It’s Christmas day here, ahead of the US. I’ve tried a handful of times to reach Angie’s sister, but I haven’t had any luck, so it’s a solitary Christmas for me.
Christmas music is everywhere here, but this seems to be mostly for the benefit of the ex-pats and travellers. For the Thai people, Christmas is merely a reason to engage a passing foreigner with a smile and a holiday greeting. For those who are selling things, Christmas provides something to spice up the sales pitch: “Get something for mom, for wife.”
I heard many variations on that theme today. I went to the giant, sprawling weekend market and browsed handicrafts, clothing and kitchenware. I bought some gifts for friends and family and a pair of sandals for myself. I also sampled a number of small snacks, including a papaya salad with “pickled crab” and some amazing barbecued prawns, which I dipped in the ubiquitous chili sauce (the reason Singaporeans think Thai food is too “sour”). Seeking a little relief from the heat, I also had some coconut ice cream served with sticky rice, white gelatin cubes, roasted peanuts and a drizzle of condensed milk. White and icy, it was definitely the closest thing to snow I’ll find this season.
My dear friends and family, you are on my mind, and I hope you have a beautiful day when the sun rises on your side of the planet.