Off to China and Thailand! travel blog


I guess school concerts around the world have a lot in common. There's always the one kid front and centre who knows none of the words of the actions to the songs. There's always one kid tugging on their underwear. At least one has left their prop on their chair instead of taking it on stage with them. Only a few have mastery of the tune and fewer still know ALL the words! Throw microphones into the mix and you have a whole other set of behaviours -- the obligatory "tap tap" to make sure the mike is on, the ubiquitous feed back, the lack of understanding that one does not have to sing as loud as possible into the mike. The audience has its own set of behaviours too. We all gasped in disbelief when the kid who has been unable to sing any of the words in the group numbers took the stage for a solo, held our breath throughout, and then clapped ecstatically when he made it all the way through "The Little Drummer Boy". We all sighed resolutely and fixed our eyes solidly on the back of the head in front of us during the ritual slaughter of "O Holy Night" and tried not to wince too noticeably at the worst of it. And we all took the name of the teacher in vain who assigned "Silver Bells" to the little girl in braces (really -- all thoses "s's"!!) who also had to contend with the Thai difficulty in saying L's and R's.......she sung bravely and sweetly "Sthee the street rights, sthee the shtoprights brink a blight led and gleen......sthiver bears.....sthiver bears". It was very cute, as all school Christmas concerts are..........but we left at the intermission!!

At Chatuchak market we had picked up some beautiful tropical flowers (red ginger, haliconia and ornamental banana) and weaseled a vase from the hotel to make a large arrangement in one corner of our room which we referred to as our "Christmas tree". All the presents were placed around it and the stockings -- 4 of our sweat socks -- were hung underneath it. There was much discussion and concern about how Santa would get into our room and in an effort to make things easier for Santa, our window was left unlocked. Much to everyone's relief, Santa did find his way into our room and left much-appreciated presents for Adrian and Robin. Our day was spent enjoying our gifts and the swimming pool.

We had made a dinner reservation at a 5-star hotel, the Amari Atrium, which was hosting a Christmas buffet complete with carollers and Santa Claus. The hotel was beautifully decorated with an enormous chocolate Christmas tree (it must have been 5 feet tall!) and strings of lights but it was the buffet that knocked our socks off! It was an incredible array of food from all over the world -- roast turkey and gravy, a sushi bar, a tempura bar, a salad bar, an antipasto bar, a seafood bar, a section of Thai food, another of Indian food, hot Japanese food, cheese, fruit, and breads. Then there was the dessert -- creme brulee, mango cheesecake, yule log, petits fours, ice cream sundaes, apple strudel, fruit cake and many more delicious bites that I don't know the names for! The buffet tables were decorated with melons carved into delicate flowers and traditional gingerbread houses. We were dazzled by the beauty of the presentation, the freshness of the food and the gracious staff. The carollers were excellent, accompanied by guitar and Santa dropped by for a quick visit. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

We had planned to stay up to watch the movie "A Muppets Christmas Carol" that was supposed to be on tv but somehow we got our wires crossed and it did not appear! Oh well......a pretty good day nonetheless.

We head home for Vancouver tomorrow and this whole adventure ends. Thanks for coming along with us, wherever you are! We'll add one final installment when we get home to finish everything off. Bye for now.....and Merry Christmas!

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