Thursday, 11 December 2008

Christmas in Wenzhou

Although it doesn't really feel like it, Christmas has actually arrived in Wenzhou. The hotel -- in which Web is located -- is now filled with an array of tasteful, and not so tasteful Christmas decorations. Of course, the Web centre itself has been fitted out for Christmas also, but beneath all of the decorations, I can't feel that Christmas is happening at all.. It is just business as usual here, no party spirit, and no anticipation that a major holiday is approaching. Still, I have an excuse to start being excited: I will be going back to the UK in less than two weeks, home in time for Christmas day. I have started shopping for gifts, and don't think anything will be left until the last minute this year -- which makes a pleasant change. The only problem I face when shopping for gifts in China is that I can't buy anything that is too heavy due to the luggage allowance of 20kg that is imposed by the airline I am flying with.

Christmas tree in the foyer of the International Hotel

At Web we are also holding a party for Christmas which was planned to be held on the 21st so that Chuck (who is leaving before the 25th) and I could attend. This afternoon I came into work and found that the day of the party has changed to Christmas day itself. As usual there was no prior communication about this, someone had stuck a new poster to the wall, and it was actually one of the students who told me about it. Obviously neither me or Chuck will be able to go. Jane and Nancy in human resources decided to bypass all forms of common sense by asking me to delay my flight so that I could stay for the party. I couldn't comprehend what they were saying to me, why on Earth would I want to stay for a party at Web instead of going home (which I have been away from for nine months) to have Christmas with my family?

In all truth I am quite relieved I don't have to go to the party. All of the teaching staff had been asked to do a performance, something like a song, dance, or any kind of talent. Kristian and I were planning on singing and playing a kind of folk-esque version of Jingle Bells on the guitar. I am still completely unprepared for it and we haven't practised together yet. I feel guilty that Kristian is going to have to do it on his own, but after talking to him yesterday he told me that he knows a student who plays the guitar who he can ask to join him on stage.

I have four days off starting from today because Chuck -- who I mentioned earlier -- would like my days off next week to prepare for his new job before he officially leaves Web. It is certainly a bonus for me now, but it means that next week I will work for seven days without a break. It won't be as bad as it could be, because when that week is over I will take one day off and then head to Shanghai Pudong Airport to go home. The excitement should keep me going I hope.


mabelp said...

Hi Chris! If I were u, of course I would like to spend my X'mas with my family. Haha!

It sounds like u're a great performer in your company now.

What does HK X'mas look like? See:

Elwin said...

Oh, I'm sorry that you'll not perform the Jingle Bell show, which I was looking forward to :D. I'll probably just pass this WEB party as so many teachers wouldn't be there.

Sorry for Chuck's leave. He's a nice guy. Hope could see him again someday.

Chris said...

Thanks for that link Mabel, I will watch it now.

I agree Elwin, it's a shame Chuck is leaving, at least he is staying in Wenzhou. I think the hours at Web are just not built around teachers wanting to stay for longer times.

大眼睛熊 said...

No one on earth would give up a Christmas eve with family to be in a commercial Christmas party, they were so stupid to even ask u!!
After 7 days work, 8 hours waiting, 20 hours on the plane, then u'll finally arrive home!! Take good care of yourself!! Xxx

Chris said...

I will try Kimi :) Yes, I think they were completely crazy to even ask me to stay, they just bypassed any kind of normal thinking. Oh well, as long as they keep paying me I shouldn't complain too much.