Water taxi on San Saep Khlong
We took the water taxi on the San Saep Khlong at the end of Thonglor in order to join the 255 million people worldwide who were celebrating the life of the great bard of the Scots, Robert Burns. In fact his birthday is today on 25th January.
We felt great knowing that we would be among his followers again, drinking, eating the haggis, and listening to the various addresses and speeches, and at the end singing together ‘Auld lang syne’. The Bangkok St. Andrew Society Burns Supper is a wonderful event. We had been there last year, therefore, the 2010 celebration was ‘a must not miss’ on our social schedule for the year.
Crossing the road near Amari Watergate Hotel
Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok
About 90 to 100 faithful, Scots and their friends from all walks of life, had gathered at the Amari Watergate Hotel. We arrived an hour early (we had missed an e-mail) but spend the time enjoying a glass of white wine and talking to some of the other members of the Society.
The welcome by the Chieftain
After the Chieftains’ welcome and the toast to the King of Thailand, the Selkirk Grace, a prayer was said by Caroline Elliot. After that the haggis was piped in by Mike Brooks and toasted by us, the guests. The address to the haggis was delivered by Chieftain Willie Christie.
The address to the haggis
We enjoyed the haggis, neeps and latties, and had a jolly good time meeting old friends and making news ones. The highlights were ‘The Toast to the Lassies’ delivered by our good old friend Rab Thomas and the reply, ‘The Lassies response’ by Kirsty Hastie Smith. Both excellent speeches which delighted the audience.
Rab Thomas and Basjia
All kind of entertainment followed, songs and poems performed by Dan Fagan, Kirsty Hastie Smith and Mike Brooks. I do not remember all the details any more, because the bottle of Ballantine’s Whisky on our table found its way into my glass. I only took a photo of the Scottish cheeses but the food was delicious overall and I liked the sea-bass entree, the broth and the haggis as well as the dessert.
The cheese platter
Way after the official end of the event, we somehow made our way home successfully, utterly satisfied, we had had good food, plenty of drink and great company. As every year my pledge is to read some more of Robert Burns’ poems. Also German Celts from the Mosel can enjoy and appreciate Scotland’s favorite son, the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire.
If you have the chance to somehow somewhere be invited to a Burns Supper, accept the kind offer and engulf in Scottish tradition.
PS: My first Burns Supper was in the early 1990ies in the Palace Hotel in Beijing. During my recent visit, I passed by reminiscing about golden days gone bye. The hotel is renamed now but the large flower pot near the entrance which was generously nourished by my old friend, the late David McGrath, when we took our bodies home at 4 in the freezing winter’s morning, was still there.