Monday, 30 August 2010

Newest Speech Contest Script

LGBT. Perhaps many of you here know what it stands for. It is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I am a bisexual transgender student and I would like to make it clear that sexuality and gender do not always fall into a simple categorization. Thus, I think it is very important that conversations about sexual and gender minorities be more open so as to increase understanding. I personally feel that such conversation is a taboo around me and lack of understanding causes a negative impact to the attitude against sexual and gender minorities from an early age. You can easily find examples of the negative attitude in our everyday life.
For example, when I was in elementary school, I liked a girl so I told her. All her friends who found out that I liked the girl said I was gross and a freak. I was upset to learn homosexuality isn’t acceptable for some people. Also, there is a data from a survey done in 2008 in Japan saying that more than 50% of the gay men who answered said that they were called names when they were in school. So, it is clear that there is a negative attitude towards LGBT people. As I said in the beginning, I believe the way to change this is by talking about it more openly and understanding it. This is because I think it will cause people to think about it more seriously. But how and where should it start? I say schools. I know for a fact that there are clubs and meetings for LGBT people at universities. However, not many non-LGBT people are involved in those groups so it is not an effective way to educate people about LGBT issues. I think it should be talked about from elementary schools onwards because the only way to stop prejudice is to grow up in an educated prejudice free environment. Next, I will talk about how we should be talk about sexuality and gender in the early stage of schooling. I have never heard LGBT people being mentioned during sex education in Japan. It should be taught that sex and gender do not always fall into neat categories. Children should know there are diverse sexual orientations and gender identities and it’s perfectly normal, healthy and fine to be that way. Sex education generally starts at the age of about 7 with the introduction of human birth, and if education about LGBT issues is taught, the views of young children will be more open minded and less prejudiced. Also, the number of bullying incidents against LGBT youth will hopefully decline.
Actually, I have read in the newspaper, The Times, that, in 2009, compulsory sex education will include discussions on gay unions and civil partnerships in the UK. Also, the Spanish Government declared that “diversity education” will be a compulsory part of the school curriculum from 2007. According to LifeSiteNews.com, this education will train children to overcome homophobic prejudice and reject discrimination with regard to gender. These changes have raised a strong opposition because some think that it will promote or “convert” students to LGB or T. I think this opinion is the result of lack of knowledge. If people have the correct information, they will realize that homosexuality and transsexualism is not contagious. Some also say that it goes against their religious beliefs. While I respect others religious beliefs, I strongly think that everyone should have the correct knowledge. Religion shouldn’t be an excuse for being ignorant since there are LGBT people who are religious.
I don’t know the outcome of these movements but I‘m sure this is a firm step to a better world. I hope the changes suggested here will happen in Japan soon.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Religion

When I was waiting for the gate to open before the plane going back, I had time to watch TV at the waiting place. I think it was Discovery Channel or something but it was a documentary about religious people in the middle east.
I used to think Middle East=Muslims=Terrorism=SCARY and CRAZY!!!??? Not that I thought ALL Muslims are scary but I had the impression that it's a scary religion.
Anyway, when I was watching the program, a lady said praying so many times a day makes her peaceful.
Then I thought she's totally right. Religion is something that is for creating peace for yourself and others. It started in order to survive through hard times, right?
Terrorists may be religious but that's fake religion. Also people who discriminate against gays and trannies believe in fake religion.

In my opinion, any religion that makes anyone sad or hateful is fucking bullshit!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Thoughts and Discoveries during the Trip

There were so many visible trannies in Bangkok and the beach. My dad recognized at least 3 mtf(male to female)s. I thought it was rude of him to tell me "there's one" or "did you see that" each time he saw them. I know he wasn't trying to be rude but still.
Also, he bought me a book about them at the bookstore near the beach.

I finished reading it a few days ago. It was an autobiography of 9 Thai mtfs. In Thailand, they are called kathoeys. Before reading, I thought, if they have their own name, Thai culture must be cool about them. But it seems that's not always the case. Most of them came from poor houses and had to come to Bangkok to work and send money to their family. Their families don't complain about them because they need the money. Many ladyboys work in prostitution because they make much money in a short time that way.

Also, because men are considered superior to women, mtfs are considered to be like a servant and could be treated like shit. So, the ladyboys are desperate to transition completely, like, thinks they have to have the complete surgery. So the ladyboys who have gone through the complete transition looks down on the ones who still haven't or who aren't planning to do so. I thought that was sad. :(

Anyway, I thought this book was very interesting and informative.

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My dad told that Thailand is famous for plastic surgery. I knew this because I've heard many have gone to Thailand to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

He told me that many Thai people have silicone inserted between their eyes to make a barrier so that one eye doesn't slide off to the other when they are asleep! That's funny!! Haha!

