Phew...finally back from a weeks worth of Christmas celebrations. A wonderful trip but so packed with social activity and "guest appearances", that my girlfriend and I (and Thor, our 3½ month old son) drew a huge sigh of relief when we eventually shouldered the front door of our apartment open late this afternoon. Apparently, advertisers and automated billing services never take a break during late December. The amount of mail and commercial junk waiting inside was above usual standards, to say the least. To top the usual January bills, I now also have to pay back my public student loan which bodes ill for a festive 2005...!
Christmas brought some nice gifts. To name a few, I got a very nice Helly Hansen waterproof jacket, a 256 Mb keyring flash drive which is useful since I have so far refused to acquire a laptop computer, "The Confusion" by Neal Stephenson which is the second book in the aforementioned trilogy, and a very flashy Glendronach single malt whisky. I am glad to see my whisky collection recovering once more.
Highlight of our trip was going for a surprise visit to my granddad's in Copenhagen. He's 84 and I hadn't seen him for 2-3 years because of a more or less disinterested relationship (on his part). However, we had him bouncing with joy (imagine that whilst toting one of these) as we proudly presented little smiling Thor to him. The old bugger, like my Dad, instantly metamorphosed into this strangely sentimental babbling creature, constantly seeking some sort of approval or acknowledgement from his great grandchild. If Thor only knew the power he wields.
Of course, the sad events in Asia have overshadowed Christmas a lot. They're counting 123.000 dead now and it is steadily rising. Unbelievable. I've been scavenging the Internet a bit to find pictures, especially from Thailand where I spent 2 months back in 2000. Both Krabi (Rai Leh beach) and Koh Phi Phi are places I stayed for some time. The images from Phi Phi are horrible. I can remember the fragile nature of the island's small township. It was nothing more than simple (mostly wooden) shanties put up on the narrow flat part between two huge cliffs - like the middle of an hour-glass. No major construction work, although some of the rockier parts featured actual masonry. I can picture the impact a 6-10 metre wave must have on such a place, since the civilized part of Phi Phi is completely flat. I found myself imagining what I'd do, if I saw that wave from afar. The only place I can think of was a place called "Reggae Bar" where the backmost parts of the pub rise up against the cliffs. It'd be the only place to seek cover.
Two pages showing amateur video shots of the disaster here and here. Some of this shit scares the hell out of me.
Also, 122 have been killed by the tsunami in Africa...it took the wave 8 hours to reach them and still it kills. It's just too insane...yikes, we're puny and powerless. I want my mommy.
Apart from that...Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy New Year's Eve. Talk about split personality blogging...