Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

One day I should sit down and count how many different countries I have spent Christmas in. I guess that it would be around twenty, including one, Saudi Arabia, where Christmas was actually illegal, and I was an outlaw Father Christmas wearing a contraband Santa Claus outfit borrowed from a Saudi princess. One of the best Christmas Days was in Kiev when the worst of times turned into the best of times, after my passport, credit cards, keys to my home etc, which had been stolen on a crowded metro, were returned to me. This made the blue and red Santas competing for business of any kind in the main square seem more appealing.

I once saw one of the guards at the eternal flame in Moldova being kissed and hugged by his girlfriend to keep him warm, while the other one stood to attention, but perhaps the strangest sight I ever saw was in South Korea where I saw a smoking Santa standing in front of a place called the F--k Club, watching a performing dog being warmed by a portable heater.

This Christmas was spent on a beach in Oman, with Swedish tourists, eating king prawns, mussels, roast turkey and an outstanding Christmas pudding cooked by an Indian chef, whilst watching Russian and Philippina entertainers.

Merry Christmas!


  1. I howled at the first picture, loved the other two, and relished the Dickensian allusion. Also could relate to the post, as I've had my passport stolen while hopping a train in southern Spain (total pain), and my wallet lifted both In Paris (Metro) and New York (Grand Central Station). I'm getting better at hanging onto things now!!! Merry Christmas, Ian! And hello to the cat!

  2. I always enjoy your pictures from all over the world. Merry Christmas!!! Feliz navidad! I miss Christmas in summer time. Enjoy for me too.

  3. I LOVE the first picture! xDDDD
    Have a merry christmas!

  4. I wish you a happy new year, rich like your different Christmas... and more than that...

    Thanks for the pictures too ;)

  5. i love it! i swear i can picture every scene. warm wishes ian!

  6. Hi Ian
    it's me,
    pink pencil.
    I left a message at your old blog for you
    in the pm box.

  7. Your blog is so flippin interesting and a lived out dream of mine. How do you support yourself? Sorry if this is an obvious question and you make a living on your writing. :) I just stumbled upon your blog this morning. Love it.

  8. No, no! The first picture is just so wrong :)!

  9. Sounds like you had a wondeful Christmas. Wow! I love the image of the solider being kissed by his girlfriend. How lovely!

  10. The first picture is the funniest! You Christmas this year sounds like a lot of fun! Happy New Year!

  11. Funn-y!! you are a hoot. Isn't F--k, chicken or something like that. On no, maybe not. looks like it's on the 3rd floor... ha ha. WHAT is up with the blue santas? Happy New Year to you Ian. Hope this one finds you a new home so you can keep working on your 20!!! Jodi

    PS Maine is only good in the summer fall. Right now it's 7 but "feels like" says
    it's -2. Oh my!

  12. nice blog and nice collections...


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