Thursday, December 25: I want to wish all my blogging & other friends, and of course my family, a wondrous and happy Christmas day from China! Although Christmas isn’t officially celebrated here, I do find the Christmas spirit is alive and well. I have found bits and pieces of Christmas everywhere, but especially in my Chinese students, who are going out of their way to create a special celebration for our entire class tomorrow.
It is now Christmas night and though I had the day off from work, I have to admit that it’s been a lonely and somewhat depressing day. I have been telling myself all day that it’s just like any other day, so I shouldn’t let it get me down. I am alone here in China most of the time, but somehow the loneliness seems more expansive, more all-encompassing on the holiday. I do have some friends here, but it seems those “friends” don’t consider me enough of a friend to want to spend time with me on a holiday. Oh well, truth be told, I’m not really drawn to spend a special holiday such as Christmas with them either.
Although I generally like living abroad, it’s always most difficult during the holidays. I think next year I must make sure to be home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Christmas is, of course, the time to be home — in heart as well as body. ~ Garry Moore
Mike has been Skyping with me every day or two, knowing how lonely I feel. Today, I got a sad email from my dearest friend in the U.S.; she is encountering some tough challenges in her life that have become more acute over the holiday. These things remind me that I care much more about her, and of course my family, than I do about anybody here. Not only that, but I’ve gotten some lovely messages from blogger friends and my old friends in Oman, and those have more meaning to me than anything anyone here does or doesn’t do.
Now, the essence, the very spirit of Christmas is that we first make-believe a thing is so, and lo, it presently turns out to be so. ~ Stephen Leacock
My remaining time here is short. I’m getting increasingly tired of close-minded people who have only been in China, and believe it’s the be-all and end-all of existence. When I worked in Oman, I met people who had worked all over the world ~ the same in Korea. Those people seem so much more worldly and open-minded. But here, people are firmly entrenched in China, and they often can’t see further than their own backyard.
I have been expecting a Christmas box from Mike, but sadly it didn’t arrive today. No matter. I suppose it will get here eventually.
Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas. ~ Johnny Carson
I determined that I wouldn’t let my fellow expats get to me, so I took a bus to downtown Nanning, where I walked around on the pedestrian shopping streets. I sat at Starbucks for a while, sipping on a Toffee Nut Latte and savoring a ham and cheese croissant. While sitting there, I noticed the Wanda Cinema across the way. I went in search of a movie, as I’ve always loved watching movies on Christmas night. There were no English movies showing, but there were two Chinese movies with English subtitles showing. The one that happened to start at around 3:00, when I happened to be there, was The Taking of Tiger Mountain, a 3D Chinese-Hong Kong epic action film. I didn’t realize it was 3D until I handed over my ticket and they handed me the special glasses. I don’t normally like 3D movies, but this one wasn’t bad and was quite entertaining.
The holiday is coming to a close, but Mike and the boys will Skype me soon, on their Christmas morning. I thank the special people who sent special greetings directly to me, especially Jo, Jayne, Dai, and Sandy. I also thank Tahira for remembering our special times together in Oman, where we shared many special and irreplaceable memories.
Love and peace to you all. 🙂