Hello 2010; sorry I’m a bit late.
Switzerland and France were great but I’m culturally confused.
Every year that I’ve lived in Bangkok I’ve found it tough to accept that Christmas is on its way; the most important sign of all - the weather - is wrong (I am British… remember?) There might have been carols playing since Halloween finished; there might be thirty foot Christmas trees in all the malls, holly and snowflakes on the sky walk, but with a constant temperature of around 34°C, well, I can hardly believe Father Christmas is due.
But if real Christmas weather was what we wanted… this year we certainly got that.
We opened our presents on 23 December and then we flew to Geneva. Cor blimey, it was cold. Actually, ‘cold’ doesn’t begin to do it justice: it was ab-so-bloody-lutely freezing. What a total wuss I’ve become since living in Bangkok.
On Christmas day (the real one) we donned Michelin man type clothing and wandered about a mostly closed Geneva. It was probably just as well because boy was it expensive. We spent a couple of hours in Starbucks and then narrowly avoided lunch in MacDonalds by discovering an Italian restaurant in the city centre… See, crazy?
I was able to access the foreign language centre in my brain. At one time this contained quite a bit of French and German, a smattering of Latin and Thai, plus a minute amount of Spanish, pretty much for the ordering of beers only. Unfortunately, in Geneva, every time I opened my mouth to speak, a mad mixture of French and Thai emerged. In the end, I decided it was better to keep quiet and gesticulate a lot.
I didn’t ski – have I told you how MUCH I hate skiing? Still the family – and the chosen family, with whom we went – have all survived the Alps again without any broken bones.
We got back yesterday. The really awful thing about being British is that I'm already moaning about the weather. It’s hot here - even though it's the coolest time of the year - but we have air con... I can’t quite get it set right so I’m still sitting in a perishing cold wind… And I’m still wearing a cashmere hoodie and sheepskin slippers.