Today has been a pretty fantastic start to my birthday weekend- yes I like to milk it for all it's worth and celebrate as much as I can.
I had great lessons in my English class, was surprised by the sweet teachers I work with, and enjoyed a fancy meal with the entire school. No, they didn't have the dinner just for me but I pretended like it. They were celebrating the Chinese New Year that is just around the corner.
It was afternoon play time. The kids were going crazy running around the room screaming. The phone rings and Judy tells me we have to go upstairs to Bella's classroom with all the other English teachers. My first thought was, I hope we're not in trouble but she reassured me that we weren't. I had no clue what was going on.
Then when I walked in to see everyone singing to me and a big cake I was overwhelmed and felt so loved. I was not expecting anything and really appreciated my Chinese friends trying to make my birthday feel special.
That evening we set out for our employee dinner at a fancy hotel's restaurant. I drank a lot of orange juice whereas the majority of the Chinese people were chugging wine like it was water. It's the culture to drink a lot at dinner parties and continually have a reason to say, "Cheers" and drink up. The funny thing is none of them even want to drink but it is the boss that pressures them into doing it. Strange. They do this knowing that their faces will turn bight red and they will be throwing up an hour later. I've been told that alcohol poisons them or some say they are allergic to it and that's why they turn red. But it doesn't stop them.
The big bosses were there handing out $1000 RMB left and right as prizes ($160 USD). To my surprise my name was pulled out of the box. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! I jumped up and ran to the front. I gave the stranger a hug and said, "thank you". Then they demanded I sing a song. Apparently to earn the prize you have to perform so I went along with it and sang "Happy Birthday". The entire room sang to me and I was beginning to feel like this was the beginning of a really great birthday.
|These were me and Andrew's favorite.|
|Bamboo. Very spicy but good.|
|They each won a 32 inch flat screen tv. That man is one of the owners-aka "big boss" aka "the tall one".|
|It's not a party without Gangnam Style. Is it crazy popular in America? It's everywhere here.|
|It was all very exciting! Especially when you hear your name for a prize!|
|Screaming for the owners of the school to give away more money. Which they did until their wallets were empty. I think they gave out a total of $25,000 RMB!|