Christmas in Zhubei

29 Dec

Christmas Morning


I woke up to this beautiful scene on Christmas morning. I had to break the news to myself again this year…. Odd moment. I woke up and the very first thought through my head was,

“I wonder if Santa really did bring me something”.

The very next thought was,

“If there is anything extra in here that means someone broke in and I’m gonna have to talk to security!”.

And of course the next thought was,

“What the frackin hell am I thinking there’s a Santa Clause for?”

Then there was a moment of silence as I mourned the loss of Santa a second time in my life.


This Christmas season was event filled and I’m grateful for that. It kept my mind off not being “home”. So here are a few snipets from my Christmas holiday.

I was invited to a potluck dinner at the apartment of two of the other foreign teachers where we had ham, potatoes, greens, eggnog, and lots of sweets. It was nice to have a Christmas ham for sure!

Though I worked every day of Christmas week including Christmas Day, I am glad. It helped me stay busy rather than let my mind wander and get too sad. Who can think about missing home when there are forms to fill out, little children to hug, and weird food to eat?

During some of our free time, the kids like to have me draw a picture on the big white board. Some of them just like to guess what it will be as I am drawing the picture and not draw. But most of them try to draw it too. I draw one or two lines at a time and then they try to draw the same thing on their little white boards.

Here’s one picture we did. I think for being 5 years old, this girl has some pretty serious talent!!!


My class of Kinders is so sweet! I love coming to class. They always run up to hug my legs and say “good morning” or “good afternoon” . They are learning so well and improving all the time.

One of my friends makes these incredible hand print designs. SO, borrowing from her I made the students their own hand print designs for Christmas presents.

I think they liked them J I got some beautiful gifts from them as well. I can’t believe how lucky I am!


I decided to head to the Big City Mall one day the week of Christmas. I wanted out of the apartment and so off I went. It is something else boy! One floor has all these set ups like it’s Pier 49 in San Francisco. Interesting for sure!!

There’s an ice skating rink under the Golden Gate bridge and overlooking the bay…

The biggest department store is SOGO. That was like a mall in itself! There’s a movie theatre and a giant Lego court for all the kids to play in. There is a bowling alley and a whole arcade floor!

Like any big mall, it was expensive so I didn’t buy anything, not even lunch. But the lack of lunch had more to do with the lack of understanding of what and how to order. I will conquer that one day!

Outside the mall in the open area was a gigantic Christmas tree structure. Pretty cool. To give an idea of the size… that whole building you see is only one part of the mall.


I thought this sculpture was pretty choice. I’ve always liked dolphins and here they are!


School pictures!

Each child got to have an individual picture with Santa, Claire (my co-teacher) and me before our group photos. I’m sure I wrecked a few of them haha.


In class we’ve been having a gingerbread theme for the month of December. I read them The Gingerbread Man story, taught them a gingerbread man song, and our class bulletin board was a gingerbread house.

So what should we do as a fun final project?? Decorate gingerbread cookies!!


They loved it! Icing, different candies, gummies, marshmallows, and fruit pieces made the most interesting decorations I’ve ever seen and some serious deliciousness for everyone!


I also got to be a Princess in our Disney Christmas Parade themed production at school. Me and another teacher were the princesses, which means we didn’t have to wear one of the big head costumes!! YEAH!!

R.M. has the BEST Princess smile! I had to ask her how to do it, and no, I was not able to but I did give it my best effort.


My class was dressed up as The Mouse’s. I was a little taken back when I realized that the Minnie’s had bow ties and the Mickey’s had bows on their hats….. Oh well.

One of the other classes was dressed up as Christmas Barbie and Buzz Light Year! They were so adorable!! “I come in peace” hahaha

We had to hold a giant check that the school was awarded by the parents….. there is a lot of money coming out of these parents. Everyone in this pic is a foreign teacher! It’s pretty fun to have a good group of people to work with!

I finally made myself a Christmas tree…. Now to decide when is it appropriate to take it down? I need my Sweetpea’s advice.

A few fireworks made one night a couple days before Christmas fun. For a Buddhist nation, they actually do a lot of Christmas stuff!!

And of COURSE there had to be a night out clubbing to get in the festive spirit!!

How would I sum up my Christmas in Zhubei? Good.

A little lonely, I missed my family. I missed the familiar sights, sounds, smells, laughter, and snow of Christmas. But it was a good first Christmas away overall.


Peace be the journey.

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Posted by on 29/12/2012 in Uncategorized


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