Blog 100 - Halloween 2010

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November 3rd 2010
Published: November 16th 2010
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Yes, this is officially blog number 100 since my first entry on February 18, 2008 . 66057 words and 1816 photos later, the China saga continues! We have certainly settled in to life in China and feel quite comfortable getting around compared to when we first arrived. Ok, so this one is a little late in coming but better late than never. What with personal issues combined with the end of term, it has been a busy couple of weeks.

This is the third Halloween party we have had at the school. We have come a long way from "What the hell is Halloween?" to where we are now. It is not a big deal here, which is surprising, since most people love to dress outrageously at the best of times and the ability to get hold of cheap costumes and accessories is probably easier than almost anywhere else in the world! So, once again, the kids rose to the occasion and arrived in a variety of over-the-top stuff.

As always, it takes awhile for these teens to hang loose but apparently they finally started dancing a bit after we left. Usually their idea of a good time is to stand around and watch a few break-dancers beating up the floor. Actually getting a bunch of students onto the floor gyrating and moving around is a major undertaking. A few hundred kids crowded around watching a few performers does not an exciting party make. I think we need to fly them into a typical North American high-school dance to show them what could be happening. Although some adults would argue that it is maybe better to keep them in the dark for now. I told my classes before the big night that maybe we should offer a Party 101 course to teach them how to party!

Anyway, enough of giving them a hard time. All in all, everyone still had a good time and our North American traditions are slowly infiltrating the country. Three years ago, it was difficult to find any Halloween related stuff in the stores. Now, we see the odd pumpkin decoration, masks, and commercial costumes popping up in places where you least expect them. Most of the larger stores have got on the bandwagon for the major western holidays...we saw Christmas decorations going up already in one place a few days ago. Most are still understated which is a nice change from the overkill commercialism in North America that we are all used to around holiday times. Somehow, I can't see it reaching that point here any time soon. It is still a very small segment of the population that gives any of these western holidays the time of day. But in a city of 10 million, a small percentage for anything is still quite a few people!

As in other parts of the world, Halloween usually is accompanied by changes in the weather and so it is here as well. Nights are cooler but for the last couple of weeks, we have still been enjoying temperatures in the 20s, clear skies and lots of sunshine. We have been able to see the stars at night from our apartment complex which is quite unusual.

Another couple of months and we are off on our five week winter break. Still trying to decide exactly where we will go but you can be guaranteed it will be hot and there will be sandy beaches nearby. Right now Malaysia and the Philipines are at the top of the list.

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