Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in Thailand

I find it interesting that in a country where most people are Buddhists there are Christmas decorations and carols playing in the stores and streets. Wikipedia says the proportion of Christians in the Thai population is about 0.7% yet Thais seem to enjoy this most distinctly Christian holiday. We were in a big shopping center the other day and I heard "Frosty the Snowman" and "Jingle Bell Rock" coming from the sound system. Here are a few odd photos of this seasonal madness that have been accumulating in my smart phone since the beginning of December:
Tree at Platinum Central - Bangkok

Below is a latte decorated by the owner and barrista at Silomjoy Restaurant on Ratchadamnoen right next to Thapae Gate in Chiang Mai (N18.78774 E98.99295), our favorite place for great coffee and farang breakfasts. Each latte was different. The woman is a master of latte art.
Latte - Silomjoy restaurant - Chiang Mai
Last night I had a beer with Albie and Giancarlo at the Gecko Bar, our favorite hangout in Bangkok a short walk from our place. (N13.76173 E100.49463) The girls were dressed for the occasion.
Nok, Pooky, and Genee at the Gecko Bar
A few minutes ago I went to Tang Hua Seng, the local store where we buy groceries, to pick up some yogurt. I happened to catch Santa as he made an appearance, much to the delight of the shoppers. The background music was "The First Noel" followed by "O Little Town of Bethlehem". Where would a Thai ever hear about Bethlehem I wonder? Go figure.
Santa visits the Tang Hua Seng department store in Banglamphu
Happy elves - Teng Hua Seng
Xmas Eve 2011 - Ratchadamnoen Road - Banglamphu
I've been emailing almost daily with my sister as the big day draws near. We've been reminiscing about Christmases past. I miss the holidays with family and close friends, of course, but it feels good not to be as immersed in it as I once was. Maybe a Thai style Christmas is just about the right amount for me.

Wherever you are in the world here's wishing each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.