Christmas in China

Christmas means something different to different people. To some, it is all about family. To others, it is the magic of the season. I’m not sure what it means to me. I know I love it a lot. But as I’ve said before, if I had to work Christmas, and I had to do Christmas another day, I’d be okay with that.

For Christmas Day, we (the whole Foreign Teacher team) went to the Hilton hotel in Beijing. This is a posh hotel. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a Hilton before. There was a big Christmas tree in the lobby and a train set below it. It was all very impressive.

The restaurant itself was nicely laid out. There was another group of Western teachers in there at a different table, who some of my colleagues knew from the British Council, but we didn’t chat with them much.

The menu was very nice too. Some of the others were a little disappointed that the free refills finished at 2.30 and after this time they stopped serving alcohol. But it didn’t really bother me, given the fact I don’t drink.

The starter was either prawn cocktail or soup – which I had (with caramelised apple on the side of it).

The main was either salmon – which I don’t think anyone had – or turkey. Turkey came with cranberries, which were very nice, stuffing (I think), some Brussel sprouts and gravy. It was all very nice and very filling.

The pudding was a gingerbread crème brulee with ice cream. This was delicious.

Some of the other teachers chose to go out after the meal (we left about 3pm). I declined, and with a couple of other teachers, went back to school.

In terms of gifts, I was touched that I received so many. Two anthologies of ghost stories, a Doctor Who hoodie, Christmas socks, Marvel socks, chocolate, a Chinese diary and calligraphy pen, a paper cut picture of a peacock, and a gift a student made, as well a Star Wars poster and some Star Wars slippers, as well as a Christmas game. I was lucky to get so many things and have such a special Christmas Day.

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