People ask me why I spend Christmas in South Africa. Why don’t I remain in England and have a proper British Christmas? Or, why don’t I go to Hungary, where I used to go, for the snow and the River Danube, which, when partly iced over, resembles shattered crystals?
I’m not sure myself. In England, Christmas seems to last too long (no one in the rest of the world, for example, seems to understand the idea of Boxing Day). And, much as I love Hungary, there is simply a surfeit of fish. Not on the streets, that is, but on the dining table. Hungarian Catholics, who include the maternal side of my family, eat nothing but fish for their Christmas meal. Because the country once had an admiral as regent (Horthy), there are a few imbeciles who assume Hungary has a sea.