A Happy New Year

One step closer to this raging fire — the evernight is here /

                                       celebrate to the highest point 

/ then let drop all that you need not take

                                                    for it is now

       that I breathe deep / and all can start anew.

-Tessa Christensen-

A Happy New Year

Color Me Happy.



I was in heaven last Saturday night…partaking in cheesy cheese cheese cheese on nachos with a glass of wine, so horribly watered down, but yet still so divine…I haven’t had cheese or wine in 3 months, two things I very much enjoy back home in the States.

I decided that I would take a quick jaunt to Hua Hin, which is only about 1 hour south of Phetchaburi, to spend the weekend soaking up a bit of sunshine on the beach and exploring another Thailand tourist hub.  High season is in full swing here, so it was a bit of a crap-shoot if I would find housing for the evening, but Fulay Guesthouse was able to take me in.


Fulay Guesthouse

This wonderful structure was on stilts in the ocean with a huge, wooden deck extending out into the water.  It was amazing to see how much the tide receded as the night drew darker and darker.

I spent Saturday with my Thai friend, Kati, playing on the beach and chasing men…or, umm…well, Kati was the one on the hunt.  “Tessa, I want boy.  I want English boyfriend!”  she squealed, splashing in the surf fully clothed.  Thais swim in clothes and don’t really sport bathing suits.  I only felt comfortable being in mine because there were other farang in the area; I would not wear one to the beach in Phetchaburi!!


Kati is fully clothed: pants, top, cardigan.

When Kati left at 5 pm, I went in search of food and drink.  With my successful discovery (hence, the opening picture of this entry), I stayed at my table for 2 hours, enjoying the hectic pace of the traffic and the people by myself, having the opportunity to muse and ponder about anything that popped into my head.

I walked the Night Market, making mental notes of a few items I would purchase as presents for friends and family back home.  I then rounded out the evening on the deck of my guesthouse with another glass of wine and some company from a German traveler by the name of Christian, who, to my delight, spoke English very well.

Cheese and wine, beach and the salty air, and fantastic conversation with a good-looking, German man…you can color me happy!


Me, very happy!


Thailand Dreamland

I used to love playing dress up as a kid!

I had a big box filled with colorful, crazy dresses, high-heeled shoes 10 sizes too big for me, purses that hit the floor when swung over my short stature, and no longer used make-up from my mom to paint my face.  Friends would come over and we would disappear into the realms of our imagination, transported there by the fantastical costumes we created.

So, it’s no surprise that when my Thai colleagues told me they were going to dress me in traditional Thai garb, complete with very big hair and a face full of make-up, that I jumped at the chance to launch myself into a Thailand dreamland.

This whole process took 2 hours, some creative maneuvering, and a sense of humor!!  Here is the transformation and end result:


I just couldn’t help myself!

The reason behind this metamorphosis was to celebrate the 3rd ASEAN Art and Cultural Festival, a wonderful event put on by the city of Phetchaburi in honor of the king’s birthday.  ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.  The purpose of ASEAN is to accelerate economic growth, cultural development among members, the protection of regional peace, and is a forum to discuss differences peacefully.


A map of the members and the flag of ASEAN.

On December 5th (also Father’s Day), King Rama VI turned 86, and the local Thais pulled out all the stops for the king’s birthday.  The entire festival spanned 6 days with dances from every country in the ASEAN community, an array of yummy food (had the best pad thai ever!), and local crafts being sold .

I had such an amazing time in my Thailand dress, floating about in my grown-up imagination come to life.