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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas In Bangkok

Holy Toledo, what a transition! We were just bundled up with wool hats and fleece jackets in Kathmandu, and now we are sweating it out in steamy Bangkok! Our flight our of Nepal was delayed for about 5 hours, but with our hard-earned window seats, we barely took off before sunset…. Just with enough light to catch the alpenglow on the full Himalayan Panorama! We could see, from west to east, Dhalagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, the Langtang Peaks, Dorje Lakpa, etc… then the faint light was just enough to spot ChoOyu, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu…. And that big lump of white way off to the east? Ahhh… Kachenjunga!

Landing in Bangkok is a shocker… After lil’ ol’ Kathmandu, the massive new sparkling BKK airport blew the kids mind! As did the smooth roads, seatbelts, 7-elevens, and overall cleanliness. They commented in the taxi ride, “this looks just like America!” I did some late night Christmas Eve shopping, while the kids hung “stockings” on the towel rack with care. Actually they were my old socks, tied on with some string… but functional!

Christmas morning was sweaty but jolly, with the Canapary family joining us in our stuffy room for a wonderful gift exchange! Sylvie’s highlight? The ripe MANGO in the toe of her stocking!

Then we set out to ride the river taxis around Bangkok, enjoying the breeze and proximity to water, and avoiding the notorious traffic jams. Amazing temples…. Luscious street food at every corner… nice cold beer…. We enjoyed the intricate temples of Wat Pho, including the humongous golden reclining Buddha, then found a fine riverside restaurant to enjoy our Christmas dinner.

Green Curry, Tom Yum soup, fresh guava and coconut juice, spicy green papaya salad, Pad Thai..... aaaaahhhhh, what a feast! We sure miss our families back home, but it was a wonderful celebration with loved ones over here. Then back to the hotel room for the 3rd (...or 4th?) shower rinse of the day! Enter room, strip, enter shower & rinse, lay on bed under ceiling fan, evaporate... rinse.... repeat....

The most unusual and appreciated Christmas present, believe it or not, was the "Fish Spa" treatment that we gave to the girls! They wanted to try it sooooo badly, so what the heck, we'll buy a 10 minute nibble! You get your feet washed, and then sit on benches with your legs in an aquarium. And no, I am not making this up... the little fish are "dead skin eating fish," and they really go to town on old smelly feet. Our kids fed those fish well! Totally ticklish, but they LOVED it, and are begging to go back again for the full half hour option! So that's the Christmas news from Thailand! Hope y'all are cozy and celebrating with loved ones.

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