Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It Feels Like Christmas!

4 out of the past 5 years we have lived in countries where Christmas is not widely celebrated. It is very surreal to leave your house on Christmas day and realize that it is business as usual for most of the population. I don't know what it will be like here on Christmas day, but in these weeks leading up to Christmas, one thing is very different from our previous years: It feels like Christmas!

The feeling began when the weather suddenly turned chilly inside and outside our house. Then, of course, there was the traditional Thanksgiving gorging that left us feeling pleasantly satisfied and really in the spirit of the season. The real fun came when we bought a box of Christmas decorations from a family who is leaving and set up our tree. We've experienced that excitement all 3 times we've set it up! Yeah, cats and baby... need we say more? Our little one has loved playing with the Play Mobile nativity set we have since she can't break it and she can chew on the baby in the manger. We keep telling her, "We don't eat babies," but she doesn't seem to understand.

This weekend we enjoyed a really cool Christmas bazaar at a hotel. There were hundreds of people, but to add to the feeling of the season, it felt very much like a family of many people we knew. The whole expat community feel is very different than what we experienced in other South Asia locations. Maybe it's related to how small it is. Nay had a great time being passed around by many of our youth group members and other friends. Anyway, there were booths with Christmas goodies, bonfires, caroling, bands (surely we can find a photo of P.J. in his afro and sequined top to post), hot chocolate, and a pig roasting on a spit. Now that's a holiday celebration! The following night we enjoyed a lovely cantata. Two nights from now we'll be participating in a cookie decorating party, and Friday we'll be making our own Christmas treats. All in all, this is shaping up to be one fantastic few weeks!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Scary Woman

Today I discovered that I am not a woman you would want to corner on a street. There is this slightly off creepy man who regularly tries to talk to me on my road. I always ignore him as that is usually the best policy. After lunch today, however, I was talking on the side of the main road with my friend when he walked within inches of us and just stood there. This would never happen if we were two local women so clearly there is a major overstepping of cultural norms for him to do this. I became very angry and felt threatened so I loudly shouted, "Go! You go now!" It sounded more like what you would say to a pesky dog than a person. Anyway, he just smiled and continued to stand there so I stepped a few paces back, picked up a rock, and threw it at him, below the waist like any respectable dodgeballer should. That wiped the smirk off his face promptly, and he slowly backed away giving me a window to begin my speedy walk to my house. He did attempt to follow me, but my friend and I walked fast enough that we lost him.

As I feverishly walked back, I reflected on how this is something I would never do anywhere else, but desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. If you act like a dog, be prepared to be treated like one. And definitely don't mess with me!