Bangkok's in the Christmas spirit

Thailand may be 95% Buddhist, but that doesn't stop Bangkok from giving an excessively illuminated nod to Christmas every year, starting as early as October. Especially puzzling this year are the other familiar characters and symbols joining Santa in the Yuletide spotlight. Snow White and her dwarfs, Cinderella's carriage and shoe, and certain Disney stars commingle with St. Nick and his reindeer outside some of the larger shopping malls. (The reindeer are actually pulling the slipper in the picture below.)

While walking around in today's 90-degree temp to the tunes of Jingle Bells, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Frosty the Snowman, I had the out-of-the-blue and irritating realization that winter is here and I still haven't finished writing about my trip to Vietnam in April (which probably bothers no one but me as I doubt anyone's still reading this blog, but I'd like to record the entire trip so I have some reference for future reminiscing). Then I found comfort in other thoughts: although I've been a slacker at blogging, I've had some other meaningful accomplishments lately. For one, I discovered pistachio macaroons, these little mounds of heaven I could eat by the bucketful. I met some friends for lunch today at French cafe Lenotre, scene of the initial discovery. For dessert, we split the icecream sandwiches. Five macaroons - pistachio, raspberry, vanilla, butterscotch and chocolate - are halved and stuffed with same-flavored icecream. I think I must go back tomorrow for another one - only because I didn't photograph it and that's not fair to you. Okay, accomplishment #2. I've been reading even more than usual lately and finally started Fountainhead, which has been on my list for years. I have two close friends in my building and the three of us rotate books like there's no reading in 2010. I've also made a career decision for what's next after Thailand, but I can't share it because these decisions tend to change and I need to make sure this one sits prominently for a while longer. And I just planned my winter-break vacation, which starts this Saturday. Nabeel and I are going to some islands down south that look incredible. We'll be there for two weeks and then I'll spend the third week of vaca in Bangkok with a surprise visitor. I'm afraid if I disclose the name of the visitor, I'll jinx it and she won't be able to come. Of course you'll get more on that later...like next March perhaps.

Will try to finish up Vietnam bit before Saturday...But must also work and do washing and paint toenails and shop for a new camera lens (I may treat myself with end-of-year bonus!), and meet some fellow ladies out for free margaritas Thursday night...