Nang Rong: "Jan the Caterer"

Nang Rong

Buriram Province


March 11, 2005

My Dear Party Animals,

"I old woman," my friend Lek said to me. "Lek thirty!"

My friend Lek works here in Nang Rong. Her daughter, mother, sister, brother, nephews and nieces all live in Ayutthaya, many hours away.

I decided that Lek would have a proper Birthday celebration with her friends and colleagues. I would cater a dinner-dance at The Honey Inn in Nang Rong.

Also on the Invitation List were our mutual friends, members of Phanna's family and other guests at the Inn.

Lek's friend Pil Szob, and her sister, Say Yang who were traveling in Thailand, made a special trip back to Nang Rong before they returned home to South Korea.

After our menu consultation, Phanna - the owner, Moon her assistant, and Noc - another Thai lady, prepared the multi-course feast.

Mike set up the tables and chairs.

I arranged the flowers and plants.

Lek insisted on a two-tier fruit cake which I picked up at the local bakery.

I lost count of the number of six-packs of Singha, Chang, and Leo I supplied - sufficient to sustain a lengthy, boisterous event.

Keaw, Phanna's musical son, wired up the Karaoke equipment.

At about 7:00pm, the guests began arriving. Oom, Ying, Tee, Mem and her husband Wee and daughter Min, Nat, Kan, Chom, Tun, Harold and Giap, Mark, Chai, Phanna's sister Rose and assorted guests including a French couple, David and his partner Michael who were really hot dancers.

We all had a blast!

The platters of food were overwhelming, and as usual, "Aroi, mak, mak" - exceedingly delicious. Phanna and Moon are fabulous cooks. Trust me on this: your favorite Thai restaurant cannot compete with Phanna's flavorful output.

Several exhibitionists took up the Karaoke mike. Yours truly managed his best Elvis impersonation.

Now, Thai ladies especially young single girls are shy and reluctant to draw attention to themselves. They sit quietly while the boys prance and dance. But in this "wired" atmosphere, everyone dared to swing a bit.

As the tempo increased, I directed a "Soul Train Line" and demonstrated "The Bump" to my screeching and shocked dance partners.

Birthday cake. Candles. "Happy Birthday to You. " Many generous gifts from Lek's friends.

At the Karaoke and on the dance floor, Lek was really happy tonight.

The noisy party finally crashed at about 11:00 - quite late for working Thais.

If I do say so myself, the evening was a great success. My training at The Greentree Beach Club in New Rochelle, and at The Plaza in New York, and at the many Polatschek households over the years - all my experiences paid off.

Thank you "Mr. Benny" - Benjamin Ingster. Thank you "Mr. Ricco" - William E. Ricco. Thank you Mom and Dad. Paula and Alice.

But please, no requests to be your party planner. I'm all booked up.

To all: Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary!! Congratulations!!! Mazel Tov!!!!

Keep on dancin',

"Mr. Jan"

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