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In this trip, I realized how important and useful to be able to speak English. I mean, I know it's important but not HOW important. I can't speak a word of Thai but I could communicate because the others could talk English. If I just spoke Japanese, I would be totally clueless of what was going on. Also, I realized that SPEAKING is more useful then writing or reading. My dad has been living in Bangkok for a year now and he can just about make himself understood when talking to the local Thais. He can't read or write Thai. He says he's not really good at listening to Thai either. Still, he's coping.

I think about my class mates (they're going to school everyday even during the summer holidays) and think "is what they are learning going to be useful when they go abroad for holiday?" ...I don't think so. Sad.

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Because I had all this amazing experience, I CAN'T WAIT FOR GRADUATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like, I FEEL LIKE I'M GOING TO EXPLODE WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok I need to calm down....

I can't wait to break free from the "wake up, go to school, study, come back, sleep" routine and experience new things. There's so much that I wouldn't dream of with text books.

I'm only going to school practically until December so it's only 4 months. It sounds short but feels SO LONG!!!!!!

Random Photos of the Trip

Everyone loves (of appears to love) the royal family. Wandee, who showed me around the temples, even gave me a t-shirt that says something like "I love the King and Queen" (according to her...it's written in Thai.) This photo was taken in front of a supermarket in Bangkok. According to dad, the photo of the Queen was taken a long time ago and she probably doesn't look like this at all now!!

Dad was fascinated by the sight he saw in the bathroom of the hotel.

Apparently, someone ate Dorian in my dad's office and the smell stayed in the building for a few weeks and this notice was put up!!!!!


I recognized one design in the market. Banksy!! ....No I didn't buy it.

There were so many tattoo shops in Bangkok and dad suggested that I should get a 6 month tattoo at the beach but they only had 1 week tattoos so I didn't. I'll probably get a permanent one when I'm older though! :)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Another one...

video

On the tuktuk to the grand temple.

Some Vids

videoHere's one of the lizards I saw in Day2. videoThe Reclining Buddha I saw in Day 3.

Trip to Thailand: Day 7

This was my last day. We left the hotel and arrived at the apartment 1:30 and got lunch and McDonald's.
The only exciting thing I did was the fish massage. This was the only ting I had in mind before coming. It's just a tank with a lot of fish in it. You put your feet in it and fish comes to nibble your skin!
It felt WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!
At first, I SCREAMED because it felt weird. It's impossible to describe in words.

After my feet was eaten, we went to a restaurant. when we were walking, I saw an astonishing sight. A baby was lying on a stall while the mum was selling stuff.

This is end of what I did during my trip. However, I have things I want to write about on the things I thought during this trip. Also I will try to post videos but I'm not sure if Blogger will successfully upload them. :-)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Trip to Thailand: Day 6

Woke up at 9 and dad was already gone so I had a shower and went down to the buffet where dad was reading the newspaper. He told me that the toilets in the hotel is very nice to I should take a photo of it. I went to look and this is what I saw.
Even the toilet roll holder was posh!! The actual toilet was just BIG. I mean, two people could sit on it!
So I took a photo of the throne.
I had breakfast at the buffet here. The white thing in the centre of this pic is the sea!
The hotel was so beautiful. EVERYTHING was very clean and the people were nice. I noticed that Thai people are very nice and friendly. Maybe tourism means a lot for Thailand.
What surprised me was that there were so many Russians. The menu at restaurants were in Thai, English, and Russian! I wonder why Russians like Thailand so much. I love Thailand, too! :)
Example of what is nice about the hotel...

The people there decorated this bowl of water with flower petals EVERYDAY!!! I regret not taking a photo of the day before's bowl because it was more amazing than this. Not that this one doesn't look good...
On day 6, dad went out swimming at the hotel pool and I attempted to do the same. I just sat by the side. I regret that. :(


Spent the afternoon reading and watching Lost until...


Party time!!!
We went on a not-exactly-tuktuk-but-something-like-that-taxi to Pattaya where there are many shops that "healthy" people wouldn't go near.
There were MANY shops like that. Dad told me that it's like that in that area because that's where soldiers from Vietnam war came to play. It's been like that since.
We went in one of the bars and I had Sprite and dad talked with the girls. The lady there challenged me on 4-in-a-row. I lost all games. She must be doing the same thing everyday!
I also played pool for the first time. We played 3 games and I only won the first game. I had fun anyway.

