Happy New Year! Ok, so that's about 10 hours early for most of you, but it's already been 2008 for two hours here in Bangkok. Trust me when I say that New Year's Eve is a big deal to the Thai people. They're not messing around, folks; they celebrate 3 separate new years: the Thai new year, the Buddhist new year, and the Western new year.
This year the biggest hoopla was at one of the largest shopping malls I've ever seen. It felt like Times Square but with more Thai people. Lizzi and I disavowed every piece of advice Eric gave us and decided to throw ourselves on the mercy of the crowds, thinking that where there is a will and plenty of beer, there is fun to be had. Except that there was no beer. Strike that. There WAS beer, but there was a minimum $100 bar tab just to be served. So we skipped it.
Then, there were the crowds. Oh my god, I have not been stuck in the middle of that many people in my life. I've now been groped six ways from Sunday, and not in that good way. Really. No one should be that close unless you're willing to buy them breakfast the next morning. And by my tally, one hundred drunken Thai boys owe me a Denver omelet.
Despite the craziness and inappropriate touching, we rang in the new year the way we have for the past 8 years: with a kiss. Simple, yes. Sappy, you bet. But it's us, and what you really expect any less?
Happy New Year!!