Practice makes better mess

I have to say that I’ve been practicing and I’ve been practicing a lot until now.

But I think the result speaks for itself.

Here is my first attempt of calligraphy.

First calligraphy attempt

This is my latest brush lettering … in comparison.

It’s nowhere near perfect I admit. But progress is progress, and any kind of progress is always a good thing.

It works … sometimes

SCB bank Charoenkrung Road

Even the best artist make mistakes.

I’m sure fellow painters understand that. Some days you can paint non-stop and all of them turned out great.

Some days, nothing good seems to come out at all.

You managed one or two paintings but you don’t even like them.

But they aren’t that ‘bad’ so you’ll have to make do with them.

And then some days … everything seems to have gone to shit.

Seriously, nothing works. Everything turned out horrible and the more you try the worse the mistake.

You tore up the first piece of paper, then the second, and the next, and the next. Nothing is really going your way today (at least, for your paintings).

That’s what happened to me today.

SCB bank Charoenkrung Road

This is the fourth try and to be perfectly honest, I don’t really like it. But it will have to do.

The point is I finished a painting today and that’s my goal.

Sometimes things just don’t go your way and you just have to tell yourself that it’s ok. I’ll do what I can now with what I have and I’ll call it a day. Start all over again tomorrow.

Go play outside

go play outside

This is actually from a personal experience that happened to me on my commute from work to home where a lady just suddenly stopped in the middle of the walkway on the train station because she was texting or doing something on her phone.

Being a bit of a bag lady today, and from how she just suddenly stopped, my bags bumped into her and she whipped her head back and gave me ‘the look’ like I committed a horrible crime.

In today’s society, it seems like everyone has their noses in their smartphones almost all the time. I get it that it’s the perfect excuse to ignore the world around you especially when you’re all squished together on the train trying to go to work or go home after a long day’s work.

I can’t really multitask like that and I’m actually kind of grateful. I have a hard time just walk and talk on the phone at the same time (my mom and my boyfriend can guarantee that this is absolutely true) so texting while walking is really out of the picture for me (thank goodness).

People can be so absorbed in what they’re doing and in that little device in the palm of their hands they’d end up doing the stupidest things. I’ve seen people walking into poles, walls, almost into traffic but try do a search on Google or YouTube and you’ll see how many most likely deadly accidents happened from people who were all too stuck to their phones.

It helps to be mindful about yourself and your surroundings and it’s ok to put down that phone once in a while.

Anyway, today’s artwork is a little different than the watercolor I usually do.

go play outside

I decided to use the markers instead. And it did render the effects that I hoped it would.

I do believe in ‘everything in moderation’, and I try to live by it. I do have quirks and flaws of course but I believe wholeheartedly that there should be a designated time when you completely unplugged even for an hour a day (sleep doesn’t count) or for a day or two just to reboot yourself for a fresher beginning.

A visit … or three to Dusit Zoo

Camel

Dusit Zoo or Khao Din (meaning dirt mountain in Thai) as we call it is the first animal park with full-functional facilities including animal hospital, zoo museum, sightseeing train, activity grounds, cafeteria and education center.

Dusit Zoo entrance
Dusit Zoo tickets counter

The zoo is receiving an upsurge of visitors, both Thais and foreigners lately, after the government announced its plan to relocate the zoo to the donated plot by His Majesty the King Rama X in Pathum Thani.

I can’t say how long ago since I last visited Dusit Zoo but after the news, I’ve already been there 3 times with different groups of family and friends. The first time was with the Animal Sketch Group, second with my family and the latest one with the Bangkok Sketchers Group.

History

Established about 8 decades ago, the zoo is surrounded by landmarks such as the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, the Parliament House, Dusit Palace and the King Rama IX’s official residence or Chitralada Palace.

The zoo was initially built by King Rama V as his private garden adjacent to the Royal Palace. After his passing, the garden was left unattended for years until the government asked King Rama VIII’s regency council to donate the park to the Bangkok City Municipality in 1938 to be open as a public zoo. It stands on a total of 188,800 sqm area on the intersection of Rama V and Ratchawithi Roads.

The zoo

The zoo is expansive. As small as it may seem, one day might not cover the whole ground (as I realized). If you have limited time for the zoo, it might be wise to pick out certain areas from the map and just go straight for those places or take the 25 baht tram ride that goes around the zoo with plenty of stops along the way. One ticket is good for one ride around the zoo. You can disembark and jump back on the tram along the way without having to buy the tickets again. But if time is not a big factor, a stroll along the paths throughout the zoo would make for a good full day’s trip.

Dusit Zoo tram

The zoo’s layout features a large man-made lake in the middle surrounded by animal zones. There are paths snaking throughout the zoo through manicured greenery and resting areas. Visitors will receive a map detailing all the attractions and facilities at the gate.

Dusit Zoo map

The zoo houses almost 2,000 domestic and international specimens including rare finds like the white Bengal tigers or animals that might have been extinct from the wild such as the albino barking deer. It houses animals from far and wide including different breeds of monkeys, hippopotamus, alligators, crocodiles, tigers, lions and some animals that aren’t native to Thailand such as penguins, wallabies, kangaroos and camels.

Camel
Bear cage

Another highlight is the African Savanna where giraffes, zebras, meerkats and ostriches are housed. There are the Reptile House, Nocturnal House, Pheasants Aviary, Hawks Exhibit and Elephant House. For families with small children, the Play Land and the water park are must visit places inside the Dusit Zoo as well.

Giraffe

There’s a World War II underground shelter near the hippopotamus exhibition which is an interesting diversion from spying on the animals as well.

Since it is located in the center of Bangkok, Dusit Zoo is also within walking distance of many attractions such as the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, the Statue of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and more.

Food

There are numerous food stalls inside the Dusit Zoo compound. The zoo has its own cafeteria where a variety of simple local dishes and desserts are available in an air-conditioned building. On one wall, visitors can enjoy their meal while watching the birds where the Pheasants Aviary is located. The cafeteria uses the cash coupon system.

The Wang Wana (meaning Water Palace in Thai), that sits right on one side of the lake offering rather pricey Thai dishes. Diners can enjoy their meals while looking out onto the lake and see the local birds and Thailand’s famous monitor lizards lounging around in the sun on the small dirt mound in the middle of the lake.

Wang Wana restaurant in Dusit Zoo

Also available are 7-Eleven, KFC, an instant noodle stand, ice cream booths and carts, refreshment kiosks throughout the zoo. People are welcomed to bring food to the zoo and practically have a picnic under the zoo’s shady gardens as well. I’m not sure how many zoos in the world would actually allow this but Dusit Zoo obviously does, as long as you pick up after yourself. There are plenty of trash cans dotted about the zoo.

Activities

The park features an impressive lake. For a small fee, visitors can rent a peddle boat to roam around the lake while feeding the fish at the same time (the fish food is a loaf of bread is only B20 per loaf).

Operation Hour

Opens daily from 8am – 6pm

Entrance Fee

50 baht per child
100 baht per adult (Thai)
150 baht per foreigner

Address

Dusit Zoo
71 Rama V Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300. 02 282 7111-3 ext 128. http://www.dusitzoo.org