I’m spending Christmas in New Zealand with family this year, and Auckland’s weather has dawned fine so it promises to be a day of wearing shorts and flip-flops around the barbecue. For northern hemisphere readers that probably sounds pretty exotic, but down here it’s just what we’re used to.
More exotic have been a few other Christmases that I’ve spent on the road.
- In the Vietnamese port town of Nha Trang and attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve at the local Catholic cathedral – all the familiar carols like Silent Night but sung in Vietnamese
- In the Indian city of Panjim in Goa and being entertained on a karaoke disco riverboat cruise by scores of locals wearing fake Santa beards
- Christmas night in Penang in Malaysia, trying to find Fairytale of New York by The Pogues at a karaoke bar. The following morning we felt the earthquake that caused the Boxing Day tsunami and saw the wave roll into Penang’s beaches
What are your memories of Christmas in a foreign country?