Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas on the other side of the world

Since this country is mainly Buddhist, Taoist, or Confucianist....Christmas is not really much of a holiday that is celebrated. For this part of the world they use it as a commercial gimic...well actually that sounds a lot like the States. We hear the typical Christmas music and see the decorations. I love Christmas music though, so I rather enjoy it. On Saturday Jay and I had sort of an early Christmas. We had a Christmas party at our school for the little kiddies. It was so much fun. We gave out presents..but in this culture it is very rude to open your present in front of the person who gives it to you, so unlike American children who would have ripped it open as soon as they got their hands on it...They all held their toy looking at it trying to use their X-Ray vision to see inside. Christmas here seems to be a mix of real Christmas and Halloween which is rather strange. Some of the children were dressed up as devils.
Then that night, Jay and I actually had a fairly American Christmas dinner, with Turkey, mashed potatos, pumpkin pie and of course hummus and egg rolls. Today we enjoyed our day off and went to a movie we saw I am Legend, the movie theatre was really nice and much larger than the ones in the States. Even though Christmas day is not a day off in Taiwan we are taking it off and taking a trip to the mountains, which I am excited about. Today we saw an interesting thing on a scooter, not the usual unprotected child, or dog, but a parrot on the handlebars of one guys scooter, very impressive. I couldn't get my camera out in time.
I have started to make a list of the little frusteration of this country, they might be frustrations but it really gives this country character and gives both Jay and I the occasional laugh. The lack of napkins when you eat a meal. I guess peoples chopstick skills are so above ours that they never get anything on their mouth or hands when they eat. The lack of lines, normally if you are going up to a cash register to pay for something you will wait behind the person in front of you.....oh no it is first come first serve, and no it is not rude to butt in front of someone...if that happened in NC everyone would let you have it.
THe joys of beattle nut...if some of you thought dipping tobacco was gross there is nothing compared to the beattle nut that men chew here. It comes from a tree and it is a red berry like thing that they wrap in some sort of leaf. They are sold by either really old women or sexy young girls wearing barely anything at all.....The chew and they chew it, nothing is swallowed and then they spit up tons of red juice onto the streets which leaves a big stain for who knows how long......And you can tell when someone has been chewing it because it leaves a huge red stain on their teeth...not very attractive....I am sure Jay is going to try some I just hope he doesn't like it.
Anyways I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas....... we will let you know how ours goes.


Anna said...

Glad that all is well,the kids are adorable. things are going good here. GIve me a call! Later gaters

Allies' Mom said...

That is real interesting about the gifts, what kind of things did they get? Merry Christmas, Allie's Mom

Allies' Mom said...

That is strange about the costumes,What kind of gifts did they get? very interesting, Allie's Mom

Blackmountain Dad said...

Hi Allie and Jay,
Jay you look like a natural teacher, I bet the kids love you. Miss you both! Merry Christmas,

Julie said...

Merry Christmas!!! I do seem a gleam in both of your eyes. Your students look like they are excited and are lucky to have you both as Teacher Jay and Teacher Allie. Your apartment looks like you have the essentials, don't get too settled in?!?!? Love you both alot - Enjoy your day in the mountains - It's Christmas! Love Mom & Dad Hustead

Julie said...

PS - Jay did you shave off your little 'thing' you had going?