Happy Lunar New Year.
After Christmas in freezing cold Ireland
I had my first New Year of 2011 in the even more freezing Poland. Krakow was really great, very surprising. Will have to go back there and to Opole in the summertime. I’ve concluded that Polish people really do not eat swans, as there were quite a few of them swimming in the ice-cold Wisla river. Apparently the fire brigade has to assist sometimes when they get frozen in place.
No photos because I didn’t have my SIM card, here is the nice chess set I got there:
On to Turkey where I thought I would get a bit of warm weather, not realising that Istanbul is on the same latitude as New York City. Very interesting history and places to go there but the wrong time of year to visit. Maybe it’s because there are so few tourists around in January that the local vultures have to work extra hard in targeting the relatively few travelers they do come across. Was shocked by the amount of attempted scamming, cheating, threatening behaviour I came across within just a couple of days. Some of these guys would try every trick in the book and all that “traveller advice” that you read about (and usually ignore) in guide books really does apply here.
Back in Saigon, where just about everyone has gone back to their hometowns for the holiday. It feels like somebody turned the city upside down and shook it repeatedly. People told me that during Tet I would feel too lonely here with the empty streets. By my standards it is still bordering on a traffic jam out there, the place is by no means desolate.
Welcome to the cat.