Shengdan Kuaile to all, and to all wan an!

25 12 2009

“Merry Christmas” in Chinese is “Shengdan Kuaile.” (Pronounced SHUNG DAN KWEYE LUH”) So it’s now Christmas day here in Nanjing. We had a few people over for Christmas Eve, which was a nice, relatively low-key event. Our apartment is tiny, so it was the closest we’ve gotten to reproduce the feel of a Chinese bar, minus the smoke. So with everyone here, we went down to the local “big restaurant” with private rooms and had your standard Chinese dinner – Gong bao ji ding (Kung Pao Chicken), Yu xiang qiezi (Eggplant), Di san xian (vegetable dish – means “three treasures of the earth”), Nanjing Salted Duck, and a few others that I don’t know the name of. The dinner was fine, nothing too spectacular. After that, everyone came up, and we have some bad Chinese wine and chatted a bit. Everyone left a little early, which was surprising, but it was OK, since Missy and I could take the opportunity to just have a quiet night at home, which doesn’t happen very often.

Christmas in China is a little strange. I think that Missy has probably talked to most of you about it, but they view Christmas as more of a quaint Western festival, so they do lots of things that annoy the foreign teachers, like having dinners you must attend on Christmas Day, or requiring you to have parties with your classes on Christmas Day, both of which we avoided, thankfully. Anyway, people here don’t really celebrate, so though you see taped-on Santa faces everywhere, it’s not really like Christmas in the traditional sense that you would expect in the U.S. or Europe or Latin America. They (meaning the Chinese) also seem to have a keen ability for finding a terrible Christmas song and playing just it on repeat all day at a store, which is always nice. At any rate, we’re both off today, which is the important thing.

Thanks to everyone who hasn’t been thanked yet for sending gifts. Everything was great, though some of the clothes are now GIGANTIC on us. Luckily, we can have that fixed. Missy and I also exchanged gifts, the highlights of which include an old Chinese globe she got me and an interesting wall hanging I bought her (which you’ll probably see in picture form later).

Anyway, that’s it for today. We’re going to sleep in a bit longer and then go eat Chinese food again. Merry Christmas!


Feeling pretty loved.

7 12 2009

Jeremiah mentioned the boxes but I wanna talk about them some more.

We got a box from my mum filled with smaller clothes with higher necklines for me. I’m in this weird situation of having lost weight so none of the clothes I brought fit anymore but I’m still substantially larger than the clothes here. (We bought something in a 2X hoping for the best and it was a disaster. I mentioned this ego blasting incident to some of my fellow lady ex-pats and was told by one that she couldn’t fit into an 2X and she wears a US size 10… and she’s 5’6″. So, there’s no hope for me in China.) I wore a long sleeved, high v-neck sweater from the box today and got ‘oohs’, ‘aahs’ and ‘so sexys’ from my class- way to go, Mummy. That box also had 4 books and two wrapped presents that are headed under the tree.

The other box was from our Tucson posse. Each of them tucked in their favorite book with a note or inscription. Other goodies included gossips rags, candy corn, 2 smaller shirts, Halloween socks, an inflatable turkey (which we’ve decided to hang from the ceiling or on the wall) and our first couple ornament- a globe. I have to admit that I got a little teary at that one. The books are such a treat. They’ll have to become permanent collection books- there’s no way I’m trading them around with love notes inside!

Today, yet another box arrived, this time from my Aunt Gingy. There were a bunch of wrapped presents for the tree but also her famous TV mix (a special lotsa-nuts chex mix thing) and a bunch of magazines. Tacky movie magazines for me and soccer and SIs for Jeremiah. We put off dinner for an hour and sacked out reading and munching. We both commented on how we should be appreciating the expensive nuts but were so delighted by the chex and cheerios. Haven’t had those in months!

Jeremiah has been indulging me and automatically puts on Christmas music when we’re home. I’m the luckiest girl.

love, Missy