The Arrival

On the first day of the New Chinese Year of the brown Cow (Ox) 2009...
This envelope arrived at our house. Unopened by Thai customs, quite surprising that fact I have to add. Want to see what was inside, click here. What a great way to start a new year. Mind you, I am not Chinese, so the watch gifts were absolutely perfect for me. In Chinese customs watches or clocks should not be presented to friends, because one does not want to me remembered of time. Maybe this custom was "invented" because watches and clocks were so expensive in the old times. This is of course only my personal guess. Other items that are no no for Chinese gifts are socks (makes friends want to run away) or knives (friends could hurt themselves). In Thailand, these Chinese customs are known too. And Thais always find a good workaround. One simply returns one Thai Baht (35 Baht equal one USD at the time of writing) as a symbolic price and then the no no gifts are not gifts anymore. Very clever indeed.