2015 Phuket Vegetarian Festival: Day 1 – Lantern Pole Raising

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Each year, the people of Thailand celebrate a vegetarian festival which begins on the 15th day of the waning of the 10th month of the Thai lunar calendar.  Many Thai people observe the rites of the festival even if they do not eat Thai vegetarian food the rest of the year.  The largest celebration, by far, occurs in Phuket

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Happy New Year 2015!

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Another year older, another year wiser?  I have to admit that I’m a bit confused – is this the Year of the Sheep or the Year of the Goat.  Some breeds of goats and sheep do look similar (the tails being the usual giveaway) but they aren’t exactly the same animal.  Most websites detailing the Chinese zodiac (including Wikipedia) seem to be going the goat route, a few like the much cuter sheep, and others are saying they are the same.  With the stamps marking the Lunar New Year that I’ve seen so far, most are calling it the Year of the Sheep but the United States Postal Service and Hong Kong Post are both declaring it the Year of the Ram!

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Resolutions? I Think Not…

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Every year, I make a list of improvements that I want to work on during the forthcoming twelve months.  By the first week of January, these “resolutions” are all but forgotten.  Last year, I even made a resolution to not make any more resolutions!  I didn’t keep that one, either.  So, in 2015, I’ve decided I’ll make a list of a few easy-to-keep goals but to call them “suggestions” rather than resolutions.  Perhaps that will work.  Probably not.

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Koong & Andy’s Just Wed Party

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I don’t really go to many parties, particularly what I’d classify as the high-society type.  But when a good friend gets married, one really has to do what one can to participate.  I’ve known Andrew for a few years now; he’s probably the most interesting Englishman I know, a former Special Forces officer in the employ of Her Majesty the Queen as well as being a Shakespearean thespian.

His “After Wedding Party” was held at the beautiful O2 Beach Club in Chalong Bay on the Monday before Christmas.  It was quite the affair – all guests dressed in white (well, save one) and included Andy singing a few songs while accompanying himself on guitar plus a truly interesting fire-dancer (I’ve seen many that were extremely boring and predictable; this one was anything but).  The food was awesome; I fell in love with the larb (spicy meat salad) packed in celery rings.  However, the highlight for me was being introduced to one beautiful, intelligent and financially-stable single woman after another.  Where had they all been hiding?

Enjoy the photo album after the break…

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Most Thoughtful Gifts

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It took a couple of years of packages that never arrived and frustrations over extremely high shipping costs to convince my sister and I that annual holiday exchanges between Kansas and Thailand were more trouble than they were worth.  Since 2008 or so, the majority of our exchanges have been the online variety.

But every once in a while, I’m shocked by some morsel in the morning mail delivery.  Whatever it may be, it always reaffirms my belief that my sister is the smartest and most thoughtful person currently living (having inherited those qualities from our dearly-departed mother).  This year, Marilyn truly outdid herself…

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