Sunday, December 24, 2006

FROM THE ARCHIVES Merry Christmas!

Greetings to anyone who may read this!

I currently have class in one hour and just recently spoke to a whole spit load of my family members on the phone for 20 minutes. They are all over at my house in Canada for Christmas Eve celebrations.

It's Christmas morning here in China, but it certainly doesn't feel very festive; I can attribute that to the 10 degree grey drizzly weather on one hand and on the other I can very easily say that being at an internet cafe full of smoking spitting 20 year olds doesn't set the mood either. But that's neither here nor there.

Lastnight the celebrations took place and considering the circumstances, I'd say it was a good effort all around. The beautiful Cassandra slaved away in the kitchen for hours like a good housewife, and produced candied yams, shortbread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, perogies and cabbage rolls. Andrea had been at her Mormon church in Shanghai, conferring with rich expatriates, and she brought home rolls, french bread, whipping cream etc that doubled as gifts. Us three girls exchanged gifts and it was a happy occasion. My good friend Woody bought me a wonderful Christmas gift and my neighbour stopped by and brought my some Chinese Wine with a ribbon on it. Ribbons are cool and all, but they don't change the fact that Chinese Wine is only one step above grape flavoured rubbing alcohol. But a nice thought all the same.

I was forced to play judge of this Chirstmas Concert starring my students on Saturday night. The only thing festive about this concert were the imposing (and disturbing) santa head appliques on stage and a few red streamers. The rest was just magic and charm... sort of. The skits put on were in English so of course the English teachers were to be the judges of them. Problems: one, kids in the audience don't know how to shut the beep up so I couldn't hear what was being said onstage; two, I believe in constructive critism while the rest of the judges never gave a rating below 95% even if the performances were awful; three, I had told Woody to meet me in the auditorium to keep me company during the inevitably boring concert, but he got locked out and kept text messaging me during the skits. However, we went out shopping after the concert and he showed me that there actually is an iPod store in Dongyang, which will come in handy seeing as the stupid retarded dog I'm forced to share a house with decided it would be a good idea to eat my iPod headphones and charge cord. To quote a wise man, "Canines are the devil in disguise".

I'm finishing up chapter 3 of my long and winding crime novel. It's getting extremely tense, so much so that I have to take a break from it and settle down a little bit. I'm instead spending my time learning how to text message and send instand messages to my friends in Chinese. It's quite simple really, you just have to know how to spell things in Pinyin, which I am also currently studying. I will be master of all things "Asian Tech and Communications" by the end of the year, that is a promise.

I'm off to teach 3 conversational English classes on the subject of "Idioms" such as "you must be pulling my leg", "it cost an arm and a leg", "the whole world hates me" etc. You get the picture.


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