Entry: ratchapruek Saturday, November 11, 2006

The International Horticultural Exposition for His Majesty The King is taking place just down the road a piece from us, and I'll bet you're just as envious as can be. Around here, it's known as the "Royal Flora Ratchapruek" - the 'ratchapruek' part refers to the ratchapruek tree, a spiritually and royally significant tree in Thailand. You can find out more about why that type of tree is special on the Royal Flora site, but I feel it's important here to point out that in English, 'ratchapruek' means 'golden shower'. I point this out, not for cheap laughs at the expense of the Thais, but as a way to add to my 6-year project of trying to remind non-English speakers of the importance of checking with someone before plowing ahead with a translation. That's all. That, and of course, a few cheap laughs.

I haven't been to the expo, but I might go. It's not that I love walking slowly along with thousands to look at flowers - I don't really enjoy looking at flowers on purpose - I don't feel one way or the other about it, actually. Okay look - if they're right in front of me, I guess I don't mind that they're right in front of me...but I'm not going out of my way to go and look at flowers. That's not entirely true...I think I'll probably end up going to this thing. Damn.

The mascots alone are worth the trip, if the site is to be believed. Someone took a long long time to write up flowing descriptions for these little characters - personalities, character sketches, dreams, ambitions...it's like reading the Playmate profiles. I think Nari, (the naughty little princess)'s turnoffs include rainy days and mean people...

Whether it's your ambition to stand beneath a Golden Shower Tree, or to finally meet Kan Yao the Durian, "The King of Tropical Fruit" (durian, by the way, smells like a soiled diaper...fresh, ripe or rotting in an alley)...you could do worse than swinging by Chiang Mai in the next few months.

I'll let you know how it is when I get back from maybe possibly probably definitely going.



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