My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Day

Part 2 to “My Christmas Abroad”. You’ve read part one, Christmas Eve, so now dive right into an insight to my Christmas Day.

Welcome back! So you find yourselves back, again, reading my wonderful tales and I thank you for that but if you have found your way here for the first time then this is the 2nd part to my 2 part series of “My Christmas Abroad”. If you go here and read part one then return to this part you will get the full details into the time I spent Christmas abroad: My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Eve (Part 1 of 2).

All caught up? Good, lets dive right in.

Christmas Day

Where the excitement had happened Christmas Eve this day didn’t have as much excitement as I’d like to write about. One thing  that happened this day  was where I got hurt, not physically but still hurt. This situation really disrupted the whole trip and changed how I looked on people and changed my outlook on life. I came back from the trip still learning and making mistakes but its a trip that I’d never change. Learn from your experiences.

So disruption aside there is something quite nice about waking up stepping outside and going for a swim. Having a drink by the pool and meat on the braai (barbecue). Just take a moment to imagine huge piece of boerewors sausage with a range of other meats on the braai with the sun beating down playing a bit of water sports in the pool… IN DECEMBER. Pure bliss.

We had no presents that day but we were on a Road Trip around South Africa! You could say that we missed Christmas that year but the road trip was awesome enough.

The evening came to an end with a game of poker with the hostel owners and friends. I’d love to say I won lots of money but in all honesty I can’t remember. I probably did though ;).

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The end.

You’ve heard about my Christmas abroad so I’d to hear from you, the readers. Have you experienced Christmas in another country?  Or away from family? Have you ever “missed” a christmas? Let me know in the comments.

TheMichaelJoseph

 

My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Eve

The start of my TWO part series of “My Christmas Abroad” in South Africa. This is the Christmas Eve edition.

This will be a TWO part series.
Many of you, my few readers dotted around the world – HELLO, FROM THE OTHERSIDE, – will have spent Christmas at home with your family every year since you were born. Some may have had circumstances that disrupted your traditional Christmas celebrations but even fewer would have been in another country over the festive period. Did I mention that I have?

A brief back story: In 2010 myself and a girlfriend of the time embarked on a 3 week Road Trip around South Africa. Starting in Johannesburg and driving to Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, up to Kimberley and returning back to Johannesburg. As you may have guessed this was over the Christmas period.

Sitting and writing this brings some memories back both good and bad and I can tell you this time was one of the hardest times I’ve ever had to experience BUT an experience I would never change.

So Christmas 2010 was in Durban, South Africa. To be quite honest I had no idea we would be in Durban over Christmas so there was no real run up to Christmas feeling.

Christmas Eve 2010

So if any of you know me will have likely heard one of my favourite stories of the whole trip. Something that could have quite easily been an absolute disaster.
Durban has a beautiful beach and this was our 2nd day here so as you would expect a beach visit was over due. We parked the car, walked along the beach front and chose a spot to sit. It was swimming time but the issue was there was only two of us which had to mean our stuff would be left alone. I was sceptical of leaving the bag and towels which had almost all of our important belongings in it: the car keys, phone, her passport, money and so on. As my ex walked down to the water and I hesitatingly followed a short time after only a mere minute or two after I had walked away a small child had run along and grab the bag…

It was all a blur really I saw a child running and towels in the air. Shouting down to the beach front “He’s grabbed our bag!” (or something along those lines) and just losing sight of him in the crowds.
As you could imagine a rush of shock, anger and emotions raged through the pair of us a hunt pursued. She, my ex, walked one way and I stood there helplessly lost in a country where I knew 1 person properly. So I passed looking around to see if I could see the child. 

No LUCK… for about 30 minutes (give or take).

But this is a somewhat happy ending. As I walked off up to the main road in a state of confusion with “WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW?” running through my mind over and over. Whilst my ex still no where to be seen in the other direction. A large burly man police man native to South Africa shouted at me. *Its important to stress that up until this point that I have only heard of corruption in South Africa*

I have to say at this point you miss out on my beautiful version of his accent.
He goes:

Police officer: “HEY YOU, IS THIS YOUR BAG”
Me: *absolutely stunned and sheepishly responded* “yes! yes it is!”

However it is to say I was confused as he did not only have the bag but he had someone in hand cuffed next to him but it was NOT the child I saw. The exchange continues:

Police officer: “What is in your bag?”
Me: *Lists off all the items I can think of…*
Police officer: “Is this the man who stole it?”
Me: “No, it was a boy”

THE BAG HAD ALL OUR BELONGING’S

To cut this short as I’m sure you have read enough by this point. I found my ex and the exchange continues.  The police officer was insisting that we pressed charges against the man as he was connected to a gang that use children to steal and then hand off items to them. This was not an option as it could have taken TWO weeks to sort out and we had places to be.

To round out this long winded post. This is a story that I can only say was a crazy highlight of mine as you could not have made it up. Had I not walked up to the road then that police officer may never have found me and this could have quite easily ruined the trip. ALAS it did not.
I do hope you enjoyed this part 1 to “My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Eve” Edition and hope you return for the actual Christmas Day events in part 2.

Thanks for reading,
TheMichaelJoseph.