I'm from Savannah, Georgia, a city known in the US for having one of the country's largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations due in part to a fairly large Irish Roman Catholic community, and due more so to the fact that the city is full of people who like to party.
To my knowledge, it is one of only 6 cities in the States (including Vegas) where it's legal to walk around in public with alcohol... provided it's in a plastic cup. In the historic district. Smaller than 12 ounces. Go ahead, laugh at the ridiculously stupid American laws, you lucky Europeans.
Anyway, for whatever reason, it's the only holiday where I actually feel a bit homesick being an expat in Bangkok. Halloween is fun, and family at Christmas is great, but to me it was always a bigger deal to go watch the parade and party for days on end in March.
So, here in Thailand, I feel I must do my part to represent the tradition, and that's yet another thing that's great about living here: no matter the holiday, no matter the origin, you can find someone celebrating it in Thailand. Any excuse to have a party here, and it's on.
I hear Pattaya goes so far as to have a mini parade of some kind (surprising? This is Pattaya we're talking about here...), and I believe this year it hosted a music festival to coincide with the holiday. But, thanks to lovely summer school and ongoing evening classes, I'm stuck in Bangers, so I figured I'd have to go out and at least find myself a Guinness. And find I did.
Bangkok has been fairly quiet, I would say, for over a year. I've gone out the past few years in Bangkok for the holiday too, and let's just say that the partying scene isn't what it was when I got here a few years ago. This is mainly due to ongoing changes in what is and isn't allowed (read: car bars in the Nana district and forced club closing times).
Still, by the time I got out to Sukhumvit Soi 33, around which there are several British and Irish style pubs, you couldn't even find a seat. In fact, you couldn't even get to the DOOR at the Dubliner, but I guess that should go without saying.
Keeping in mind this is a Tuesday night we're talking about here, I was quite surprised at the number of farangs and their Thai friends who turned out around the Sukhumvit area to have a good party in the name of green. I live north of the last BTS stop in Chatuchak, so I sometimes forget just how many foreigners are living in Bangkok.
It amuses me no end that - halfway around the world from places that would remotely care about a holiday such as St. Patrick's Day, the party rages on.
I'm only directly Irish from two grandparents, but hey, everyone's Irish on St. Patricks' Day.
Am I getting too old to be doing multiple pints of Guinness and Irish Car Bombs? Absolutely. Was I miserable the day after? Without a doubt. But still, when it comes to needing a little taste of home every now and then, holiday or not,
I hope you enjoyed my blog. If you would like to get in touch or perhaps e-mail me with a question, I would love to hear from you - All the best, Sam Thompson.
it's really hard to beat Bangkok.