23.12.2008 30 °C
Judging by the masses of lights, decorations and skinny fake Santas, you would never guess that we are in a predominantly Buddhist, communist country. They are Christmas crazy here. Every evening hundreds of thousands of parents load all of their kids onto their motorbikes, (maximum of 3 children, two parents and a crash helmet per bike), and ride around the streets taking photos of the decorations. Hundreds stop at the gaudiest displays and line up the children for a photo op. Then they load them back onto the bike and head for the next.
The Xmas lights on Ho Chi Minh City's wide boulevards would put Oxford Street to shame, and the store windows are full of 'presents' which are well beyond the dreams of the average Vietnamese. No matter - the locals clearly enjoy the glitz.
So - here is a skinny, happy Santa on a bike, wishing you all a Very Merry Xmas from Vietnam on our behalf.
To all our families and friends around the world - Happy Christmas and thanks for keeping up with our travels.
With love from Jim and Sheila.