2016: My Year in Review and a Look Forward to 2017

I will long remember the year past as one of death. While nobody from my family or circle of friends died in 2016, a number of favorite musicians and actors did. I was also profoundly affected by the mid-October passing of the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej. Over the decade-plus that I’ve lived in Phuket, I’ve become a staunch Royalist and the death of His Majesty came in the midst of my annual courses with Thai bank staff members. Seeing their sadness, as well as the intense mourning that occurred throughout the nation, deeply effected me and I continue to feel a bond with Thai people that is difficult to describe to other foreigners.

As 2017 dawns, I pray that it will be a year of much happiness and light after the darkness that pervaded much of 2016. Don’t misunderstand me: there were quite a few good times and the year is certainly ending on a high note in that I’m in my first “real” relationship in around six or seven years.

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Happy Father’s Day!

THA-1906

December 5 is the birthday of HM Bhumiphol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand.  Known in the West as Rama IX (the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty), he is considered to be the father of all Thai people.  It is because of this that his birthday is celebrated in the kingdom as Father’s Day (similarly, the Queen’s birthday on 12th August is Mother’s Day).  I I find it rather interesting that very few Thai people that I’ve talked with seem to be aware that their king was actually born in Massachusetts, U.S.A.  Today also happens to be my birthday so I have a nice holiday complete with fireworks and candlelight ceremonies.  Very lucky, indeed!