Outside the screen door, palm leaves in my yard rustle in the breeze. Monks from the nearby Buddhist monastery chant all through the night, and not a creature is stirring, not even a gecko. I’m in my shorts and flip-flops. So much for dashing through the snow and roasting chestnuts on an open fire.
In effort to bring in Christmas while I’m in this country Somewhere in Asia, I’m doing all I can to make this Asian, tropical locale feel festive. Eggnog’s out, since there is no cream to be found. (Cows aren’t part of the pastoral rice paddies here in this country.) And since I can’t find butter anywhere, would margarine work for my hot buttered rum cocktail?
Yesterday, at a local Japanese store, I found a fake Chinese-made Christmas tree and, being the Yank that I am, I carried it home (in two parts, mind you!). I plan to decorate it with stringed popcorn (if I can FIND corn to pop!) It looks sort of real, doesn't it? I think they put too much green in the plastic batch, but I'll do in a holiday pinch. The whole thing was under 20 bucks. I'm playin' Christmas songs on the ipod, and baking gingersnaps (with real ginger, not the powdered kind!), and searching high and low for green creme de menthe for the first annual Fa-la-la Christmas Cocktail Hour hosted by yours truly.
It’s surreal, spending Christmas abroad in a tropical country. (Check out a previous post I made, Advent in Asia.) Two years ago I brought in New Years on the banks of the Irrawaddy River; this year, I’ll bring in New Year’s in the foothills of the Himalayas, trekking with Pirate in the northern part of this country near the Chinese border. I’m ready for some cold weather. Temps will get below freezing at night, so I’ll be using my down mummy bag for sleeping in village bamboo huts.
Happy holidays, everyone! If I'm lucky, I might see some snow on my trek north. Whatever the case, for those of you who are blessed with a white Christmas, make a snowball in my honor to throw high in the frosty air!