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Hanukkah, Christmas – a nice gathering

December 25, 2011

Being away from family and friends during the holiday season is nothing new to me – as a matter of fact, I have been away from them a number of times over the course of my adult life.  Nevertheless, this time I am in a tropical climate, in a country where most people do not celebrate Christmas (though at the malls they seem to cater to people who do celebrate the holiday), and with a few other Volunteers who are here for the same purpose as I am.

It is because of the other Vs that I thought it would be nice to have dinner together last night (remember it is already December 26 for me). A few days ago, I tossed the idea of going to a nice restaurant to one of the Vs, who eagerly agreed to the idea. I also invited the doctor who takes such good care of us all, and who suggested the place as apparently another one of the Vs has had a hankering for Italian food.

A happy holiday celebration, no matter what your religion!

The restaurant where we had dinner is, luckily enough, around the corner from the hospital and ranks in Thailand’s top restaurants for 2011. How are they able to do this? The owner, it turns out, is from Milan. Now, don’t ask me what he is doing in Thailand, but I am glad he is here. The food and the wine was wonderful.

The company was also very nice. Unfortunately because of Peace Corps rules, the doctor was not able to enjoy the wine that we had with our dinner. But the food – oh the food! Caprese salad with fresh buffalo mozzarella that he has imported from Italy. I had saffron risotto with Osso Bucco (sorry to all you non meat eaters out there). Then the dessert – a  sponge cake SOAKED with rum and covered in chocolate mousse – goodness, a person could get drunk just eating it!

It was a really nice break from what is quickly becoming the tedium of being here for a long time without the ability to take day trips. My days are quickly starting to follow something of a routine – on weekdays I get up, get showered, dressed, etc. and buy some fruit on the way down the street for my breakfast. After that I am heading to PC HQ – to use the computers, keep myself occupied, and get away from the hotel for a while.

Why am I not doing more exploring? Well, I have been trying to do some walking, and there are a couple of things I have not yet seen that I am interested in seeing. But I don’t work here and there is a lot of time to fill during the day, and after you have seen the attractions, well, what is there to do but to fill the day? Don’t get me wrong – Bangkok is lovely, I am enjoying the climate, the fruit, the variety of cuisines – but I am not working here, I am waiting. And reading a lot. And spending time with other Vs. I guess waiting IS my job right now…

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