I’m kind of a Scrooge about Christmas. Even before we started this adventure, when we were working, the end of December was one time we could get away (far away) and our business wouldn’t suffer. So except for stopping by San Diego last December, we don’t really do Christmas.Part of the issue is that we just got really tired of weeks and weeks of Christmas advertisements Christmas sales and Christmas decorations and Christmas songs. So for us, Christmas in a Moslem country like Senegal has been just about perfect. We end up hearing Christmas songs for maybe three days in our hotel and restaurants, and the Christmas decorations are decidedly understated. And since we don’t buy things, no presents, either. Instead it’s quiet beach time, some good food, and getting ready for New Year’s.
One of the things we don’t usually like about Christmas while we’re traveling is that the hotels often have a mandatory, expensive, and low-quality Christmas Eve dinner obligation aimed more at families with small kids than, well, us. This year was an exception, though: our hotel in Mbour still required to buy dinner at the hotel, but it was a civilized affair, six courses, good food, and starting at 8:30 PM. Live music from a local band. Then Christmas day we drove up to a Radisson Blu hotel in Dakar and had an amazing Christmas dinner at a great Lebanese restaurant. Soft Christmas music playing, nice drinks, and then it’s over. A brief, pleasant Christmas, like they were celebrated decades ago before it became a multi-month extravaganza.
Except for the tropical beach thing; I suppose that wasn’t so typical for most people… So now it’s an overnight flight to DC (getting on a plane at 2:30 AM is bizarre, but that’s the service Africa gets) and then up to Boston for a wedding.