In most any big city on earth, the vestiges of your own foreign culture and traditions can be found. From the little Ethiopian enclaves in Los Angeles to the Bangladeshi community in Stuttgart to the remaining bits of the French in Laos, we bring a bit of ourselves and our cultures wherever we go.
Yesterday evening our bit of American culture in Khrungthep was found in a restaurant located down a scrappy soi behind a theatre with a marquee proclaiming it as “the best female impersonator show in Bangkok”. That was where our slice of Thanksgiving Day was located.
Left: Roka and Jhone, after she told Jhone (who is in sales) that she would never buy anything from him.
As Roka, Markus and I walked from the Skytrain station to join the ten other people in our party, I was thinking about how exciting my blog entry the next morning would be: a play by play account of the experience of a Cajun/Creole Thanksgiving Dinner at the Bourbon Street restaurant.
Sitting down to write this morning, there are certainly plenty of things to tell:
I could tell you how disappointed I was that Tawn couldn’t be there, since he was at the airport picking up his partents. I could tell you about the chaotic mess and disorganization that left our group waiting, even though we had reservations, for a half-hour before we were split into two tables and, eventually, reunited to one table. Or I could tell you about the buffet which, while the food was tasty, was constantly running out – especially of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin and pecan pies, the staples of a Thanksgiving dinner.
But before we arrived at the restaurant last night, as we walked by Benjasiri Park, there was a beggar in the middle of the sidewalk, legless, pulling himself by his hands and holding a plastic cup in his teeth. A man crawling like a worm.
So as I sit down to write this morning, as those of you in the United States are just finishing up your turkey dinners, let me instead tell you this about last night’s little slice of Thanksgiving in Khrungthep:
I am thankful for the health I and my friends and loved ones enjoy, giving us the means to earn a living, enjoy our lives, and walk upright in this world. I am thankful for the bountiful food we had and the means by which to eat so well. And not least, I am thankful for the pleasant company and the six new friends I met, the opportunity to visit and talk and laugh and learn about different lives and different experiences that brought us all to the same table.
Whatever your worries, whatever your ills, remember to count your blessings and be thankful for them. For if you have the means to access a computer and the leisure time to read or write a weblog, you most likely are among the fortunate.
From Left around the table: Marc, Piyawat, Stuart, (a friend of Doug’s whose name I did not catch), Steve, Markus, Roka, Jhone, Nicha, Doug, Brian, and Tri.