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Raye's Journey

且趁闲身未老,尽放我、些子疏狂。
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Weekly Report #4 Thailand, Writing letters, Reading, Midjourney

This is a record and story of Raye's experiences and stories during the period from April 26th to May 7th, 2023.

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Cover image via Midjourney

It has been a long time since I last wrote with a pen. Many thoughts have been swirling in my mind and I need an outlet to express them. Whenever I want to record, I always get delayed for various reasons. But when I finally start writing, most of the memories have already been washed away by time, leaving me to struggle and scrape together some scattered words and sentences. I plan to change my approach and record more regularly, so that in the end, I only need to summarize and polish my work.

Trip to Thailand#

April 26th: Fly to Bangkok, April 29th: Fly to Phuket, May 4th: Return to Shenzhen

On April 29th, while flying from Bangkok to Phuket, I unintentionally caught a glimpse of my location on the map. It made me realize that my position on Earth has finally changed and made me feel how small I truly am. "A mayfly in the vast sky, a grain of sand in the boundless sea."

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The reason for my trip to Thailand was mentioned in a previous article. When I was rereading "Zebra" on the return flight, I finally understood the weight behind the phrase "Read ten thousand books, travel ten thousand miles."

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Tuk-tuks, mangoes, chili peppers, coconut milk, the heat, massage parlors, the Bangkok described by Fu Zhen in his writing. If we only stay at the surface level of understanding these words, we won't truly comprehend their meaning. During my middle school years, there were often various reading comprehension questions that allowed us to experience the author's state of mind or answer based on real-life experiences. At that time, due to my limited life experiences and emotional intelligence, I couldn't understand the vague concepts in the teacher's or standard answers. In my opinion, if Chinese language teaching is limited to teachers lecturing in the classroom, it is no different from force-feeding. Only by truly immersing ourselves in the world described by the author can we appreciate the emotions contained within.

When I sat in the taxi after getting off the plane, the scenery on both sides quickly passed by. I marveled at the skyscrapers in Bangkok, which were no less impressive than those in Shenzhen, but I also lamented the old and dilapidated slums in Bangkok.

The loud music from the bars on Khao San Road was deafening, and we could still hear the songs even when we were far away.

We navigated through chaotic streets, occasionally dodging people on narrow roads, just to taste an authentic boat noodle in Bangkok.

However, the most impressive thing was the crowded traffic in Bangkok and the fearless tuk-tuks weaving through the vehicles.

On the other hand, I wasn't very satisfied with the traditional Thai massage (Thai massage). I had it done almost every two or one day, and the pressure was really strong. There were a few times when I couldn't help but cry out in pain. I was confused as to why they had to apply such force on the hard bones, giving me the illusion of having osteoporosis.

Of course, a visit to the red-light district was also a must. How could we miss the famous Nana Plaza? However, we only walked around a few times and admired the graceful figures of the dancers or ladyboys (no photography allowed).

The itinerary in Phuket didn't have many unique features. We visited night markets, went on boat trips, enjoyed the beaches, watched sunsets, explored the Similan Islands, and went on jungle treks. It was more like a typical tourist program found on any small island. We found tour groups on Taobao or Fliggy (online platforms) to join.

However, the scenery of the Similan Islands truly amazed me. It was so beautiful!

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Writing Letters#

I signed up for the Blue Envelope charity event a long time ago, but the registration process made me want to complain. After signing up, I needed to make an appointment to watch a live broadcast, get the password for the live broadcast, and answer 30 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions. Only after passing the review could I qualify to communicate with the children. I got stuck at this stage for a long time because the choice of the live broadcast password was related to the live broadcast session I had reserved, and the reservation process often failed. As a result, I watched the live broadcast but couldn't enter with the correct password because I didn't make a reservation...

Fortunately, after a lot of effort, I finally passed the review and received a letter from a young boy. He shared his school life and confided in me about his frustration with his poor performance on the monthly exam. Unfortunately, I received the letter during the May Day holiday and had to reply within 7 days and write at least 600 words. So, in the hotel in Phuket, by the window overlooking the sea, I started writing a reply, sharing some of my hobbies, encouraging the young boy not to be distressed by temporary failures, and giving him some practical advice (after all, I graduated from middle school a long time ago). It was my first time writing a reply in such a wonderful environment.

Reading#

While in Thailand, I spent most of my time in cars, planes, and beds, so I had fragmented time to read. Coincidentally, a friend recommended the latest book by Prince Ma, "The Great Doctor," which is divided into two volumes, "The Great Doctor: Dawn" and "The Great Doctor: Sunrise." If I had to summarize the content in one sentence, it would be: "A view of modern Chinese history from the perspective of a doctor."

First of all, I truly admire Prince Ma's ability to write historical fiction. The main characters are a classic trio of two men and one woman, as well as the characters surrounding them, who either appear as historical figures or represent certain groups of people. Prince Ma also loves to set up foreshadowing, and the foreshadowing is so well-hidden that each small section of the story can be treated as a detective story to deduce and speculate.

I haven't finished writing the essay on this book yet, so I'll share it later~

Midjourney#

Recently, I started learning how to use Midjourney to draw. I can't miss the wave of AIGC.

Here are a few AI works that I think are pretty good (even though I'm not an otaku, the female characters in anime are so beautiful):

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Some key points I have summarized so far:

  • Try to avoid using vague words: At first, I used GPT-4 to assist in describing, but the text contained phrases like "elegantly strolling" and "lush trees," which AI had a hard time understanding.
  • Drawing style: Currently, I have used styles such as "Japanese manga style" and "Chinese ancient style."
  • Drawing parameters: There is a lot of information available online, and Midjourney has many magical functions to explore, such as tiling and sketch styles. I first referred to this article Midjourney prompts 使用详解,命令、参数介绍 - 哔哩哔哩 (bilibili.com).
  • Controlling character consistency: If there is a preferred character pose, you can copy the image link and place it at the beginning of the prompt. There are also methods like fine-tuning with seeds and magical prompts.

Sentences#

"How can one explain a storm to a speck of dust? Even if that speck of dust is caught in the fierce winds of a great era, it cannot understand the source of this tearing force."

  • Excerpt from "The Great Doctor: Dawn"

Outside the gauze window, the wind and rain were slanting, bringing a slight chill.

  • From "Eight Tones of Gan Zhou"

Interesting Things#

I have recently started managing my own Telegram channel, where I share articles and experiences. Feel free to subscribe!

https://t.me/+4G9ohagz0iE1N2Q1

Similar to this style:

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