We don't live far from the Thai Embassy in Canberra and every year they have an open day and masses of people flock along.
In truth very few of them give two hoots about Thai culture and the lovely gardens that surround the large embassy - most of them are in search of the many Thai food stands which pack a corner of the grounds.
Sunday was a bit showery but we braved the weather and headed for our Thai feast together with some of our friends and their children.
The open day also features a 'Wishing Tree'.
I'm not sure of the origins of Thai Wishing Trees, but essentially it comprises a tree with coloured stars hanging off it which you then pull off using a long forked stick.
The colour of the star (combined with your original ticket) entitiles you to an array of (slightly odd) prizes ranging from Thai Coca Cola t-shirts, toys, assorted thai sauces and bags of rice. An eclectic mix of items, probably secured for free by the Thai embassy.
Last year Eli won a big bag of rice. It was an odd prize to give to a (then) 3 year old and he cried quite a bit.
In prepardness for this year's trip we told Eli that his prize had kept us in rice for the last year (remarkable for a small bag!) and forgetting his tears at the time he was filled with pride that he had provided for us for so long!
His pride ran for so long that when he won a prize this year (another bag of rice) he didn't cry, but was rather pleased with himself. The lady at the counter tried to swap it with him for another gift but he refused. When his sister won another large bag of rice she similarly was happy - "We've now got enough rice for 2 years!" she told me.
Other kids ran around with their thai stuffed toys - ours were content with two bags of rice!
Here's some pictures of them by the wishing tree..