Saturday, August 15 2020


Christmas cheer

Update: December, 23/2018 - 09:00

By Robert Bicknell

Ah Double issue time… the newspaper equivalent of playing 36 holes in one day, but in this case it would be on two different courses because we combine the Christmas and (Western) New Year issues. This always presents a problem for me because I have such wildly divergent feelings about both of them.

For example, Christmas (as a religious holiday) doesn’t do anything for me as I’m not a Christian, but as a semi-human, I appreciate the commercial aspect of the holiday spirit and seeing everyone happy during this time of year. So it’s a win –win for everyone, despite not having a “White Christmas” in Viet Nam due to the lack of snow.

But, I’m still pissed I never got that pony I asked for when I was 10 years old. Years later, I asked Santa why he never got me the pony and he replied: “First of all, you’re Jewish. Secondly, I gave you a college education. Buy your own pony.”

I hate smartass Santas… especially when they’re right. I wanted a Harley later in life and never got that either, so suffice it to say I’m kinda down on Santa, but I did get a new set of TaylorMade irons, so I guess that’s OK too. Pity I don’t play much anymore to really enjoy them, so a Harley would’ve been more practical, not to mention more fun.

My daughter asked me if I wanted a Rocking Chair for Christmas, and I offered her a free trip to the moon in return. I’m not ready for that.

Christmas Golf is always a fun experience because it’s a great excuse to get away with the family and there are many clubs which have special hotel – golf packages to fit your budget.

Here in Viet Nam, most of the people I know are heading to their home countries for the holidays, so it can get kinda lonely, and the best cure for that is heading out for 18 holes at a top course.

For me, the Golf Coast of Nha Trang, Đà Nẵng and Hồ Tràm are the ideal getaway location for any holiday due to the proliferation of top hotels and fantastic golf courses. Wife and daughter get the beach, pool and shopping, and I get the golf course. Something for everyone.

There are some companies which effectively close down between Christmas and New Year, so with that amount of time available, scheduling a full overseas golf holiday is always a possibility, although Hawaii is a bit of a long flight, there’s always Singapore, Malaysia and Bali to visit.

Now then, on to the New Year… agggh.

To be honest, I am really looking forward to 2019 because it cannot possibly be worse for me than 2018 which totally sucked. That was the year I turned 60 years old and went into semi-retirement, both of which I dislike greatly and, to be honest, I still haven’t come to grips with either one of them.

In the gym, I still think I’m young and lift more than I should, on the golf course I still expect 300 yard drives and I still hope for a new club job even though I get replies from them saying I’m “overqualified” which is their nice way of saying “We want someone younger.”

Yes, it sucks and I want to remind them of the joke about the “Old Buffalo and the Young Buffalo”, but they probably wouldn’t get it. Suffice it to say that we Silver Wolves and Grey Panthers earned every grey hair on our heads and each grey hair equals experience that you cannot get from a book. I’ve probably forgotten more about the golf business than most of the younger guys will ever learn, but, nowadays, appearance tops experience.

Go figure…

Yeah, I’ve never been good at accepting things as they are, but then again, if I listened to all the naysayers and negative people in my life, I would never have been as successful as I have been, or had the amazing adventures in life that I’ve had.

Still, I could have been even more successful if I listened to those voices inside my head. You know which ones I’m talking about…

The ones that said “Buy a Harley…”

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. — VNS


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