• Friday, December 08, 2006

    School show, further worries at Suwarnabhumi Airport and cultural differences...

    It was the school show today. Went well and there were no last minute nerves from the daughter, unlike at the ballet. She went on stage, danced and sang and all was well. That is until she went to visit Santa, who had arrived on an elephant. Excitement turned to worry, a frown spread across her forehead and then tears, followed by clutching at me and bawling. Yep, she's was afraid of Santa. I don't think it is actually Santa she's afraid of, it's the beard. We get this reaction whenever she sees a guy with a beard. Beards just bring out fear in her for some reason. I've never had a beard, no one in my family has a beard and none of our friends have a beard. Strange.

    Monday is a holiday and then there are four days until she breaks up for the Christmas holiday. It comes so fast. We haven't decided what to do for Christmas yet. There was talk of a beach but I just don't feel that's very festive. Maybe book into a hotel downtown for some festive cheer and to get more of the atmosphere. Or simply stay at home, visit friends etc.

    According to the papers the latest worry at Suwarnabhumi Airport is security checks when you have left the building. People have reported being accosted outside the airport by men claiming to be customs and wanting to look in bags. Apparently these guys make no attempt to ID themselves as genuine officials so there is a worry that they could be on the make. Some people have said they were convinced they are genuine and others a have said they remain unsure. Either way I guess it would be best to try to contact someone who is obviously a policeman or soldier to be on the safe side, or demand to see ID. It's a shame Suwarnabhumi just keeps getting bad publicity.

    We met a young girl, a bit older than the daughter, who lives in our moo baan yesterday. We went swimming with her and her grandmother. Nice kid and nice gran. The parents live in the US. They have a few restaurants there and leave the daughter and baby son here to be looked after by the grandmother. This is a big cultural difference. I can't imagine living apart from my daughter. Over the years I've encountered this a lot. It is quite common for Thai parents to leave the kids with the grandparents whilst they work in another province or even country.

    Gran told me that the parents want the kids to go to the US when they are five but she said she is demanding that they stay here till they finish university. Wow. So different from everything I'm used to. After our daughter was born in the UK my wife's mother apparently made a similar suggestion, that we ship the baby over for her to take care of and we live in the UK. My response was short and extremely abrupt and not printable here for the sake of decency and good manners.

    School show, further worries at Suwarnabhumi Airport and cultural differences...



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