She was a very nice person.
The bar we went to was only one of the many bars.
We looked for a place to eat but couldn't find anywhere nice so went back to lost night's restaurant.
When we were going back to the hotel, we stopped at a "Mango with sticky rice" stall. I love the ones that mum makes but this one was just as nice. Spelling mistake on notice. They do their best. :)

Oh, and another thing on Day 5...

The flight of the gibbon has the second longest whizzing thing, according to the instructor. Before we rode on the long one, he explained to us that if I don't make it to the other side, a helicopter will have to rescue me.

From the tree before the long one, we watched the group before us do the long one and one of them couldn't make it. She was left hanging in the middle of the rope. I thought "is a helicopter really going to come!??"
We watched but nothing came. Some minutes later, the lady was gone! The rest of the group safely moved on. I couldn't figure out how she got to the other side.

Now it was our turn to whizz off. The first instructor safely made it to the other side and next was my turn.

I went.
The speed was ok... until just before I got to the other side.
I reached out to the instructor waiting for me but he couldn't reach.
I thought "Oh shit I'm going back...." and went back half way and was left hanging there!
There was nothing I could do. I just thought "what's gonna happen next??" I looked down to see tree tops.
I didn't panic. What good would it do?

A minute later, a heavy backpack (probably filled with water bottles) whizzed down from the other side. The instructor shouted to me to hold on to it. I held on as he pulled me over.

No helicopter came.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Trip to Thailand: Day 5

Day 5. This was the most exciting day. So much happened! I had to get up very early to get a taxi and went to a hotel where a van was waiting for us. 6 more people were supposed to be there but they weren't. This was because the hotel wasn't easy to find. These are what I took when we were waiting.

This is a bird nest. I had seen something like this on a bird book but was the first time to see one for real. It unfortunately didn't have anything in it. This was the place we waited. This side doesn't look interesting but there were many tropical plants on the other side.

We waited for 30 minutes and they still hadn't come so we set off. The driver was a staff of the place we were going to. He drove for 90 minutes and we slept during that time.


We got there, read the contract, signed it, and walked in to the forest...

There waited a shack with lots of equipment...

The instructor put all the equipment and...






Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, the storm the day before knocked down a tree and fell on one of the course so we took the shorted course but it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

My knees were all shaky at first but after a few whizzes, I began to have fun. The most thrilling part is when you gently jump off. It feels like suicide although you know it's completely safe.

When I say "safe," There still is a good chance of losing a finger of two. If your finger touches the rope, that would be the end of it. We were told that it's safe if we hang on the top part of the pulley. But if you are brave and let go of the pulley and try to grab it at the end of the ride, you will most likely miss the pulley and grab the rope. So we were told to hold the harness.


Two instructors assisted my dad and me which was awesome because they took good care of us. They were both very nice.


We were 50 meters up in the air and it was impossible for me to let go of the handle. Dad was pretty brave in this photo but he was more scared than me most of the time! Haha!

We went whizzing from tree to tree and it felt like hours but it was actually no more than 30 minutes. At the last tree, we had to get down.... I thought this part was the most scary because ti was pretty much like free falling. The instructors were controlling the rope, of course.

After we got back down with our feet firmly on the ground, we were given water and rested for a while.

I thought that was the end of the adventure.
After we had a rest, the instructors said we were going to do another kind of fun.
We climbed ladders, walked on swinging bars and did other exciting stuff that is hard to explain in words. I will port photos of it below this post. This took more time than whizzing the trees.
This is the other instructor. He was a very cheeky monkey. Literally.
That was the end of the Flight of The Gibbon. We came down from the forest and had lunch by the lake with a British couple who also did the adventure. They had been traveling around Asia for 5 months because they had saved up enough money and they wanted a break from everyday life. They went on the Siberian Train, went to Beijing, Singapore and other places and their stories fascinated me. Japanese people need a long holiday and refresh. :) They agreed to my dad when he said "traveling is the fastest way to have experience."
We were called by a staff that the van was waiting for us. We said goodbye to the couple and got on the van.
The plan wasn't to go back to the apartment...
The van took us to a beautiful hotel...






BY THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We rested for a while and went out, bought drinks and sat by the beach. It was very nice!!
This photo looks like a scene from Lost, dad said.

I'm totally hooked on Lost. I watched 3 out of 7 disks. As dad says, it's "moreish". Once you start watching it, you want more more more MORE of it.
So after I watched Lost, we went out for dinner...
...where two dogs was looking at the customers so that they gave him food! I thought the restaurant was nice to keep dogs.
I LOVE DOGS. I'm definitely going to have a dog when I'm older.
This is what the beach looked like when we were coming back from the restaurant.

This is the "other" adventure...

IT'S HARDER THAN IT LOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!