Christmas in Bangkok- How is it different from the USA?

I hear a lot more Christmas music in Bangkok than I ever did in San Francisco. Haircut time- I visit the L’Oreal salon to visit Khun Pen and have my $9 cut and wash. I used to pay $65 for my SF haircut, trendy salon with the latest alternative rock band on the sound system. The L’Oreal salon is all Thai, Pen doesn’t speak English, but gives a great haircut. It’s all friendly, lots of older Thai ladies getting done up and loads of laughing and talking; I smile a lot.

As I sat waiting for Pen, I heard “dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh” on the radio followed by the “twelve days of Christmas”. All Christmas songs through my entire haircut- mind you, this is in English in a salon that is predominately Thai.

Freshly shorn, off to the Home Pro, which is very similar to a Home Depot except smaller in size and you can actually find someone to help you. Christmas carols blaring. Picking up some groceries on the way home- carols throughout the store.

I do not remember hearing Christmas music in SF. Maybe large department stores play some of the songs, but they are muted or instrumental in order not to offend those that don’t celebrate the holiday. Certainly the local stores in SF didn’t play carols.

How would I explain a “one horse open sleigh” in Thai? Fortunately these questions don’t come up, the Thais are just happy to smile and enjoy Christmas without any questions about Santa’s role or religious association to the holiday.

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About faranginbangkok

Additional pictures: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/faranginbangkok For more updates about Bangkok, Thailand and other thoughts: www.twitter.com/lilrichardb I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region.
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