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.
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!