Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas in China!!

Well, it Boxing Day here in China (for the Americans in the audience which I suppose is most of you, that is the day after Christmas) and I'm busy packing my things for my trip to Beijing. Let me just say that Christmas in China has been wonderful. I was not looking forward to missing out on the family get-togethers and yearly celebrations, but I was pleasantly surprised at how Christmas-y my Christmas actually was.

I had Christmas morning with a Christmas tree and all. Granted it was a 10-inch tall plastic tree, but it was a tree nonetheless. My best presents were from Louise: I got a Chinese chess set, a jar of Branston Pickle, and a book called 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. Very cool. I guess the only other present I got was a Glenfiddich clock from Mickey, the owner of Hanava, but I think every guy in the place got one.

An Australian couple named Jennifer and Paul invited many people over to their house for Christmas dinner. It was amazing. About 30 people came, with approximately half being Chinese. The food... oh the food. We started the evening off with mulled spiced wine before moving on to the food. We had ham, turkey, stuffing, brussel sprouts and bacon, green beans, mashed potatos, sweet potato pie, pork tenderloin, duck risotto & pumpkin. Then for dessert we had apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, Christmas pudding w/cream, mince pies, and fruitcake. It was fantastic.

The coolest part of the whole day was how accepting everyone was. I've met this woman Jennifer before, but I wouldn't say I'm particularly friendly with her. And yet, she invited half of Yantai to her house for a wonderful Christmas celebration. We even sung carols afterwards around the Christmas tree.

Anyway, I missed my family very much at Christmas and I wish I had been there with everyone. I am glad I got to speak to the fam for a few minutes on the phone, but I did have quite a nice Christmas.

I am excited to go to Beijing today as I have not yet been there. Louise and I are flying there today for a few days; she has to fly home to England for a few months. A bunch of my Phi Psi bros are flying in on Wednesday to visit for two weeks and I can't wait to see them. And, as an added bonus Charles is bringing my brand new Apple Powerbook with him.

Life is good.