As with most New Years Eve days we spend much of the day shopping for our big meal in the evening – where family and friends gather – pulling into one of the nearby village houses on motorbikes, walking or by car. First we stop at the huge Tesco Lotus that popped up near the Industrial park several years ago. Employees are stationed out front wrapping hundreds of packages from shoppers. Our budget has gone up this year – instead of 200 baht we can spend 300 baht. My contribution at this newly minted gift price nets me a present of 2 brown hand towels.
Technically we could buy everything we need for the big meal at Tesco but that just isn’t right. We head to one of the local markets and stock up on greens, things swimming in black tubs half full of water, fruit and other meat. This year we have some extra time so we hit the local massage place – where we enjoy 2 hours of bliss (other than the nasty byproduct smell of Eucalyptus processing from the nearby Double A paper mill).
Back when our village had lots of live animals we used to slaughter a pig and prepare many different dishes depending on which pig parts in question – including a salad made from fresh pork blood. In later years we bought a pig already prepared and we just BBQ’d it on the spit. This year we had no whole pig – but plenty to eat nonetheless.
After enjoying a fantastic meal of various Thai noodle salads, curries, pork and beef dishes and staring at a large pile of presents – the raffle was held. Numbers were placed in a plastic cup and as your number was drawn you got to select a present. This year I am proud to announce my winning was a box full of laundry detergent!