Christmas Eve - Pictures speak louder then words

Trip Start Nov 07, 2006
Trip End Apr 05, 2007

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Monday, December 25, 2006

FINALLY, here is the oh-so-must-have literary account of Christmas in Nah Trang, through the eyes of my goodself. Are sitting comfortably?
Good, then I shall begin...

Christmas Eve day started as any other. Woke to the sounds of a loud and spirited irishman sometime after midday - I'm not exactly sure owing to the previous 5 days-worth of alcohol making 'vision' a luxury and hence, I couldnt read. We'll say 1PM anyway.
And so we don this year's must have outfit - the santa suit designed for a ten year old. I felt remarkably at home in this felt-based attire which - depsite being incredibly hot in this 30degree heat - didnt chaffe one bit. Always nice, I feel.

All santa'd up and sunglasses firmly in place, we took to the streets of Nah Trang, hell bent on spreading festive cheer, peace and goodwill to every man, woman and child. Its fair to say that not many parties of 5 Anglo-Irish Father Christmases were abound the streets on this day. Hell, maybe tomorrow the roads would be teaming with them. But not today.

Everybody waved / reciprocated our festive spirit (apart from one particularly obnoxious woman, who rather distainfully informed us she was Jewish - shame, the buddhists and the muslim couple we met seemed to appreciate our jovial gesture); infact one bar owner took full advantage of our new-found celebrity and recruited us to hand out flyers for the Sailing Club, in return for free drinks that night. Tough decision to make.

So after a livener in La Cabone (see the vid clip) and a cheeky baguette en route, we hit the beach. Infact we did no flyer-handing out whatsoever.

Hopefully this should make the mothers proud.

5 of us bought shit-loads of sweets from the abundant hawkers that comb the beaches and, being Father Christmas, liberally distributed them to the throngs of kids that swarmed around us as we trudged up and down the sand. We posed for countless photos for the tourists and locals alike; the highlight of which was undoubtedly with a bunch of pissed-up youths - vietnamese chavs if you will - who then very kindly forced us to cain a shot each of their home-brew rice wine. I HAVE NEVER wanted to be so sick, so soon after drinking any drink. I actually ran to the sea to clear the putrid taste from my mouth.

Please, please do not question the appropriateness of quaffing homebrew, dressed as santa, before wretching infront of adoring children. It was, however, extremely funny and memorable. For me, that is. Not the kids. Thinking about it, though, i seem to remember Father Christmas having a certain penchant for Sherry, which isnt exactly abundant in Vietnam. So rice wine / meths will have to do.

After eventually wrestling free from the pint-sized critters, now frenziedly clawing at our outfits and legs (no matter where you are in the world, kids just cant handle their e-numbers), we embarked on series of chilled beers and decent sea bass & chips on the way back to our hotel, where we prepared for the night ahead.
After a brief respite and recharge we headed back out and hit the bars of nah trang. The Shamrock and La Cabone are quiet, but we manage to rekindle the festive cheer at the Red Apple Bar.
Typically, on Christmas Eve, its a few ales in the pub, before mass. This year, it was buckets of Long Island Iced Tea, before a countdown to Christmas Day, upon the the advent of which, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ by jumping up and down on the pool table like demented idiots, to the soundtrack of "Last Christmas" by George Michael. Oh the hilarity.
Then an impromptue cyclo race to the sailing club (which, I have to report, myself and mark won), to join what seemed like the entire town. The place was absoluetley rammed, with the music a pounding and the drinks a flowing. Everybody there was just in a great, great party atmosphere. The santa suits made a second outing (we stored them there) and the now obligatory photoshoot ensued. After 30 minutes of being dressed like a complete and utter twat, the outfit was strategically stored in the bin in the lavvies.
More music, more buckets, copious dancing as the night just really went off on one. What can i say? The night petered down come 3am and then it was a strategic retreat to Win's baguette stand to satisfy our munchies and take sanctuary from the ladyboys. Rocco and Phil both passed out there (bless them) and there's a great picture of Win mothering them (see gallery).
It was light when 5 of us walked back to the hotel, stumbling (literally) across a comotose, paraletic Dane, en route. Naturally, we did the right thing and took him back to our hotel room, AFTER making him stand so we could take pics / vid clips of his drunken stupor, for the purposes of our amusement. Its the least he could do as we probably saved his life - well, saved him from the ladyboys at least.
Happy Christmas to you mate anyway; and a Happy Christmas to you; and a Hapyy Christmas to Me.
Once again, a truely memorable day.
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