I Tried to Escape "Feliz Navidad"

I tried to, honestly. I really, really hate that song. It makes me want to pull out hair or break something when I hear it. Alright, perhaps not so very drastic reactions, but I do tend to run OUT of the store that is playing it. I can’t stand it. I don’t know why. I simply can’t. My former students knew that too, and I thought, “well, I’m in China now. No more freaking ‘Feliz Navidad’ EVER!”

And how many times have I been proven wrong since moving here? Oh, a lot. And this was one of them. As I was shopping today, suddenly, the upbeat tune came on the loudspeakers. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I stopped in my tracks. I thought listening to the “I’ve just broken up with my boyfriend and am depressed/abused animal charity commercial” looped music at Carrefour was difficult enough, but when any store puts on “Feliz Navidad,” I just can’t get out fast enough.

I can’t escape. It’s in China. IT’S EVERYWHERE!

Anyway.

I made it past my four month Chinaversary this week, and it’s only two and a half more weeks until I fly home for the holidays. I’ll tell what – that “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” song is not only relevant, it’s become important to me in way it hasn’t been before.

So, today. Since it was so crum-tastic – meaning, a hearty mix of confused “I don’t know if I want to rain or not” clouds and chilly air – I didn’t want to really go far into the field. I’m like a cat – I don’t like being rained on. I got up, made a fake peppermint mocha that had a little too much peppermint extract in it (I was breathing peppermint fire!), and thought I would meander over to the local British international school’s Winter Fair because I wanted Christmas goodies. Well, of course that was my true and only purpose…unless you know me. If you don’t, reading that is probably weird and awkward.

I needed a little British, truthfully. After being deprived of real Britain for seven years, a girl’s gotta find it somewhere – even if it’s accent-spotting. Hugh Grant movies and Downton Abbey can only tide me over so much! And, it was just a good way to kill a half-rainy Saturday. I did dig into the Christmas market, getting some Christmas presents out of the way in the process. That was fun.

I picked up a glass of hearty and warm mulled cider and listened to the carolers by the large tree outside. But, a major drawback was the kids with the airhorns. I’m not sure who thought that was a great idea, but the “dashing through – HONK! – in a one horse open – HONK – over the – HONK – we go laughing all the – HONK!” carol was one I couldn’t quite remember properly.

I have to say, I really enjoyed the BBQ place called Yasmin’s, which had a tent on the grounds. I found the pulled pork the way a lion finds a gazelle during the rainy season. The only turn-off was that the entire Miss Piggy was a-roastin’ away on the huge pit BBQ, head and all. Now that’s some pulled pork!  It made me think of the half-defrosted duck which shall lose its head at the stroke of noon tomorrow. Well, head, beak, neck, and webby feet. I just don’t go all in for those parts. I’ve heard they don’t taste like chicken, so why bother?

But the rain held off, I did get to hear one carol sung undisturbed, and I scored a candle or two from the market. I did find the book sale too, and for the equivalent of a $1.50 each, picked up a few books for my bare shelves. It has been awhile since I’ve read Bridget Jones’s Diary anyway. It was lovely to just wander around and see the school. I did stay a bit and watch one of the rugby games too, before going home.

It was a rather fun morning, punctuated by a listless need to buy unnecessary groceries at the nearby Western store, to drink hot, milky bubble tea, and then to spend most of the night watching my new DVD’s (Elf!) and trying to figure out my Chinese New Year trip to Thailand – a half city trip to Bangkok and half beach trip to Hua Hin. I will be spending Valentine’s Day in Bangkok. Now that is pretty dang sweet.

I mean, I did start this whole adventure with the goal to travel. May as well kick it back in a tropical, toasty place in the middle of February – and have the coolest Singles Awareness Day ever!

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