Christmas away from home and family was never going to be a monumental occasion. But this festive holiday, celebrated with my brother and his lady on a Thai island, has been laugh-aloud random. We weren’t expecting the traditional turkey dinner, what with being in Thailand and all, but what we got was, well, I’m really not sure what it was. Except that it had me wiping away my tears of laughter and then gaping in disbelief. Mostly I laughed, hard.
On Christmas Eve we got dinner and a show courtesy of the hotel. There was some turkey, mash and veggies. There were also chicken and pineapple kebabs, a seafood curry, pickled somethings and tropical fruit. And cake with teeny tiny marzipan santas and snowmen on top. But the icing was the show. Wowza, Thailand can be such a random place.
First up, while guests were still stuffing their faces, was the “bartender performance”, a Thai guy showing off his flaring skills, all to thumping dance beats featuring some pretty extreme swearing in the lyrics. Yeah, um, okay. It’s just hard to applaud when your hands are occupied with a knife and fork and your mouth is full. And there were also kids in the audience. Just saying.
Moving on. Next was a traditional Thai dance. It would have been useful to know the story behind the dance, but we guessed it had something to do with maidens wearing pixie ears and dragon tails executing backwards wrist bends, while avoiding capture by a pair of red-masked, pelvic thrusting, belly jiggling demons.
And if that wasn’t enough we were treated to an awkward dance routine performed by three of the hotel’s employees, all wearing red Santa’s helper dresses – and not those cute elf helpers. Ah, cringe cringe. This was about the time I turned my gaping mouth into peals of laughter, and catcalls of course.
More dances followed. I won’t mention any more. But the highlight of the evening was my brother’s (unwilling) participation in an act of humiliation for the enjoyment of the audience. I’m still laughing as I write this. Five male guests were asked up on stage – Michelle and I forced Jean to go up – and given a piece of string to tie around their waists. Then they had to dip the end of the string into a beer bottle without bending over or using their hands. Disturbing. And so very funny. For their efforts they were awarded a bottle of beer.
We’ve drunk our poolside punch, eaten our dinner and laid out the cookies and milk for Santa. I hope the cheery old man fills up your stockings and you all have a merry and restful Christmas. Happiness to all. Ho ho ho.