Tiger On Tour: Merry Christmas

Last updated : 11 May 2009 By Andy Beill
Christmas came early here in Saigon as you may know it... 7 hours early, of course. It's now 2pm here in Vietnam's capital while many of you are only just getting up with, hopefully, a great day ahead of you. Christmas isn't really celebrated here, and besides decorations and festive music in some places, today is a day like any other. Everywhere is open as usual (and seemed confused when I asked if they would be) and the weather is 30°C.

For a proper celebration you should have seen the carnival following Vietnam's 2-1 win against Thailand. The roads were even busier than they are normally as everyone rode their motorbikes home, cheerily beeping their horns, singing and chanting, and waving their Vietnam flags. A solitary policeman kept order of the hundreds, possibly thousands, of vehicles filling the roads. And this is only after the first leg of the Suzuki Cup Final; I can't imagine how wildly they'll celebrate if they hold on to the lead!

Since travelling down from Hanoi, the places I've visited in Vietnam have been much quieter, but Ho Chi Minh City's more like it! In Nha Trang - a beautiful beach resort - I woke up at 5:15am to watch the re-run of City's match against Sunderland (having resisted the temptation to find out the score for nearly two days). When I turned it on, the score was 1-1 with an hour played, as the schedule must have changed. Still, I got to see the last half hour and Sunderland didn't look like winning it until that really lucky deflected goal and then Ricketts' sending off. The scoreline flattered them, but I'm glad we went for it.

I should be able to watch the whole of the Manchester City game tomorrow night, being shown on a slight delay at midnight. If you're going to the match, it's a great stadium, a bit like the Circle but enlarged. Give them a shout for me!

Andy - Tiger on Tour