After a monstrous Friday night I awoke to Chinese New Year . This is a huge date on the Khmer calendar as a large % of the population has Chinese blood running through their veins – even little Grace has some chinoise in her as result of her great grandfather having a smidgen. The streets were alive with people burning offerings of all sorts and the smell of incense was thick in the air. We jumped a tuk tuk, bought some beer and ice and headed over to Mum’s place and the party was just about to start in earnest.Grace was having a fine time playing the pyromaniac . Wads of $100 bills ( counterfeit of course), mobile phones ( fake of course ) and all manner of trinkets were thrown into the fire that mum had burning at the front door.
After the offerings it was soon time to sit down and have a nice big lunch. Plenty of food kept coming out of the kitchen and the beer was free flow. Grace and Vichea ran around whilst the rest of us had a good laugh. Phalla was in top form as usual and kept everyone amused with her antics.
Around 6pm I excused myself to head over to Paul’s house where the monthly game of poker was being held. Luke, Darren and Chris showed up and as the beers were cracked the stacks ebbed and flowed. Darren won the first round with some exceptional card playing- dark horse that he is. I think I should now call D ” The Green Beret” .Apparently he is well adept at doing commando rolls out of Taxis on Soi 10 in Bangkok to escape fellow taxi-occupants. Hardcore. Chris struggled to keep up with the game as always and whilst I did my best to get the boys to change the format from SUPER GAY ( 50% re-buys only ) to at least Gay Friendly….they were not having a bar of it. In the second round Leakhana joined us and eventually it came down to the best two players of the group – Luke and I ( yes I know – modest ! ) and despite looking like a sure thing with a huge stack of chips in front of me, the pesky french pilot managed to take them all back. Damn it. We then headed out into the night for a few nightcaps and after a beer or two at The Tree we picked up Paul’s wife and headed in to Howie Bar.
Happy year of the Tiger.