Hello 2009!

I'm in Bangkok now, wishing you all plenty of peace and joy in the coming year and beyond. Some of you may have seen the news about the devastating nightclub fire in Bangkok. I was celebrating in another area of town that was completely oblivious to what was happening just a short distance away. We were out until three or so but didn't hear about the fire until this morning. What makes it even more sad is how easily it could have been prevented. Nightclub owners, listen up: say no to pyrotechnics! Good grief.

Here are some happier images taken on the infamous Khao San Road. It's Bangkok's backpacker strip and perpetual party. I would have thought New Year's Eve there to be too over-the-top, but we said 'What the heck?' when Andrea and Jason quoted a travel magazine article claiming it as the best place in all of Asia to ring in 2009. It wasn't the mob scene expected but a steady stream of just really happy (okay, moderately inebriated) people. We did see one girl, making a valiant effort to keep Khao San deserving of its reputation, walking and puking at the same time. Here's a shot of some revelers and grilled skewers. The lit devil horns were pretty popular.

Balloons for sale. Ms. Kitty still reigns supreme.

Here's Andrea and Jason with a nice group of guys we met who wanted us to pose in pictures with them - a frequent request of foreigners.

And here's one little guy who must be a huge fan of New Year's Eve. But he deserves it - after all, it is his year.