This is the story of my Asian Christmas, the first Christmas I spent at temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, in the sun and by the seaside. A Christmas on which I re-met old friends from Iasi, people with whom my brother and I have spent most of our high school and university years, spending our holidays and weekends together, going partying or just playing cards at somebody’s place (usually ours). This year we met for Christmas on the island of Ko Phangan, in Thailand: Diana and Ovidiu came from Shanghai, Tudor, from Romania, and the two of us, from Cambodia. A nice follow-up to our high school years – maybe next time there will be more of us!
Having around my oldest friends made me feel more close to home and less “on the road”. But not even their presence could give me the feeling that it was Christmas. And I promise I tried: the first day of Christmas I wore all day the Christmas hat Diana had brought for us. Once, overhearing from the reception a Christmas carol (the reggae version of a Christmas carol, to be true), my heart rose up in an “aaah, it’s Christmas!” exclamation. But the feeling vanished quickly when I rejoined my friends and heard the waves and felt the sand under my feet – it was hopeless, so I stopped trying. Not that I’m complaining, don’t get me wrong! (and the pictures will show you, I think, how exactly we felt on that day.) Just that this year I didn’t feel that Christmas has passed. Well, I guess I’ll just have to celebrate it next year twice as much!
For the Christmas dinner we found, almost by accident, a lovely little restaurant, on the beach (the Beachlounge in Thong Sala, for any future reference), with good wine, great food and (our own) very good company. We were together with Marta and Daniel, our friends from the road that you probably know already, as well as Eugen, a friend of mine from Bucharest who is on his own “trip around the world” this year. And to have the full picture, just a few days earlier I had met Lia, a friend from Bucharest who is now living on Ko Phangan and who was the first person to tell me about this island.
The rest of the days we explored the island. All was there: the sea, the sun, the sand, good Thai food, winding roads, the (sometimes) cloudy sky and, of course, my personal favorites, the ever-careless, tall and proud palm trees…
I’ll close with pictures of one of the quiet nights. Just having a drink in our bay. With the occasional lampions and fireworks. Pictures made by my brother Alexandru.