For all of you film buffs out there, how many of you are familiar with the movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians? Let me tell you something! It is NOT a classic Christmas film. It should NOT go on the top 10 list. I don't recommend you watch it. Unless, of course, you're up for an hour and a half of bad movie. The experience is much more pleasant if you're eating white chocolate coated popcorn and watching it with some friends, but the movie itself is nothing to get excited over unless you happen to have a club dedicated to bad movies.
Christmas Eve, that wonderful day before Christmas that gets you so excited you're finally willing to sneak open one of your Christmas presents. Unless, of course, you already broke down and opened one. This year Christmas Eve was very misty and gray, and very very cold. Not cold enough to snow. Yet. Jessica keeps telling me that it's going to snow tonight. I came to find out that she wasn't watching the weather channel or anything, she just believes that God will make it snow so she'll have a white Christmas and be able to have peace in her heart. She told me she feels saddened at my lack of emotion for snow because I told her snow cannot make peace. Now I feel the need to reexamine my life and figure out where I went wrong in my relationship with freezing precipitation. I'm confident that with dedication and a good shrink, next Christmas I will be waiting for snow so that I can feel like God has sent peace to the world. Seriously though, I like snow. It's great! Wonderful! We don't get much of it in the Mississippi Delta and what we do get isn't really enough to hide the grass. But apparently I don't love it as much as other people. I'm kind of jealous.
Tonight the entire foreign language department went to dinner, courtesy of the school administration. It's kind of an awkward experience. This year they actually told us before it was time to go, but last year we arrived at the end of the dinner because they didn't tell us we were going before they came to pick us up. Well, the way it works is that the foreigners all go outside at the predetermined time to pile in the car that is provided for us. Since there as 2 Japanese here this year, there are 6 of us. Instead of getting in the school's car we walked down to the street with the representative from the Foreign Affairs Office to catch a taxi. Of course, we were leaving exactly at taxi shift change time, which also (for some unknown reason) falls in the middle of rush hour and everyone else getting off from work. There was not a single taxi to be seen on the street. We ended up taking the bus, which stopped two different times (5 or 10 minutes each time) so the driver could yell at everyone on the bus to go towards the back because people were hanging out the door, and also one time because for some reason it took us 10 minutes to get through a traffic light. We arrived to the dinner over an hour late, but luckily the foreign teachers don't get to sit and eat in the same room with everyone else. We had a room down the hall for ourselves. No one really knew we were late because they were all partying in another room with 7 tables. We didn't mind too much, though. We got to play majiang while we waited and didn't have to toast with every single teacher at the party, only the ones at our table. Despite my slight sarcasm, the dinner really was good and it was nice to be taken out by our school for once. Since we arrived and left so late we weren't able to participate in the Christmas caroling at the medical school.
I didn't really do much more than that today. I did a little shopping, but just down at the bottom of the hill. Fruit, milk, things like that. By the way, the supermarkets all changed their prices to account for the newly released inflation numbers this past week. Yowza! Milk went from 1.6 for a small 250 mL box to 2.7 per box. That's a big jump! Anyhoo, I didn't mean to get off on a grocery tangent. Tomorrow is Christmas! I can't believe it! Three Christmases away from home (with one in the middle at home). That's kind of weird. I miss all you folks! Even though I talked to you just last night (some of you) it's not quite as awesome without you. But I'll try not to let it spoil my fun! :-P Tomorrow for breakfast Angelyn and Jessica (and maybe some others) are planning to prepare a delicious feast of quiche, cinnamon rolls, and whatever else their minds can imagine to treat us to. I provided fruit, but I didn't manage to make it into a fancy looking bird or anything. Sorry everyone! You'll just have to take an orange, eat it, and be happy with it. We'll also have stockings stuffed with goodies, and then tomorrow night is the first annual Shiyan Tacky Christmas Sweater Progressive Dinner Party Extravaganza. STCSPDE for short. I bought the most amazing tacky Christmas sweater ever in Chengdu from some guys selling things in the middle of the crosswalk. You have to see it to believe it, and I'm pretty sure I'll be embarrassed when you see it. So, until that moment, have a Merry Christmas. Joy to the world!