Christmas is big in Vietnam.
“See you next time when it’s drier.” That was the message we received from Poom, a Bangkok resident and family friend who had graciously agreed to host us, gently telling us that—in the face of Bangkok’s “worst floods in fifty years”—it probably wasn’t the best time to come for a visit.
I was living in Japan as a Rotary exchange student in 1997 when the British lease of Hong Kong expired. Watching the celebrations on television, I longed to visit and see Hong Kong for myself. These people knew how to party, I thought. What’s more, they lived in a beautiful tropical city, sitting right on the water, with some of the tallest and narrowest buildings I had ever seen. Fourteen years later, I finally made it, and Hong Kong did not disappoint.