From Burger King to Christmas traditions: The quirkiest travelling experiencesDecember 19, 2016

I was about to munch on my burger when a fellow backpacker noticed my drawl. I don't mind a stranger asking me a question or two, which would be normal on the road. He turned out to be the third person who asked me about the prawns-and-beaches Christmas celebration in Oz. I'm a Sydneysider for as long as I can remember, but it would seem like ages since my last visit to Bondi. Mum warned me about spending hours on the couch, often checking the other galleries in Instagram. I don't know about any custom, which would highlight a warm Christmas season. As a matter of fact, my mates wondered why I chose southern Thailand during my holiday. I don't want to be one of those people who missed Ao Nang, and the distant sight of Ko Phi Phi could be good enough. But I planned to go there the day after tomorrow. Let's get back to Christmas traditions.

I heard about Black Peter, which would highlight the Christmas season in the Netherlands. I wondered if this could be a racist character, and I wouldn't know the Dutch language (or Dutch accent). Besides, it seemed impolite to ask such a thing. It wouldn't seem right to pop up the question in this kind of setting. I imagined Ao Nang to be a traveller's paradise, a strip of fine sands cut off by a limestone mountain range. Alas, this view would be replaced by rows of souvenir shops, semi-open restaurants, and bars. I missed the burger and pizza, and I was delighted to find Burger King in this part of the peninsula. Christmas happened to be a few weeks away, and someone asked me about quirkiest traditions.

I was feeling the heat in the sands a few hours later. I noticed the number of travellers increasing in this strip, hoping to catch the sunset. We were lucky to witness a cloudless sky, and I was eager to use my Canon. My thoughts of Rosa, my brother's girlfriend, interrupted my anticipation. They visited Rosa's sister, who lived in New York. They attended a party, organised by a friend of her sister's, where they noticed a pickle on a Christmas tree. They reckoned that it could be another Christmas tradition, but they forgot to ask its origins. (Alcohol was overflowing during that evening.) It would have been interesting.

I read the news about glass crystals would making up a huge Christmas tree somewhere in Tokyo. A creative idea behind White Christmas, and how I wished I could see it with my own eyes. I haven't made it past the equator, but I figured that I wasn't missing much. I would be on my elements by the seaside, finding myself in one far from home. And then I noticed the flashes of the camera. There were many tourists jostling for the perfect selfie portrait, with the sunset in the background. Fireworks were missing, but it might happen on New Year's Eve.

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