Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas far from home

15 Jan

When I first decided that I would stay in South America over Christmas I have to admit I was a little concerned that maybe I would miss it. Now that all festivities have passed and we are well into the swing of January there is no doubt that it was the right move and I would recommend everyone from England to book a flight and get the hell of that island next time Santa comes round, and not even just for the week of Christmas, the two weeks before and after too!

The lack of pressures is an absolute delight. No need to worry about co-ordinating those work-related Xmas parties, having to contend with the thousands of presents getting stuffed in your eyeholes via the tv, newspapers, Internet, shop window and whatever other surface happens to be facing in your direction between October and December, but most of all, the ability to get the hell out of the house. The ability to go to the beach, go to a poolside party, have a couple of beers in the park, these are the sort of things we should be doing when we have two weeks off work, not sat inside our houses watching 3-hour long episodes of Coronation Street and finding out the exact point when your body is ready to vomit from eating too many nut truffles. It’s such a waste of free time!

Now we’re two weeks into January and the fact that not one single person I have spoken to has mentioned a resolution of any kind, no diets, no yoga videos, no gym memberships or anything else that basically relates to the marketing of health-related products to people sitting on couches, stuffed with turkey and chocolate. Everyone actually seems pretty happy and in fact are more preoccupied with getting out to the beach while they have some free time than anything else.

God, I ended up ranting a little bit there. I do apologise! In a slightly diagonal note, I now have a camera after both my camera and mp3 player broke. I forked out for a multi-functional mp3/mp4/camera/voice-recorder thing-a-me-job. I figured it should be christened with a couple of photos. So here goes:

So this is the first one, just a quick shot of my current pad, up on there on the eighth floor. It’s the balcony just before the top.


And more importantly. This is my ticket to the Bimbo Cup, taking place tonight. I have been reliably informed there will be at least 70,000 bimbos in attendance. This seems like an adequate number. More interestingly, though, is the fact that I will get to see two football matches. The first, Danubio, featuring a ridiculously over-weight Alvaro Recoba, against Nacional, current champions of Paraguay, and the second, Nacional v Penarol, just about one of the biggest rivalries in football, or it would be if these two teams hadn’t been pretty rubbish for the last 20 years. Anyway, normally it is sold out. Stupidly, I forgot to buy a ticket before today and had to pay for the expensive seat. A whopping 5 pounds! It would have been 3 quid if I had acted faster.

My ticket to the bimbo cup!
My ticket to the Bimbo Cup

Post-Christmas Blur in Buenos Aires

27 Dec

So it’s the day after Boxing Day and I’m already starting to fall to pieces. Buenos Aires during Christmas is not a place to get any relaxation. After a month of living the quiet life, getting regular siestas, playing guitar for most of the day, all the food I could possibly eat and going to bed at 2am, which is quite a normal time to go to sleep here, I feel I can’t keep up with the pace.

After a 26 hour bus journey followed by 14 hours of drinking, half an hour’s sleep, more drinking, a few more hour’s sleep, then getting quite drunk yesterday in the daytime only for everyone to decide to go out at 3am (just when I was getting ready to bed) and now after waking up covered in sweat after a few more hours sleep (it’s so hot!) I’m really not sure how much longer I can go on.

Plus, I’m currently sharing a room with some crazy Dutch guy who seems to think that he can really get me to enjoy Dutch techno music by playing it consistently in my earholes, when I’m just trying to have a nice naptime. Being made to listen to music completely involuntarily will only result in offence, why does he not realise this?

Now, I’m just waiting for him to take a shower or something so I can sneak out without him trying to come too!

Here comes the steamboat from Spain

1 Aug

Santa Claus is Dutch. Well the story of Santa Claus is anyway. His original name is Sinterklaas and he wears bishop’s robes and a pointy red hat. He lives in a castle in Spain with Black Pete and every Saint Nicholas’s Eve he catches a boat to Holland. When he arrives, him and a whole tonne of Black Pete’s have a big party before he goes off on his white horse and leaves a sack of presents outside everyone’s house, or sometimes Black Pete will climb down the chimney and put some oranges next to the shoes that the children laid by the fireplace the previous night. If the children have been bad he will leave a bunch of willow branches so the parents can give them a good thrashing. In school, after PE class they sometimes have Black Pete class where all the kids learn how to a good Black Pete. No-one is quite sure why Black Pete is black. It is either because he is an orphan Moor child that Sinterklaas helped and then adopted in Spain, or because he is a chimneysweep.

I think when the Dutch settled in America, they decided that loads of white people smearing black all over their faces and having a celebration might raise a few eyebrows, and so replaced them with Elves. And with their canal network far inferior to that of Holland, the only logical step was to give him a sleigh and bunch of reindeers. I don’t know why the date was changed from 6th December to 25th December. I guess it made things easier for it to be tied in with that Christ chap. Too many holidays in one month could be bad for business after all.

Who knew meeting a Dutch couple could be so enlightening. I feel my mind has expanded!

Oh, and one more thing, the most popular song at this time of year is ‘Here comes the steamboat from Spain.’ I’ve heard it, it’s a classic!