So this is Christmas…
One of my favorite Christmas carols is Little Drummer Boy. The bob seeger version gets me every time. Brings me back to past Christmases with family — hanging up ornaments that my brother and I made when we were 5, opening presents together, sharing food and drink, laughing, talking, more food.
Last night, while walking back to my hotel, one of the bars had that carol playing loudly and for a moment, I was transported back to cold New York — back to my father’s house or my mother’s house (hard to be transported to two places at the same time… but I managed) – imagining my brothers and I hanging out, or all 16+ of us fitting around the table for the Christmas feast. It made me smile… and then I was almost run over by a moped.
Being abroad, solo, is a bit strange for Christmas. First, there is the fact that I am in a predominantly Buddhist country. Then there is the fact that I do not speak the same language as the people here. Then, there is the fact that the biggest manifestation of the Christmas spirit around here is commerical — all the big stores have christmas displays — and not being a shopper (even when I am not trying to live on 30$/day) leaves me feeling pretty disconnected from that. Then there is the fact that I am by myself when Christmas, to me, means lots of aunts running around trying to get the Christmas meal on the table (i.e. – nothing solo about it!). So — all in all — it is hard to feel a connection to this day — other than I know that back in cold snowy New York (ok, even if it is not cold and snowy there — it is in my mind) – my friends and family are celebrating and my aunts (and uncles) will still be running around to get the meal on the table for all 16+ people!
I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s right now — i feel truly blessed and grateful for this journey that I am on — and know that so few people are able to make the same type of choices as I have been able to. However, having said that, it would be nice to magically (and for free!) be able to zip home for a quick visit, eat some good food, have some good ipas, visit with friends and family really quick — and then get back to my adventure! but until then I remain grateful to wifi, skype, spring rolls and other travelers.
No matter how you celebrate the day (with family, eating chinese food, going to the movies) – I hope it is a wonderful day for you and your loved ones. Enjoy, laugh, be grateful and eat and drink well!
Much love — Aurora