I heard the jubilant pops and bangs from exploding fireworks outside my window and knew that the residents of Phetchaburi were celebrating 12:00am, January 1, 2014.
Unfortunately, my New Year’s plans were waylaid by a horrible bout of food poisoning coupled with dysentery (yes…dysentery). So, I curled up at home instead of in Hua Hin and Bangkok, trying to recover my ability to eat food and take in electrolytes.
However, I did get one great day on the beach with Molly before she convinced me to seek help at the local hospital.
Thanks, Molly, for spending a part of your break with me and having my back!
The rest of my holiday craziness was engulfed with parties and Christmas dinner 🙂
The “Princess Party” took place on December 20th and required me to, once again, dress in an elaborate get-up. This outfit was more on the lines of modern day, formal attire–this type of dress is what you would see the Queen wear today. I participated in a traditional Thai dance with 4 other teachers, and watched as every single student “won” a prize in a raffle. It was an immensely entertaining night.
Then Christmas Day rolled around, and I found that I was quite homesick. I had been able to Skype with my Mom, brother, and sister-in-law, and had a quick chat with my Dad, but my heart ached. Oiy, this was a tough day.
However, my Thai support system didn’t disappoint! Kati and Chulay drove me to the one and only Christian gathering in the whole of Phetchaburi City. I had a hard time trying to explain that I am not a practicing Christian, but all they could do was ask, “Church?” Sure, why not! We enjoyed a very different Christmas dinner filled with curry, boiled eggs, and a lot of rice. And I got to meet a few new farang trying to enjoy some holiday spirit. I was then ushered into church where we sang “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World” in Thai!! It was something that I was really happy to be a part of.
All in all, the 2013 holiday season was filled with love and lonliness, wracked with some illness, and utterly unforgettable.