I fucking love Christmas. Seriously. If ever the good lord should bless me with a flock of Little Richard’s it’s unlikely I could care more for them than the period between December 1st and 26th. If the same Creator figure, in his infinite wisdom, presented me with a choice, my no doubt gorgeous children or an eternal Christmas, I wouldn’t even blink. Those poor, beautiful bastards wouldn’t know what hit them.

This is my 4th Christmas away from home. The first I spent lounging in a dubious eco-lodge in the far north of Cambodia, the second lounging in a dubious hostel amongst the hutongs of Beijing. The third saw me booked into an outrageously expensive and dubiously luxurious hotel in the middle of Tokyo and now my fourth sees me coupled with dubious characters in an extremely lovely hostel in Bogota, wondering when the multitude of presents from home will arrive. Any minute now.

Anyway, what the hell have I been up to, I hear no-one asking. Well, I should reply, quite a bit. Perhaps most significantly I have given up, for the moment, the life of a wayward traveller. Although I have enjoyed living from a backpack leaving random pieces of underwear behind like a snug-fitting trail of breadcrumbs I wanted a smidgeon of stability over the Christmas period. Where better, thought I, than the very portal from whence I began my Colombian experience? Where better indeed. So here I am in the hostel that welcomed me to this country answering doors, cleaning tables and welcoming visitors with cheery smiles and inappropriate innuendos. It is a toilsome lifestyle, perhaps not entirely dissimilar to that of a Victorian chimney sweep; a life of hard work, small rewards and overwhelming personal satisfaction. Finally, I am a man.

One drawback from all this positive mental reenforcement is a constant state of exhaustion. When I’m not working I’m in some nightclub causing a sensation with my newly acquired salsa skills. When I’m not dancing up a storm I’m working. When I’m not working or boogieing on down I’m sleeping, badly. Again the parallels with Victorian working conditions persist, although I imagine the average miner didn’t make it to as many parties as me. Maybe only once per week.

Hastily scrawled complaints aside I’m having a whale of a time and can’t think of anywhere else, with the obvious exception of Chez Godwin, I’d rather spend my Christmas.

Not wanting to end on too positive a note, here’s a festive song about smashed dreams and ruined childhoods.

Feliz Navidad!


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