Have yourself a Mao-ey little Christmas...
We had a door decorating contest and David's door won by a lot! As you can see, Mao Zedong is... everywhere. His face is on the green one yuan bill and on the one jiao coins. Incidentally, his birthday is tomorrow (12/26). Whatever you think of Chairman Mao, this is funny.
We began celebrating Christmas last night at 十一学校 (Shi Yi). All 35 of us ate great food, watched Christmas movies, and played games before heading back to our respective schools to play Santa. At Fu Zhong we hung our stockings in the hallway and snuck out to fill each others' when no one was around. This morning we each contributed something to a wonderful breakfast, including fresh-squeezed orange juice, and then we opened presents. We each drew a name to shop for and it was fun to watch everyone open their gifts.
We also had storytime. There were two good ones.
Trying to get to Shi Yi (seven miles southwest of us, a 30-minute taxi) at 7pm was especially fun in rush hour traffic on Christmas Eve. Many people couldn't find a taxi and some ended up taking a bus. One of these people was Ann. Buses are often stuffed with people, they smell bad, people are all up in your personal space, and it's possible for small children to be relieving themselves on the floor if it's an emergency. This was the situation last night and Ann started to get sick during the ride. She was so sick that she hurled... and kept it in her mouth until they got off ten minutes later. Now I don't know about you but both other options sound much better to me: swallowing or spitting it out.
Tim and Ginger were on their way back from grocery shopping and Tim had two big bags hanging on his handlebars. Tim was trying his hardest but despite his efforts a bag got sucked into the spokes of his wheel and a jug of milk got lodged in it. The top was forced off and completely sprayed two Chinese women in their long coats from head to toe who were waiting at a bus stop. He tried to apologize but they were too shocked to be angry or upset!
We had the rest of the day free to do whatever and I delivered Christmas cookies to the Chinese English teachers of my classes and then visited Ren Da (the unversity) to deliver the rest of my presents. When I got back we had visitors! Many of my students came over on Christmas and it was fun to hang out with them and give them their gifts. At one point there were quite a few students over: Jojo, Handoyo, Ellen, Jackie, Maria, Elaine, Wendy, and Anne. James also stopped by during his lunch break to see all of us.
Christmas is so much fun when you can share it with other people! It adds new meaning to the holiday and its many traditions.