Chiang Mai Christmas

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

It doesn’t feel much like Christmas here in Thailand. For example, it’s Christmas Eve today and yet it feels like any other day really. I’ll be finishing work at 5pm.

But last night we did have a really lovely work Christmas dinner and because it wasn’t necessarily the done thing here, it did feel special. Even being all the way here in Chiang Mai eating Thai food for dinner, there was a bit of Christmas magic last night. Helped nicely along by my ‘Santa Claus’ cocktail! The dinner mostly came about through my insistence that we do something to mark the occasion; even though I’m hardly the biggest fan of Christmas, it felt like a great thing to bring to the team. So we went to a gorgeous roof-top restaurant called Xanadu in the Furama hotel adjoining my apartment complex, and I brought along Santa hats, Christmas cards with kangaroos and koalas, and goody bags full of Aussie chocolates and Vietnamese candies. We also did a not-so-secret Secret Santa, and the bizarre thing was, each of us was coincidentally paired up, even though we had picked names out randomly. The odds of that happening must be pretty slim! My small team really does feel like a family and I find myself growing very attached to them all as times passes, including the two team members we have based in Bangkok and the US, who I have also gotten to know much better over this year. As I look back on 2010, one of the highlights has definitely been the relationships I’ve built while in this job.

In Xanadu
The city below us, the mountains in the distance

I find myself missing my family rather badly at the moment, which is a surprise, because we never even really make a big deal out of Christmas at all. But my dad sent me a mushy note the other day in the mail and I bawled my eyes out reading it. And I miss all my wonderful friends who are scattered all over the world — I’m looking forward to seeing you all again someday. But one thing I’m grateful for is that I have Josh here with me, my number one guy. Looks like we have made it through another big year together — and what a year it’s been. Let’s hope next year has more ups than it does downs!

Merry Christmas everyone and have a great time over the coming weeks. Hope the new year starts off with a bang! Suk san wan Christmas lae bi mai!

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
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2 thoughts on “Chiang Mai Christmas

  1. Merry christmas to you too Sheila.

    On christmas eve a friends chinese mother made us dumplings and vegetables – she was happy to see all my chinese lanterns.

    I seem to have celebrated christmas for the last two weeks so was happy when it finally got here and it was sunny and beautiful to boot.

    I mentioned to a friend that I didn’t have a ginger grater and was delighted to find she had given me one. It’s always great when you get a present you really want.

    Now it’s a grey and rainy boxing day perfect for books and movies. Had the chance to see the start of the Sydney to Hobart Race – but not feeling up to it.
    And am about to check what’s on at the Palace.

    Cheers too you

    1. Hi Charlie, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a ginger grater — a handy thing I’m sure. I got Josh to buy me the full set of Hayao Miyazaki DVDs so looking forward to seeing those films when I get a chance. I’ve already seen many of them but there are a lot I haven’t seen as well.

      I hear the weather has been a little dreary in Sydney of late so glad that the sun came out for Christmas. Hope you enjoy the break from work and do some fun things over coming days. We just got back from a weekend away for Christmas and it’s nice to home again — frantically trying to finish writing an essay about Vietnam for an Australian essay competition but not sure I’ll make the deadline, as I still have work as usual this week.

      Take care and happy new year! xx

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