Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Holidays

Christmas came and went.
New Year's Eve did too.

Having been an expat for 3 years now, the big American holidays have faded. Christmas in Africa felt like the Fourth of July, barbecuing chicken and fish on the outdoor grill and Christmas in China felt like an educational program.

Ever been to one of those talks given by someone who just got back from some exotic foreign country. You sit in the audience learning about another country by listening and looking at a slideshow of pictures and foreign artifacts that are probably just cheap tourist trinkets. At such talks you learn but the heart is far away. The words and pictures have little meaning to one's soul. It is purely curiosity.

Christmas this year was an educational program teaching students about caroling, Santa Claus, decorations, trees, elves, presents, the Christmas spirit. We showed movies, Home Alone and Elf.

We participated in cultural re-enactments by going Christmas caroling unable to sing over the hooting and hollering of the boys' dorms. Apparently in China to show appreciation, cheer while people perform rather than after. Thank goodness someone explained that to me as glass bottles were flying out of the windows. My brain was like, oh no we are going to get into TONS of trouble, organizing a march of students whose presence created such a commotion.

A caroler did say, "Tonight is the most memorable night of my life."

Maybe there was a bit of Christmas spirit, yet it has faded. I spent Christmas day in 4 hours of oral English final exams.

New Year's Eve, I went dancing. Midnight came and went without even a whisper.

It is strange how such important emotional traditions can just fade. I wonder what else will fade, the longer I stay away.

1 comment:

tavares said...

"...these invisible walls that hold me
Like this goldfish bowl is the whole sea" - slug