cities "offer" on the contrary.
I suppose ideally I would live in a very deserted place surrounded by nature, sea, animals and with very few inhabitants I know it sounds like Alaska .however, I couldn’t live in such a cold place. I hate darkness and cold so more like the south pole than the north pole 30 degrees all year round is great J Any suggestions?
Yesterday I finally got around to editing together some of the random audio snippets I have had on my computer since I left Thailand. This sound compilation contains radio clips, sounds recorded in our street, animal noises, music recorded at our local temple and lots more.
The final song, although not Thai, was ubiquitous in Thailand for the first two years I lived there. It will also conjure up a few memories for a some special friends. You know who you are ;-).
This video shows the spectacular celebration of Loi Krathong in Sukhothai Historical Park in 2007.
According to tradition, Loi Krathong originated in Sukhothai, the first Thai capital about 700 years ago. It is therefore fitting that Thais hold this memorable festival in the atmospheric ruins of the ancient city. Highlights include displays of lighted candles and fireworks, folk dancing and a spectacular light & sound presentation.
Loy Krathong or the ‘festival of light’ is possibly Thailand’s most beautiful festival.
The name comes from Loy meaning ‘to float’ and kratong meaning a lotus shaped boat. A kratong by tradition contains food, betel nuts, flowers, candle and a coin. The ritual is simple just light the candle and make a wish and let it float away carrying all your troubles of the previous year with it.
Having released your kratong, watch it carefully as it floats away. If the flame continues to burn it is believed to signify longevity, you wishes will be granted and you will be released from sin. It is a romantic night; couples that make their wish together are thought to stay together in the future.
As you will see on the video there are also Krathong competitions to make the most beautiful khatong.
Sukothai is definitely worth a visit during Loi Krathong. Enjoy