As anticipated, Christmas was just not the same without all of the family around. It was still okay, but really like any other day here. We could have gone out for a traditional dinner but just like New Year celebrations, they hike up the prices to around A$200 a head – and that’s without a few (ok quite a few) enjoyable drinks! So $600 for a roast was not considered really.
In all, we had a quiety, contacted all of the family via Skype and then headed off to lunch at one of our favourite places for a bite to eat and a beer, Father Ted’s Irish Pub and Steakhouse. In the evening we stopped for another bite to eat at a little restaurant/bar just down the road and that was it really. I don’t think I want another Christmas away from all of the family.
New Years was fantastic. It started with a nice lunch at the Anantasila restaurant on the beach which started off interesting. We hadn’t even ordered our first drinks when a Thai lady at the next table started screaming and when we looked across, we could see her husband had collapsed. Jim and another customer lifted him off the chair and lay him on the ground and started checking his vitals, but within a minute or so he came around and wasn’t really sure what happened. Neither were we, but Jim told me afterwards that he did not have a pulse. But instead of heading into hospital or to a doctor, they simply moved out of the sun to a shady table and continued to eat and drink….. odd!
Following lunch, we had a few drinks on the Beach with our buddy Sarinee (Ning) and then headed home for a sleep before we went back to Ning’s to watch the lanterns being released and the fireworks. You have to picture this. On our side of Monkey Mountain, it really is quite a small beach so we were not imagining anything as spectacular as what we saw. Lanterns and fireworks were being released as early as 7’ish and as midnight got closer, many more people came down to the beach. The fireworks were grand, and right over our heads. It was probably one of the most memorable NYE I have had, especially because Jim would normally be working when he was in both the NT and QLD Police. I loved it.
Lochie joined us just before midnight and then he headed into town with a few Thai friends he has made. We’re not sure what he got up to but he returned around 10am the next day and then slept for 2 days. No doubt he’ll tell us after a few drinks one evening. He could never be a spy – once he’s had a couple of beers, he will talk your ear off…. haha. We look forward to hearing the story one day Lochlan!
New Year’s fireworks are on our video links tab.