In search of a real Christmas

Despite my intense passion for travel, and my constant struggle to be free of the shackles of Britishness, there are some yearnings from my childhood that never go away. One is to not spend Christmas in a country where the temperature, even during December, regularly tops 30 degrees centigrade. I hadn’t really thought about spending Christmas in a non-Christian society before, but I daresay this would feel decidedly odd, too: no Christmas turkey, no Christmas trees, no street decorations, no cheesy Christmasy jinngles blaring out of Woolworth’s shops, and most particularly no alcohol.

It is too nightmarish to think about.

This is why we decided to come to Italy (Naples) instead and spend Christmas there. As the folk here will tell you: home not only to the original Italian pizza, but also to the presepi navity scenes, which every house in Naples is decorated with during this season.

We had been planning to spend Christmas in Egypt – which, I daresay, would have had a similar feeling to one spent in Sudan – but a series of cock-ups with our residency permit meant that it was too late for us to get a visa to go there.

Still Naples is fun, and very relaxing. Eating and drinking far too much. But then, I figure, in a few days, when we go back to Sudan, we will be reverting back to a diet of Pepsi and assorted beans. So make the most of things while you can, I say!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to one and all.


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