A BIG Birthday



August 15, 2011

Dear Barbara,

I am following up on your “Big Birthday” theme for our Taft High School Newsletter.

 I am not one of the “young ones.”   My “BIG One” was last September, 2010.

I thought that our friends and classmates would like to see the birthday party photos since my celebration was here in Bangkok; the party had a decidedly international flavor.

We had dinner at the Tamnan Thai restaurant near my apartment in downtown Bangkok: traditional Thai dishes both spicy and not, cold beer both Thai and not.

The cast of characters included two Thai ladies, my good friend Noy, and another friend Nai and her daughter Samantha, Harry from Afghanistan, Gary from South Africa and his children Erin, James and Sean, Don from Florida, Mark from England, Tibur from Hungary and his friend, Ryan from Australia, Janet from Oregon, Mike from California, Eli from Israel, and Soo from South Korea.

Except for Noy and Nia, we are all expats living and/or working in Thailand.

Harry is a jeweler, Gary is a teacher, Don owns a used book store, Mark works in the movies, Tibur is a reporter, Ryan works for an international forestry company, Janet is a writer, Mike is a website entrepreneur, Eli is also a jeweler, and Soo works as a translator at an international hospital.   Yours truly, retired, and oh so happy to be living here.

I ordered two cakes.  The orange-vanilla said “Happy Birthday Jan” in Thai.  The Black Forest said “Happy Birthday K. Jan.”   K is the abbreviation for Khun or Mister…a Thai word to show respect.

(Sometimes people who know me but don’t know my name call me “Papa” and sometimes young friends call me “Papa Jan.”  I take no offence.  In fact I am quite pleased with “Papa.”  It is not only a sign of respect but also a sign of admiration.)

I look forward to many more birthday celebrations here in Bangkok, little ones and big ones, G-d willing.

Hope your little ones and big ones are also delicious and memorable.

Papa Jan  


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