It’s been a while since I last posted…my apologies!
As many of my close friends and family know I am all about Christmas. I find Thanksgiving to be a silly holiday that I never really celebrated (life as a kid abroad am I right?) but Christmas has always been close to my heart. This year was my first time not being in freezing cold Chicago. The past few years I would bitch and bitch and bitch about Chicago’s weather (thank you California), and now I wish I could have done that. I love being in Thailand but everyone knows that the holidays are about being with loved ones. I had to work Christmas day since this country is Buddhist, but we (finally) got to move out of the hotel and into our new homes that day! Thankfully I got to Skype with the Beaulieu side of my family when they were all assembled at my uncle’s house. Pictured (left to right) are my grandmother, my mom, my aunt holding her grandson, and my dad. This is just a handful of the family members I got to talk to, and I am so very thankful for that.
The weekend before Christmas a few of us tried to get more into the Christmas spirit since I can easily say we were all wishing we were at home. We went to see The Nutcracker ballet in Bangkok. It wasn’t the most beautiful or most elaborate but it brought back great memories of performing in this ballet every year when I was younger.
That night my friend Katie and I decided to check out a skybar in Bangkok. If any of you have seen The Hangover 2 then you know what I’m talking about. The views were great but it was hard to capture pictures since we went on a Saturday night and it was VERY crowded….but we tried our best.
The next day the two of us decided we wanted to check out some real Thai culture. From our hostel we took the BTS to a boat that went down the river, walked through a market, and then BOOM…there was Wat Pho. My favorite part was (of course) the Reclining Buddha. My least favorite part was when Katie and I thought our shoes had been stolen. Like all temples (and also many common places) in Thailand, shoes are to be taken off. We didn’t realize we had to place them in bags before entering so we just put them off to the side. We came back from admiring the Buddha….and our shoes were gone! There was a moment of panic as we thought we would have to make our trip home barefoot (or in heels…) until we realized that someone had so nicely put our shoes in bags and placed them with the hundreds of other pairs. We probably should have known that we would come out of the temple to an act of kindness and not theft…silly farangs!
We had a Christmas assembly at school on the 24th. That week we taught the performing kids how to sing (and dance to) Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. A few girls sang an acapella/acoustic version of Winter Wonderland. They all did a great job.
I cannot remember the exact date but some time during all the Decemeber madness our school was graced with the wonderful presence of some monks! There was (another) special assembly and then a parade of sorts where we gave them an assortment of things: rice, coins, juice, noodles, etc.
On December 27th, our school had a special dinner party for the teachers and donors before we all parted ways for the long weekend (for New Years). The 3 American teachers practiced basically just the day before and learned a traditional Thai dance. There is a video out there somewhere but I have yet to find it. We danced in the beginning of the evening, and then the rest of the night was full of delicious Thai food and whiskey, karaoke, a raffle, musical chairs, and of course…Gangnam style.
We all took advantage of the 4 day weekend and had much needed vacations! Jessie and I made our way to another island (Koh Samet) and met up with a bunch of other friends. A lot of what we did involved food, drinks, and the beach. A lot of what we did is also not appropriate for this blog. I posted pictures to Facebook for those of you that use it. We ended up meeting many other people on the island of all different ages and nationalities: we were welcomed into the Koh Samet family. I could have stayed there forever. For New Year’s Eve, the big group of us all dressed up. Jessie and I decided to be Calvin and Hobbes because the comic is a personal favorite for both of us. Here we are with our friend Kevin. The 3 of us were pretty inseparable that whole weekend…
Of course I can’t stay away from the cutest kids in this country, so I spent a lot of my night with a sassy 7 year old named Mika. She is the daughter of a British woman and a Thai man, and also part of the Koh Samet family. I wish I could’ve brought her home with me but that probably would have caused some problems…
I will be reuniting with many friends from Koh Samet next weekend where we will be attending “Together (Music) Festival.” It is predicted to be a fantastic time and I will let you all know the outcome.
Finally the end of the longest post ever! I guess this is what happens when I forget about this thing. Hope you all had as wonderful of holidays as I did!
Much love to all.