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Saturday, December 25, 2004


xj Gets Lei'd, And Other Festive Delights

So for Christmas Eve my dumb hotel organised a dumber Gala Dinner, attendance compulsory, price TWO THOUSAND BAAT. (Sorry for shouting but jeez louise! Two thousand baat! That buys a lot in this town: it bought me a nice pair of all-leather shoes the other day for instance).

Now, this "Gala" was held in the hotel restaurant, which is by the pool and is open air. (Uh-huh. Open air... tropical storm... what's wrong with this picture? To be fair, the storm had pretty much moved on by the time the "Gala" started).

For some reason the staff were handing out leis, a traditional floral necklace garment from the Thai island of Hawai'i. (Wait a minute....)

The food consisted mainly of big chunks of roast meat, which was fine with me, although it was not as good as the Brazilian rodizio place I ate in the night before, and unlike the Brazilian place the "Gala" did not have sambaing Brazilian hotties. It did have dancers, however.

Polynesian dancers.

I'm still trying to figure this one out. My best guess is that some moron confused "Samui" with "Samoa". Either that or a firm believer in the wacky anthropological theory that the Thais are Polynesian by original extraction. At any rate, this Polynesian show was conducted with the efficiency of a school play: the PA system would be blathering on about "our two dancers" when up on the stage would be one poor embarrassed girl. I sat at the table and thought: "Here I am, sitting at a table at a Christmas celebration in a Buddhist country, watching Thais pretend to be Maoris. It's the dark side of globalisation."

After this farce they had a raffle of some kind, where as far as I can work out the same person won three of the prize, at which point it was clear that the evening, having started badly, was getting worse. So I left.

Some other highlights of the evening:

At the stroke of the midnight hour I was in the reggae bar. The band was doing a set, and their first song for Christmas day was "Losing My Religion". Now that's what I call style. (OTOH they have played the Cheeky Girls song every time I have been there, so maybe they don't have style after all).

On the road to the reggae pub there was a traffic jam, and the girls from one bar were out trying to direct the traffic. One of them even had a whistle. Of course they were all wearing Santa hats.

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