My previous post was a universal Christmas Card to you all. Now I shall tell you how we spent our Chinese Christmas. On Christmas Eve the Chinese English teachers at my school invited me out for coffee and cake in the afternoon which was really kind. Talking to them all outside of school was really relaxing and I felt like I got to know them a bit more. They treated me to a smoothie and very nice Belgium waffle. The head of English even bought me a Christmas present: reindeer gloves!
Mitch and I decided to open our presents in the evening as Christmas day itself we would both be working. Mitch’s parents sent us some gifts perviously (chocolate which we devoured very quickly!). We opened presents from my parents though which included chocolate, socks and the Big Hero Six DVD. We drank some wine and Skyped our parents. It was starting to feel a bit Christmasy.
Christmas being on a Friday actually worked out really well as it meant we had the whole weekend for festivities. I woke up as I usually do at 6am on Friday and got myself ready for school. I cycled to school listening to all the Christmas tunes on my iPod. There was nothing different about the working day. I didn’t feel very Christmasy, although I did give all my children Christmas hats to wear. When I taught drama club in the afternoon they sang Jingle Bells and I made them be santa clause and say ‘Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas’. Very Cute.
I made a swift exit from school at 2.30pm and came home to get ready for the evenings antics. We have a regular bar which we go to and the owner ‘John’ had arranged food, drinks, decorations and karaoke just for us and the other English teachers. We ate noodles, roast chicken, duck, and rice, with cheesecake for desert. Not a roast turkey, but it was a great alternative. The night was so much fun, spending it in a big group was perfect. Due to my 6am wake up, I felt pretty tired but made sure I got my food and drinks’ worth.
We woke up on Boxing Day and had a wonderfully lazy morning. In true Boxing Day style, we listened to Christmas music and ate chocolate for breakfast. We also had a Christmas miracle as we looked outside to see sunshine, blue skies, and not much pollution (earlier in the week the pollution level reached a ‘hazardous’ 400!).
To enjoy the sunshine we headed out for some food and a stroll around the West Lake. A non-pollution day at the lake is great because you can pretty much see it in all it’s glory. We had a nice walk and at one point, a fellow western came up to us
“Can I ask you a favour, can you take a video for me?”
“Sure.” I said. “What of?”
“You’ll see,” he replied as he started to walk away, back to the guy he was with before approaching us. I was curious and half worried he was going to push him in the lake or something. Mitch was quicker than me though and said “Oh my god is he going to propose?” – I’m sure you can hear that on the video and, lo and behold, he got down on one knee and asked the question to his boyfriend. I had to dodge some tourists who got in the way, but hopefully I did a good job of filming it. We gave him his phone back and offered them our congratulations, feeling all emotional that we were part of their special moment.
In the evening, we met up with some friends for some Western food (mmm pizza), and a few more drinks. As opposed to the loudness of the party the previous night, it was much more chilled and a really nice chance to chat to everyone.
Today is December 27th, both Christmas and Boxing Day have finished and this morning we’ve done some work. However, we’re still wearing our Christmas hats and have a bottle of cava in the fridge for later while we catch up on Christmas Doctor Who. It’s certainly been a different kind of Christmas, one I shall never forget, but still been filled with joy and love.