Wishing everybody a Happy New Year for 2020, ….or for those in Thailand “Sawadee Pii Mai 2563” / สวัสดีปีใหม่.
(Thailand has it’s own B.E. or Buddhist Era calendar, several hundred years ahead of most of the world)
A short video clip from here in Isaan :
Although Thailand has it’s own traditional New Year at Songkran in April, the western holiday is also celebrated with gusto. Some of the wife’s extended family came up for the holiday, so there was much drinking, eating, and more drinking ….which is why this New Year greeting is a bit late, too many Sangsom whiskies !
One of the sisters-in-law came up from Bangkok with a small fortunes worth of good quality imported eye fillet steaks and lamb chops. Beef and lamb are not favourite types of meat in Thailand, the rest of the family ate a bit of it but not much, so really it was just for me. She did the same thing last visit and I told her not to bother because decent imported beef is very expensive here. Did she listen ? No. And then she had to cook way too much for me each time, I’m not a big eater but I always ended up with a huge steak and 2 or 3 lamb chops and a heap of “salad”.
To make up for all that sinfulness, New Year is also a time for making merit so I was dragged along to the local district office for a big ceremony and a couple of temples.
The young novices found it hard to stay awake during the sermon !
This monk saw me and seemed to think I needed extra holy water splashed over me !
I think that’s enough for a while ?
The highlight of this temple is the embalmed body of a highly regarded monk …just the spot for a family photo ?
And now it’s only a couple of weeks to Chinese New Year which is early this year, but I doubt there will be many people up here in Ubon celebrating that.
Edit : we have just been invited to a wedding at 7a.m. tomorrow morning, which no doubt will mean more alcohol once the monks have done their thing and left. If I have understood the relationship right, the bride is the niece of the late husband of my wife’s eldest sister, in other words absolutely no relation to my wife, yet we get invited the night before ? I did have the nasty thought that he needed somebody to make up the numbers as it is tradition that instead of wedding presents guests give money, which pays for the ceremony 🙂
Now I have to find a decent shirt and my good trousers …… 😦