Lumpini becomes a public park again | Bangkok Post: learning

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Lumpini becomes a public park again

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Lumpini park is quickly returning to normal after being a home to thousands of protesters for months. 

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The regulars who have used the park for many years are back and enjoying the companionship the park affords. KOSOL NAKACHOL

Lumpini re-emerges from the protests

Supoj Wancharoen

The old ambience of this popular park is returning after the damage incurred in past months

Joggers are taking the pathways and roads. The grandpa and grandma groups are taking back their corner on the lawn for their tai-chi and karaoke practice while enjoying morning tea. Kids are trying to balance themselves on roller-blades.

After a week of closure for a clean-up, the old mood of the park is beginning to return. KOSOL NAKACHOL

The familiar scenes are returning to Lumpini Park which was taken over by anti-government protesters in early March after they decided to merge their rally sites into one. They divided up the public park into “residential areas” and named them “villages”. The huge crowds of protesters drove away regular users.

The protesters dispersed on May 12 and City Hall closed the park for maintenance to allow it to return to its original state. The grass is growing back and the fresh park-like smell is once again delighting regular users.

“Almost everything has been done except rebuilding lawns which cover a large area,” the city’s Environment Department deputy chief Somchai Chatsakunpen said after the park reopened on May 19.

The lawns had dried out after being covered by canvas sheets and tents, and overused by the crowd around the clock. When the makeshift shelters were removed, a flat, empty expanse of brown soil emerged.

The protesters' tents are gone, but the paddle boats remain. THITI WANNAMONTHA

City officials are still laying new sheets of grass on vast damaged areas and transplanting grass seedlings on smaller ones, Mr Somchai said.

The last technique is similar to the transplanting of rice seedlings on wet paddy. It is suitable for restoring certain lawns this way when the damage is only slight, according to the Environment Department.

“So far, 50 percent of the lawns have been repaired,” Mr Somchai said.

The news is comforting to the countless Lumpini Park regulars who were worried about the damage inflicted by the thousands of anti-government protesters. Some feared the large crowds had destroyed shrubs and plants and disturbed animal habitats while others wondered what would happen to facilities such as toilets which were not built to handle the kind of crowds that took over the park during the height of the protests.

Their concerns were valid since Lumpini had never before been occupied by people day and night for such a prolonged period. Two-thirds of its 360 rai was turned into temporary accommodation with row after row of tents, bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor living facilities.

During its initial inspection of the park, the Environment Department reported surprisingly little damage to the grass, small plants and toilets.

Large trees, and especially the park’s ecosystem, were pretty much intact, Mr Somchai said.

The park is quieter and much cleaner than it was a month ago. KOSOL NAKACHOL

“Fish still come when we feed them. Birds also face no problems,” he said. “Even water monitors still exist and their numbers are increasing.”

After Lumpini Park reopened late last month, the number of park-goers has increased to almost normal rates, which is usually about 8,000 on weekdays and 10,000 on weekends.

The old ambience of this popular public park has returned. Most people still prefer jogging and walking around it. Aerobic dance and weight training always attract attention. For older people, tai-chi martial art practice and Chinese light exercise are still popular.

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accommodation: a place for someone to stay, live, or work - ที่พัก

aerobics: physical exercises intended to make the heart and lungs stronger, often done in classes, with music - แอโรบิก, การออกกำลังที่ช่วยให้หายใจเอาออกซิเจนเข้าสู่ร่างกายได้มากขึ้น

afford: to provide somebody with something - ให้

ambience: the character of a place and the feeling you have about it - บรรยากาศโดยรอบ

around the clock: throughout the whole day and night; 24 hours - ทั้งวันทั้งคืน

balance: to put your body or something else into a position where it is steady and does not fall - ทำให้สมดุล, ทำให้เข้าสู่ดุลยภาพ

canvas: a strong heavy rough material used for making tents, sails, etc., or, in this case, the floor of a boxing ring - ผ้าใบ,เต็นท์, พื้นเวทีมวย

comforting: making you feel calmer and less worried or unhappy - ใซึ่งปลอบโยน,ซึ่งปลอบใจ

companionship: the pleasant feeling that you have when you have a friendly relationship with somebody and are not alone - ความเป็นเพื่อน

concerns: worries - ความกังวล

countless: very many; too many to be counted - มากเหลือคณานับ

delight: to give somebody a lot of pleasure and enjoyment - ทำให้ดีใจ, ทำให้ปลื้มปิติ

deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

disperse: (of a crowd) to cause to separate and move in different directions, i.e., to end being a crowd - สลาย (การชุมนุม)

disturb: to move or change something from its usual position, arrangement, condition or shape - รบกวน

ecosystem: all the plants and animals in a particular area, considered as a system with parts that depend on one another - ระบบที่เกิดจากความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างสิ่งมีชีวิตและสิ่งแวดล้อม

emerge: to appear - ปรากฏออกมา

environment: a place, including all the physical conditions that affect it - สภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม

expanse: a wide and open area of something, especially land or water - พื้นที่กว้างขวาง

facility: a building, equipment, etc., used for a particular purpose - โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก

habitat: the type of place that a particular animal usually lives in or a particular plant usually grows in - ถิ่นที่อยู่ของพืชหรือสัตว์

handle: to deal with a situation, a person, an area of work or a strong emotion - ควบคุม, ปฏิบัติ,จัดการ

incur: to be forced to deal with an unpleasant situation - ประสบกับสิ่งที่ไม่ดี

inflict: to cause something bad to happen to someone or something - ทำให้เสียหาย

initial: early; first - เบื้องต้น

inspection: the act of looking closely at something or someone and to check that everything is as it should be; examination - การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด

intact: not harmed, damaged, or lacking any parts as a results of something that has happened - สมบูรณ์ ไม่บุบสลาย

lawn: an area of grass that is cut short - สนามหญ้า

maintenance: the act of keeping something in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly - การซ่อมบำรุง

makeshift: used temporarily for a particular purpose - ซึ่งทดแทนชั่วคราว, สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว

martial arts: any of the fighting sports that include judo and karate - ศิลปะการป้องกันตัว (เช่น ยูโด, คาราเต้)

merge: (of two or more groups) to join together to become one - รวมกัน

monitor lizard: large reptiles with have long necks, powerful tails and claws, and well-developed limbs - เหี้ย

mood: the way you feel at a particular time - อารมณ์

normal: typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect - ปกติ, ภาวะปกติ

occupied: controlled by someone who entered it by force or as a group - ถูกยึดครอง

original: existing at the beginning of a particular period, process or activity - เดิม, ซึ่งเป็นแบบฉบับ

paddy: rice as it comes from the field after harvest - ข้าวเปลือก

pathway: a way or track that is built or is made by the action of people walking - ทาง, ทางเดิน, เส้นทาง

period: a particular length of time - ระยะเวลา

popular: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

prefer: to like or want more than anyone or anything else - ชอบมากกว่า

prolonged: continuing for a long time - ยืดเวลาออกไป

protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

rally site: a place where a large public gathering happens - สถานที่ชุมนุม

rate: the level or speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period - อัตรา

re-emerge: to appear or happen again - เกิดขึ้นใหม่

regular: a person who often takes part in the same activity -

remove: to take something away - เอาออกจาก

repair: to fix something that is broken or damaged - ซ่อมบำรุง

residential area: a place where people live - เขตที่อยู่อาศัย

restore: to bring back to good condition - ฟื้นฟูสภาพ

seedling: a young plant that has grown from a seed - ต้นกล้า, ต้นอ่อน

sheet: a thin flat piece of paper, metal, plastic, glass etc - สิ่งที่เป็นแผ่นแบน (เช่น แผ่นกระดาษ, แผ่นเหล็ก, แผ่นแก้ว)

shelter: a temporary place to stay - ที่พักชั่วคราว

shrub: a large plant that is smaller than a tree and that has several stems of wood coming from the ground - ต้นไม้เตี้ยๆ,ต้นไม้พุ่ม

slight: small in size or amount - เล็กน้อย

soil: the substance on the surface of the Earth in which plants grow - ดิน

state: condition - สภาพ

suitable: acceptable or right for someone or something - เหมาะสม

temporary: done or used for only a limited period of time, i.e., not permanent - ชั่วคราว

transplant: to move a growing plant and plant it somewhere else - ย้ายต้นไม้ไปปลูกใหม่

valid: reasonable and generally accepted - ที่มีเหตุผลพอ

vast: extremely large in area, size, amount, etc. - กว้างใหญ่, มหาศาล

wonder: to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it - สงสัย

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