Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Everyone!
At risk of repeating myself, I will say that Christmas and Western New Year (January 1st) aren’t really celebrated here in China, And so, like last year, ours was quiet.
Unlike last ears we didn’t eat steak in a swanky hotel in Shanghai, instead we visited a friends. She had cooked a roast dinner in her tiny microwave oven that was fit for a king!
There was everything you could ask for (minus the boiled ham); turkey, beef, potatoes, roasted veg and boiled veg, two types of stuffing, and even the good old yorkshire puddings!
We filled our plates and sat down with full glasses (of Pimms), full plates of food, and with our newfound friends. Some of our Chinese friends and colleagues came too, which made for a fun filled afternoon of homemade dumplings, spring rolls, and, as if we could fit anymore food in, crazy wine based cocktails!
The afternoon and evening soon gave way to a terrifically difficult quiz, as skyped by a brother of one of our colleagues. He was spending his Christmas morning emailing all sorts of picture rounds to us, and making sure we could all hear him alright on the video call. Needless to say, China’s internet soon cut him off, and although we then couldn’t find out the answers, we persevered anyway, electing a team member to read the last of the questions.
The night saw us playing silly drinking/card games into the early hours, when we finally left at 3am, or thereabouts. What a magical day it was.
Although we had all promised ourselves a walk on Boxing Day, that didn’t happen. Instead the day was spent doing laundry for the working week ahead and sleeping.
The next week was wonderful, with many of our students wishing us a Happy New Year! and some even buying us gifts of chocolates and preserved flowers.
New Years was begun in our trusty World Beer, and at 11pm we all set off for the same bar we spent it at last year. It was very busy but we managed to find a table, and sat chatting until twenty seconds to twelve. Then a hush came over the table when everyone counted down to the new year. Our countdown wasn’t as impressive as last year, yet we managed it, without fireworks, without too much fuss, but with an extra strong G&T, and a shot of what tasted like lemonade.
Over the new year we were looking after a friends four kittens, and we were awoken in the morning to tiny mews and fluffy nose-nudges for us to feed them. It was a perfect few days chilling with four tiny fluffballs.
Since then we have been working hard, and enjoying the days where it feels cool and crisp and more like home than the 40degree summer did.
Today I am doing some housework and attempting to fix my washing machine (the cold weather has done damage to the waste pipe 😦 so I have no clean clothes) whilst Callum is in Hong Kong. I will have to get him to write what he can about it when he gets back, though I expect most of it will have an 18 rating and will not be fit for the high standards of our blog (:D)
In the meantime, and again, we wish you all a Happy New Year!