I'm still here. The strangeness of the Christmas season seems to have an anti-blogging influence. But the main reason for my absence is the presence of visitors in town for a week.

We had New Year's at the flat last night. Two under ten children couldn't quite make it to midnight, so I walked them and their parents to the bus for the short ride to the penzion. On the way, the fireworks were dropping all around us. Mostly male groups all holding bottles of rum or champagne were swaying and running and shouting down the streets. We heard glass breaking. The visitors' eyes were rather large. A long way from a few sparklers and fireworks viewed from a distance, which is what they're used to back in the states.

At midnight I was standing at Kulatak underneath about eight groups of fireworks launchers competing for noise and effect. There were people with wired up launchers firing what looked like professional fireworks. They were private parties. If you can get high explosives for fun so easily in this country, no wonder nice people from the east come here shopping for weapons.

Have you ever noticed how so many people who comment on Christmas like to point out how stressful and unpleasant it can be? Why do we do it? My family took one step toward sanity this year by deciding to limit gift giving to one person, one gift. Names were placed in a box, a drawing ensued, and much reduced shopping burdens resulted. Bad for the economy, but good for the soul.

Happy New Year.

Steve | 15:10 |