|Central Saigon this year|
It's Christmas Eve and all around the house
Nothing is stirring; not even a mouse...............
But the chickens, ducks and dogs in our neighbourhood are all calling and barking at the top of their lungs!
Here in our house near the river in Hoi An, Abba is playing on the i-pod, mulled wine is warming in the pan and Santa has put some presents under the Bonsai tree.
I can hardly believe this is my second Christmas in Vietnam. The first 12 months flew by in a whirl of paintings, publishing, Pecha Kucha, TV interviews, magazine columns, monthly art markets, new friends, delicious food, local wine ( which helped with the blurring) visits from friends, traveling, culture surprises, talking, teaching, sunrise mornings, early bed times, ant bites, street bites, pretty smiles, handsome eyes, poverty shocks, gilded temples, incense and a wonderful discovery of life South-East Asia- style.
In October, I left Saigon and moved 400 km north to Hoi An which is a semi rural small town on the coast just south of Da Nang. The pace of life is slow, pleasures are simple and the bright lights of Saigon with all its convenience and luxuries ( including art materials) have been left behind. The temperature today is 22 degrees and, though I swore I would never say such a thing, we are feeling cold and wish we had brought jumpers with us. But ABBA is on the i-pod so practicing my moves to 'Dancing Queen' is keeping me warm for now!
Tomorrow we will be sailing down the river Thu Bon on a big old wooden boat with some Swedes and the best cook in all of Hoi An. We had a dream of coming back into town to a soft sunset, but I think it will probably be cloudy and rainy ............. just like England! Have a great Christmas wherever you are.