Well, firstly, to hang out with (train up) my utterly perfect nephew.
Oh. You need other reasons? Well, OK then…
Now, Bangkok has a lot going for it…. a LOT! This city has nailed happy hours, brunch, the appropriate frequency with which a normal, healthy person should get a massage, a sensible attitude towards cross-dressing, the correct pace of life and a gorgeous sabai sabai attitude which basically voids any need to be punctual for anything ever. However, it is quite comprehensively NOT geared up to host a proper Christmas.
I mean, it does its best, you can get a DIY ginger bread house making kit from Sheraton Grande, but it’ll never beat this homemade beauty:
And in its defence, Thailand is a Buddhist country, it’s not their responsibility to get at all jazzed about Baby J’s birthday.
But, I think the problem is that is TRIES. It oughtn’t. My biggest problem is with the decorations… they are shamelessly tacky.
Very especially the hideous branding of decorations, which is never more blatant than in the God-forsaken Centralworld Christmas Park
Cuz nothing says Christmas like a giant Octopus.
‘Mummy, why is that bear dry-humping the Chang tree?’
Then there’s this monstrosity… yeah.
Witness a crash course in how to make over one of the most beautiful hotel lobbies in the city so that it resembles the Ibis in Benidorm. It’s a Christmas Miracle!
We thought the tree at Dean & Deluca was actually relatively nice. Until Simon pointed out that, on closer inspection, it appeared to be covered with ball bags.
So, yeah. There’s that. Also, there is NO Christmas music. I ask you! How am I supposed to get festive without Mariah, Slade and the Pogues?
Finally, there is just something a bit lame about Christmas in the tropics. Simply, ’tisn’t the same. I was here for the festive season last year and it was fun, sure, but though Thais call it Winter, in my book if it’s above 23 degrees, it is HOT. Which means a distinct absence of crucially Christmassy things. Hot Christmas =
No knitwear (despite H&M Thailand’s best efforts. ‘Would you like this toasty, chunky-knit bobble hat madam?’ ‘Errrr, Why? for all the snowball fights in Chatuchak park?’)
No hot cider
No ridiculous onesies with attached feet
No snow days (a concept wholly unfamiliar to those who live in either temperate climates or PROPER cold climates. However, a place where every day life has to grind to a halt because of two inches of powder and grown adults give themselves the day off to slide down a hill on a tarpaulin seems like a jolly good place to spend time.)
And, most importantly, no desire to eat a full Christmas dinner!
THIS, dear readers, is how one destroys a festive feast:
And you cannot consume a full roast avec trimmings without the requisite roaring fire to slink off to in your soporific stupor, bundled up in a fabulously awful Christmas jumper, to flip idly through the Radio Times, needlessly – because everything on the TV is GREAT:
So in closing, to recap the salient points, when it comes to Christmas:
Bangkok 0, The Shire 100.
See you on the 3rd Jan, when I will be delighted to fling on some flip flops again!