Christmas in Thailand

I guess it’s only three days but I’m feeling quite behind the times here… The internet at my school (read: the only internet to which I have consistent access) has been a word that I don’t feel comfortable saying in this public forum (but feel free to insert your own, the nastier the better), causing me to miss a few Christmas Skype dates and leaving me to find other things to do in my downtime at school besides blogging. (I’d like to say my desk is totally organized now but that would be a lie. Oh Angela, still reining Queen of Time-Wasting).

Anyway, the Christmas weekend pretty much went like this: met Henk and some of his friends Friday night for a few drinks which (surprise!) ended up with us at The Grand (though I guess I finally admitted to Wayne it’s really not my cup of tea every weekend). Saturday, Christmas Eve, we kept to ourselves. I was able to talk to the fam’ a bit that morning (they got to see Ollie Pup “in person,” which I’m sure was a delight). We had to go to Tesco for some last-minute Christmas shopping, and in spite of the biggest word of warning in my last post, I neglected to bring my rain jacket, and got absolutely soaked on the 20 minute drive home. It rained the rest of the afternoon, which gave us a great excuse to laze around watching movies and having a scrumptious Christmas Eve dinner of penne with vodka sauce.

On Christmas Day we had some friends over for what was supposed to be a “late lunch,” but since the centerpiece of the meal was Henk’s potato bake, which took 3 hours to cook, and he only arrived at 2 it turned into more of an early dinner. But it didn’t matter, we had nice company; some cheese, bread, gherkins, and apples; and plenty of sangria/wine/Sangsom to go around. Though quite different from any of my other Christmas experiences, it was very enjoyable all the same.

And finally… the Monday after Christmas. When my mom called that morning wondering why I’d never appeared on Skype as scheduled (see earlier comments about the internet), I concluded our conversation with, “I think I’m going to be a bit Christmas-ed out, but the kids will probably have fun.” You see, it was the big Christmas/New Year’s party at school– that’s right, eight full hours of non-stop Christmas “fun”!– and I don’t think I could have had a more accurate premonition. Wayne, Grace, and I kicked off the ceremony by singing “Let it Snow” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” while I played guitar. I had it recorded in hopes of showing off a bit but in reality it was an abomination  that we really just don’t like to think about. One of my classes followed up with a play we had about half as much time to practice as I’d hoped, and it also left a little to be desired.

We were told last minute (another big surprise!) that we’d be judging the Miss Christmas contest, which was an interesting experience to say the least. The rest of the day was peppered with more songs (lots more songs…), lots of one lady talking into the microphone really really loudly (and we were right next to the speakers), and… lots of ribbons being placed around the necks of various Christmas-bedazzled individuals. Here’s where I post pictures because I’m in the middle of a post-Christmas-gluttony, pre-New-Year’s-beach-holiday juice fast (plus the salad I had an hour go) and definitely feeling the low energy and crankiness right now. Oh good, the first series of pictures are all of food. This should help.

item 1 on the christmas gluttony roll: russian tea cakes/mexican wedding cakes/"mexican hat dance" cakes (the last only if you're my dad)

Got the inspiration from this Freshly Pressed recipe, in which she substitues pistachios for walnuts. Loved the idea, added some macadamias as well, and they turned out great. I gave a bowl to the kids doing the play (since in one scene Mrs. Claus offers cookies), and now one of the… more rotund girls in the class who previously was quite mute now comes to me on occasion to say, “Teacher. Cookie.” So. Improvements are being made?

sangria! wine+a few spoonfuls of sugar+a few fresh squeezed oranges+lots of cut up fruit=heaven. also very reminiscent of foxfield...

vodka sauce and garlic bread... mmmm.

ollie loves christmas! (as well he should the spoiled scamp... big ol' bones and whatever pork dish daddy cooked him! mmmmmm!)

christmas breakfast crepes with smoked salmon, bechamel sauce, arugula, and dill.

Recipe, or the inspiration thereof, here.

henk's potato bake coming together!

group shot, attempt 1: wayne from SA, me from USA, ollie from heaven, glen from canada, bill from USA, eugene from SA, henk from SA, toom from thailand, john from iran, jedi from thailand

attempt 2 +toom's daughter whose name i can never remember.

jedi and ollie... super rascally; perfect playmates.

dinner's up! henk going at a roast chicken with a pair of scissors... totally effective, as it turns out.

potato bake, veg skewers, shrimp skewers.

oh yeah, took ollie for a christmas walk.

definitely not customary christmas scenery, but it'll do.

Now what you’ve really been waiting for… the Tapae School Christmas Bonanza!

sneak peak at what's in store for the miss christmas competition...

something's different than most other days...

wait a sec... who invited these guys?!

more pictures of monks sleeping.

Let’s not forget the original.

"i mean, go ahead with your celebrations and stuff, but don't forget we have a temple right next door, and if anything crazy goes down, we're going to know about it."

i must say it was... en-chanting... a-haha.

benz, the santa in my play.

saow, rudolph in my play.

thing 1, thing 2, and the dancing santa?

wayne briefing his students one last time.

deeply engaged in the goings-on.

ready for the rudolph play!

another class of mine, who danced. 'you are the apple on my ipod.' so cute.

pim and mild, two of my students, and probably the most conservatively dressed in the 'miss christmas' competition.

a participant in the more-or-less 'american idol' portion of the day. he didn't win, but he did trip on stage at one point.

aaaand... the miss christmas competition. and yes, i'll remind you that we were at school and not... i don't know... a 'karaoke bar'?

lunch break entertainment included some band the kids went nuts over.

p'dum rocking out with the best of them...

why is pim so excited?

because she and mild are the winners of the miss christmas competition! proving you... how can i put this tactfully? proving you can wear pants and still win the miss christmas competition.

Well that’s that. I’m also in the process of putting together a “Christmas video” that’s pretty much just 4 minutes of my dog playing with his present from my mom so… check back if you’re into that kind of thing! (I know you are.)

Also, more importantly, hope everyone enjoyed their own Christmas celebrations and that the New Year treats you well!


About Angela

I'm not actually a sleeping monk (though if I had my druthers...).
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4 Responses to Christmas in Thailand

  1. emma schultz says:

    I’m glad you liked the recipe! I thought about adding some macadamias as well, but didn’t have any in my possession – I gave them all to my mum:)

    Those breakfast crêpes look amazing!

    • amcalonder says:

      Haha yeah, I went out for pistachios and the macadamias were right there next to them… I couldn’t resist. And the crepes were nice… from another blog I found on Freshly Pressed!

  2. Pingback: Lemony-Herbed Potato Salad | i'm [still] having the THAIme of my life!

  3. Pingback: This Year in Lists | ollie in america

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