Ashley / Holidays and Celebrations

A Year in Review and an Update

It has been quite a year for us at malawithafork. We’ve lived in three different apartments, visited four different countries (and one special administrative region), we’ve started new adventures, made new friends and said “see you soon” to old.

We’ve consumed pounds of mala but have recently turned our sights to chillies of a different nature. We’ve set off fireworks in the street, contemplated temples and stone warriors. We’ve gone running again, and again, and again, and again, and again. We braved floods, explored new places and gone for a hike, or two.

Phil moved to Bangkok at the start of December just in time for the King’s birthday. Saying goodbye after 2 1/2 years in Chengdu was exhausting to say the least. Since then we’ve been exploring the neighborhood on his newest toy (and pretty kickin Christmas present) a Suzuki Shogun motorbike. We hit Chatachuck, stayed at the Asadang, got a sighting of Thai royalty, climbed the golden mount, experienced the glory of Asia Herb Association, ate A LOT of street food and had drinks at Nest, Brew and La Monita. I survived my first concert season at school, took part in a progressive Christmas party and made moussaka for the first time. It’s been busy – really.

Now that we’re in America though we get some time to reflect and look back on the highlights of the year.

Our favorites for the year (we’d like to remind you that we just stopped living in China so our favorites may not reflect things created in 2011 and we’d like to think that we’re important enough to do “best of” lists anyway):

Movies/TV
Phil: “Game of Thrones” – it was mindless enough to get us through the bleakness of Chengdu winter. After all, “winter is coming.”
Ashley: It wasn’t a huge movie year for us, the King’s Speech was probably the best thing I saw. Homeland was some fantastic television though.

Book
Phil: All the different Thailand travel guides in our apartment.
Ashley: The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Urrea, Bossypants by Tina Fey and the Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Meal
Phil: South Africa wins with freshly picked mussels (by us!) sauteed in butter and garlic on a private beach/nature reserve in Oubos.
Ashley: Bangkok’s Polo Fried Chicken’s Issan food is one of my new favorite spots in Asia. You can’t beat fried chicken with garlic crispy bits and sticky rive with a smoky chili lime sauce.

Music
Phil: Computer vs. Banjo, the Black Keys
Ashley: Passion Pit, Throw me the Statue, Abigail Washburn, the Drums, Admiral Fallow

Favorite Trip
Phil: Our “stay-cation” in Chengdu over Chinese New Year
Ashley: Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge

Phil’s Favorite Photos

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