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Wednesday, December 25: Day 247 – Merry Christmas!!!


Isn’t it just like Jesus to have us give gifts to each other on HIS birthday? I’ve never been to a birthday party like that…show up and the birthday boy has already given you the most precious gift ever…Eternal life with Him in heaven. It doesn’t get any better than that!!!! We celebrate by giving gifts to each other!

We learned that people in Laos and likely in Southeast Asia say “Where will you be on Merry Christmas?” Not just Christmas but Merry Christmas.

They also refer to your birthday as your Happy Birthday, for example, “When is your Happy Birthday?”

We saw a cake decorating shop, and there was a small cake with the letters HBD on it. It really made me laugh. I guess there was no room or they ran out of icing or ?

I asked the students in my class about it, and they said that this was normal and stood for Happy Birth Day.

When I told them that the cake would normally read,




it was a revelation to them.

Not only is today Christmas, it is the Hmong New Year. Many Hmong who were in the class brought me rice cakes in banana leaves which are to be fried in the morning. Others gave me rolls and stationary. How thoughtful!

Here is our little Christmas tree that we put together at the hotel.

We had spent such a long time at our hotel in Laos that we felt like we had a bonded with the family so we got everyone a very little gift.

Tu really loved her bubble maker.

We said our goodbyes and headed to the airport where we waited in the lounge prior to the flight. Rob sat down to read a newspaper and this is what happened. I am sure that you will get hysterical like I did:

We board the flight, and there are three chubby Buddhist nuns. This is easy to discern because their heads are shaved. They are very happy and greeting everyone with a Merry Christmas and handing us a cracker. We received this “blessing” and returned the greeting but with no cracker.

Rob was looking for our row which was 39. We had passed it because Thai Smile Air started their numbering at 25. Rob was way into the 40s before he realized it. Hmmm. Maybe they are trying to avoid using 13?

We were given a little Christmas tin full of a lemon poppyseed cake. How thoughtful!

When we arrived, Rob wanted to practice getting a SIM card for when our children arrive in ONE week. I thought that girl had the funniest Christmas hat(s).

I wonder if the man in the white turban ever located the client that he was supposed to pick up?

We get a Grab which is like Uber from the airport to our hotel downtown. The first thing that we notice is that they drive on the left side of the road. This means that people should walk on the left as well.

It is really chaotic because Bangkok is the number one destination for tourists in the world. So it is a free-for-all on the sidewalks with locals on the left and tourists on the right and not much space to work with!! Weaving is the new normal.

We experienced culture shock. It was like moving from a small farming community to New York City. Check out these electrical wires.

Rob wonders how would they know which one needs to be replaced? Good question.

When we are at home on Christmas day, and after all gifts are opened, batteries inserted, instructions read, thank you lists made, we go to a movie. We decided to continue that tradition here in Thailand.

Rob usually buys tickets to the blockbuster movie for his Christmas shopping with popcorn and sodas included!! In recent years, it has been Star Wars. Today was no exception.

There is one thing unusual about attending a movie in Thailand. After the previews and before the feature, pictures of the King of Thailand are shown while the National Anthem is played. We are all required to stand, even if you are a tourist.

It was quite a production. One is arrested for non-compliance. Also, one will be arrested for any bad remarks about the royal family.

During the royal acknowledgement I leaned over and told Rob that I think President Trump would like something like that if he knew it was possible!!!

Here is Rob making some good friends at the mall.

All I wanted for Christmas was a big fat juicy hamburger. We were reading about the best burgers in Bangkok, and a place called Danny Thaiger Burger came up. It was close to the hotel…real close. This is literally the view just as I exit the front door of the hotel!!

One thing that is hard to get used to in Southeast Asia is the irregular rise in the stairs. In the USA every stair has the same height. Here it might be higher or lower by about 3 inches. It always keeps us guessing.

Since we have been living in Southeast Asia for the past few months, we are reading many current event articles. Here are a few that I found interesting

Cambodia and China

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