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Today is the 79th birthday of His Royal Highness Bhumibol Aduyladej (Rama IX).  The nationwide celebrations include plenty of fireworks and yellow shirts (for the 60th anniversary of his reign as King of Thailand).  All bars and nightclubs are closed and liquor sales prohibited.  Here in Phuket, we're in the midst of the week-long King's Cup Regatta.

December 5th is also regarded as Father's Day in Thailand (the King being the "father" of the nation).  This morning, Nadia gave me first ever Father's Day card; I was very touched (already I was a bit sad as she left this afternoon for a month or so stay with family up in Kalasin — near the Lao border— but the card cheered me right up!).