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Christmas in Thailand with the Cats

First Christmas in Thailand with the Cats

12.24.2014: Christmas Eve – evening mass and noche buena

Christmas eve was spent tidying around the house leaving space for a new set of mess the furries had in mind to welcome me with on my return.

I gave them treats and made sure to leave fresh piles of food on their plates and fresh water in the bowls upstairs and down; cleaned their litter boxes; and arranged a little exit for them to get to the porch and onto the roof in my absence.

I then left for Bangkok to meet my friend Mae. Christmas day is not a national holiday in Thailand, so she had to work then as well as the next day, Christmas day.

On the way to a bus stop, we plodded along a few blocks of shops first visiting one that was selling ingredients/materials for candle making. Then we went to peek at more shops while fighting our way through shoppers thronging that particularly very busy lane in Chinatown’s Sam Pheng Market.

I only had three mugs of tea that morning so I was longing for some fruit and whatever delicious-smelling munchie that met my fancy from the food carts we passed. We did stop for a pack of sliced pineapple and a cup each of buttered corn. We then got on a bus and headed over to Mae’s flat for dinner purchased on the way.

We arrived at St. John’s Church in Ladphrao quite early that there were plenty of empty seats around. We chose to seat ourselves near the front, easier on our near-sighted eyes.

It was a cozy church, not that big, air-conditioned, and with comfy cushioned seats. The kneeling pads were also wonderful – I would not mind kneeling on them for hours in prayer. The priests and the sermon were okay. There was a short Christmas presentation by a Filipina teacher (a friend of Mae’s) with a small group of students, followed by a raffle draw before the mass was concluded. We did not win any, though I fervently prayed to God to pick number 022 so I can have one of the religious mementos they were giving away. 🙂 I’d estimate 95% of those who attended mass were Filipinos.

Afterwards, there at the churchyard was what we had been looking forward to that day – an array of Filipino food prepared by some members of the church congregation. There was leche flan, macaroni salad, lumpia, embutido, an entire lechong baboy (poor piggy), no Filipino style spaghetti, but there was pancit bijon and another noodle recipe, and many more. I only went for the vegetarian fares. I was told it is a yearly practice. So, if I am still in Thailand next Christmas, I’d be looking forward to attending mass with kababayans and enjoying Filipino fares after.

Below are some pictures taken with my Samsung phone. Click on a thumbnail to enlarge.

12.25.2014: Christmas Day – Back to the furries

I stayed the night at Mae’s place and woke up on Christmas morning at 8:30 to find her already gone off to work and a sweet note to help myself to the fridge and feel at home. Thanks Mae! 🙂 I was wondering how the cats were faring and so I found myself inside a bus by 9 o’clock, dropped by a supermarket for supplies on the way, and was home before I knew it.

Lucky was up on the roof crying out to me in welcome as soon as she saw me enter the gate. These excited meowing always makes me feel happy to come home. Feeling sorry for our Ronald – he has to miss the furries everyday for who knows how long.

I opened the doors – that’s it, I’m in the right house indeed. Pieces of the carton strewn across the living room and feathers all over the kitchen floor pulled apart from a feather duster turned cat toy was a welcoming familiar sight. 🙂

12.25.2013: Christmas in Cambodia

Last Christmas, we were still in Siem Reap. No Christmas holiday from work despite the word “International” between SmartKids and School. The day was spent at school with colleagues and our students who made it to the morning and afternoon programs. I bought some drinks, cookies, and candies for my classes and it was overall a merry day. No Filipino food however.

Vivien Nyström

Born in 1979 in her hometown of Kiangan, Ifugao in the Philippines, Vi has moved homes too many times. Since 2020 before Austria's first lockdown during the pandemic, she moved to Sweden. She is still in Sweden today.

The Traveling Cats

The Traveling Cats