CHRISTMAS IS COMING: Day 115, Sunday Dec. 22 2013

I’d thought I’d been on the road to recovery from my Haiko head cold, but I woke up with a new bug. “Teacher Jen-nyfer” Amy, one of my 5 year old students bounced up to me bright eyed. She handed me a styrofoam sheat made to be snow. It had a whole christmas display on it made from putty; Santa Clause, a Christmas tree, a present, two snow men, and a little purple house. And that is what really improved my mood and kept me smiling all day. I was wearing a ridiculous red reindeer sweater with bells on the antlers and snow flakes floating out of a pipe in it’s mouth. At the end of class I gave each child a hand made paper snowflake. They grinned when they saw them, holding the delicate creations in their pudgy fingers, eyes full of amazement. Just like that if felt like Christmas again.

Katrina and I had spent a good amount of our “office hours” the past couple of weeks shopping online for the most hideously amazing and ridiculous Christmas sweaters. We’d both scored big time with my jingle bells reindeer, and her pom pom snow flake sweater. Amazing. As for the snowflakes I’d recruited the help of almost every CT or foreign teacher in the room, and we’d had a great time cutting them out to be different shapes.

Sick and exhausted we headed straight home after work. Nate and I wrote up a special events contract that we asked our boss to sign. It outlined how much notice and details we needed before a special event, and let us refuse if notice was not given. She signed it and actually praised us on our problem solving abilities!

We went to the hole in the wall restaurant for beef noodles, but when we saw that they were cooking dumplings when we walked in we jumped on the opportunity to order some of those instead. “This is a special day,” Nate joked as we took our seats, “they’re probably going to celebrate the day we ordered something other then beef noodles!”

And celebrate they did, though not on our behalf. Someone was having a birthday, and we were told that today was like Chinese Christmas. We were given healthy helpings of a cake they had shared. The dumplings were delicious and we ordered soup as well to wash them down. Two girls, and one baby were with the party in the next room. One of them bounced out to say hello before bounding back into the room. The other girl did not at first take note of us, but when finally she did see Nate the look on her face was pure terror! She squealed and dived back into the room only to poke her head back out around the corner moments later. The other girl, the one that had said hello was doubled over in gales of laughter.

Eventually the (shy) girl felt brave enough to come back; Nate stood, hands curled like claws, and took one, two, three steps towards them. Both girls ran screaming.

There was no peace after that, our new friends grew braver and braver, giddier and giddier. I’d been practicing my chinese flash cards, and soon I had a new tutor, the brave more wiry girl.

The baby was around two years old. Nate kept making farting noises at her with his lips. She’d grin, showing her one tooth, and would “phuu” back at him.

We were beckoned into the other room to join in the celebration. There was a little too much gambling (bottoms up) and our beer cups were filled a little too frequently for our liking.

In the end they gave us our meal for free and took pictures of us with the girls on our shoulders.

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