General, Travel

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas

So another Christmas has been and gone. I hope everyone had a good one this year! Considering the less than the conventional run-up, and the less than normal day, and how un-festive I felt going in, Christmas turned out to be pretty good in the Liz-Jade Roi-Et household. Quite uneventful, and completely absent of almost any traditions that ether of us usually have, but nice in its own way.

On Christmas Eve we both felt like Christmas was ages away. We may have decorated the house at the beginning of December, listened to music throughout the month, and taught Christmas in school to all of our classes, but we just felt like it wasn’t yet here. We had a very usual meal for here, but untraditional at home, of cheesy pasta, and while it was nice, it was far removed from the traditional family meals that we enjoy at home.

As it got closer to midnight, we both began to get more excited about Christmas presents. Family had kindly sent us both gifts in the post all the way from England in addition to money for our future travelling, and we had both decided to get each other presents to open on the day too. Buying decent, but novelty and disposable presents that we can get in the local Thai supermarket was a fun activity in itself. We decided we’d open a present each when it turned midnight and then get up early on Christmas morning before school and open the rest before breakfast.

When it came to choosing the one present, the plan went completely out of the window and we decided to put the kettle on and open the lot. What a surprise. My parents had kindly sent a set of pyjamas each, which we both really nice. We’re both saving them for our upcoming trip to Bangkok (Thanks again Mum). Jayne sent English chocolate and a picture (thanks Jayne, you have no idea how much I miss chocolate from home) and of course there was Jade’s pile. She got me a great mix of fun and novelty presents, including, but not limited to a desk pool table, loom bands, and some 2015 novelty New Years glasses. I’ve always liked the idea of owning a pair, and considering we are spending New Years in Bangkok (apparently the 8th best place to celebrate New Years in the world) it is the perfect time to have some.

Jade received Frozen, a Hogwarts t-shirt, and some home chocolate and sweets from her family, as well as a few other little things. I bought her chocolates and sweets that she likes, dried mango that she never treats herself to,  a dart board, and a little teddy bear to attach to the outside of her bag for our onward travels, á la King Louis.  I believe she has called him Neal. A very apt name.

The main part of Christmas day was spent in our respective schools, very different from at home. My first 2 lessons were cancelled because Kindergarten has activities for their sports day on. Spending time with the children, taking selfies, pictures, and watching them on their ‘skis’ and green rocker trolleys was hilarious. A very fun-filled morning. The classes later in the day were less serious then normal, and featured lots of drawing and ‘Let it Go’ renditions. It may not strictly be a Christmas song, well not one in any way, but the kids love it here. That and ‘Jingle Bells’, which following my Christmas story in the flag ceremony, I sang into the microphone. It was met with praise, and an encore. They respect my tuneful pipes here in Thailand!

Once home, we decided to stay in rather than venture out. Going out would have been expensive ahead of Bangkok, lacking friends, and would have limited our time to call home, so we decided to stay in, eat too much, and watch TV. Speaking of calling home, that was weird. It was great to be able to talk to family, but it did mean that I had to hear about Christmas dinner, which I am supremely jealous of. We didn’t get to see Strictly or Downton until after, but watching White Collar on Christmas wasn’t a bad way to celebrate. Our dinner may have consisted of garlic chicken, tomato pasta, and Cadbury’s Crunchie chocolate only as opposed to a full blown Turkey dinner, but it was great in its own way.

Boxing day was unlike it was at home too. I think I probably should stop saying that, most of what we do is very different to how we would do it at home. We were both at Jade’s school for a change, for Sports Day. It was a really good day. We were fairly surplus to requirements, but it allowed us to wander round freely and see everything that was going on. There were some hilarious activities, such as a log between the leg race, and a toboggan/sack relay race (I really have no idea how else to describe it.) They served us lots of food, and we got to watch various football matches, including the teachers vs children games. It was nice to see the other teachers more relaxed and out of school gear/mode too.

Christmas has left its mark on our house as it always seems to, and the place is a bit of a mess. We’re going to have to sort it out before we go to Bangkok. In an effort to save money while we’re not here, we are switching the fridge off as well as all the other devices etc in the house. Hopefully our electricity bill will be even less next month. It’s not like it’s expensive now though to be fair.

We’re both so excited to go to Bangkok. The travelling itch is well and truly back now, and we both just want to move on from here. I still like the teaching and everything, but I want to move around and do more stuff than the same job everyday. We’re planning to do flight of the gibbon while we are there, which was the very first thing we looked and and wanted to do when we started planning our trip nearly 2 years ago. So much has happened in those 2 years! It will be nice to see people from orientation again, do New Years in a new way in a new country, and have a holiday. I think we deserve it.

Jayne and my Dad have both sent pictures of the snow at home. Cold weather and snow, I’d actually like a bit of both right now. It’s making me want to have a proper Christmas again. I’m already excited for next year, and yes, I’m already dreaming of a White Christmas. Next years Christmas will be long awaited!

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