Sunday, December 31, 2006


The fine folks at Tops grocery store, who this week are giving away free samples of peach-flavored Absolut Vodka.

So tonight at midnight, raise your glass and make a toast to 2007 (but please, don't drink and drive!)

Yesterday we took the kids to Dream World, an amusement park that is probably Bangkok's closest thing to Disney World. With a fairy tale-themed entrance, the Disney influence is immediately felt right when you walk up to the place.

The rides are pretty typical of the ones you'll find at any other amusement park or carnival throughout the world, most were designed to whip people around and turn their stomachs inside out.

From the expression on Max's face here, I don't think he was enjoying this particular ride (called "The Spider.")

They even ripped off Disney by naming an attraction "Space Mountain" and calling their haunted house "The Haunted Mansion." It wasn't too scary, just a big dark place with a lot of noises and things jumping out at every turn. You can't even see what they are, unless you have a camera with a flash:

The big drawing card at Dream World is a section called "Snow World" which is a big refrigerated building complete with a hill for sledding. For a Michigan family that's been feeling a bit homesick during the holidays, it was a welcome escape. The locals seemed to enjoy it to, and I'm assuming that many of them have never seen real snow before (technically, this stuff wasn't real either, but it was close enough). One of the funnier stories I've heard here is from my wife's Thai teacher, who thinks she knows what snow is because she's seen the frost build up in her ice box.

Coats and boots were provided, although we just had shorts on underneath, so it was still pretty cold. After six months of sunny skies and stifling humidty, it felt pretty nice for about 20 minutes.

The night wound down with an electrical parade featuring a colorful cast of characters that (surprise) is pretty close to the one that marches down Main Street every evening at Disney World. The music was a techno version of "Jingle Bells" though.

All and all it was a fun time. The kids had a blast and every time we can do something to put a grin on their faces, it's all worth it.

Monday, December 25, 2006


From our family to yours, Happy Holidays...

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Ah, the Holiday Season in Bangkok. For me, there's never been anything quite like it.

Gone are the blustery days of years past and in their place are miles and miles of traffic and the heavy pollution that comes with it.

Any thoughts of a White Christmas went out the window the moment I boarded that plane back in June.

A lot of people have written and asked if they celebrate Christmas over here and from the looks of it some people do and the local businesses are doing their best to promote it (and milk some expat dollars I'm sure). There are holiday decorations everywhere, but it's all the Holly Jolly Commercial Christmas as opposed to the Silent Night version. There's not an image of Jesus in sight, but Santa Claus, reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman can be seen at various stops around town.

There are a lot of huge trees on the streets, but for some reason most seem to be sponsored by a bank. On them, ornaments and tinsel go hand and hand with credit cards.

I am of the feeling that when you celebrate Christmas, you are not just celebrating the current year, but all of the Christmases of years past. Nostalgia is a big part of it for me and while I am missing out on all of the snow and ice that I am accustomed to, I hope to create happy Christmas memories here that I can reflect on in the future

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


As in the US, you know the holidays are approaching here in Bangkok when the department stores start decking their halls with boughs of commercialism.

Seen here is the kind of outfit appropriate for the go-go dancers in Na Na Plaza during this, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love Christmas. I love trimming the tree. I love sipping egg nog. I love listening to my 700+ Christmas carols on my ipod, but this year it just seems a bit different. When I walk outside, I don't get the feeling of Christmas, I still get mid-August. It's a bit disorienting for this lifelong Michigander, but I will get used to it I'm sure.

I am currently on vacation in Hua Hin, but will post more Bangkok X-Mas pics in a few days...

Friday, December 01, 2006


If you're in Bangkok, and you're looking for a place to get hammered for free on a consistent basis, then look no further than the Tops grocery store at Central Chitlom.

That's because if they're not giving away free samples of Johnnie Walker Red Label scotch one week:

Then they're pushing complimentary glasses of Smirnoff Ice the next:

Hopefully, they'll have some Kahlua spiked egg nog (mmmmmmm) soon to get me in the mood for the holidays.

Sometimes, you just gotta love this city...