Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas in Taiwan

Despite year round Christmas decorations (I still don't understand why), and the occasional overpriced (but still disgusting) turkey dinner; Taiwan doesn't do much to celebrate the holidays. Our school gave us the option of taking Christmas off, but to avoid wallowing in homesickness at my apartment, I decided to work anyway. I like both my Tuesday classes, so it wasn't that bad, and I knew as soon as I got off, most of my family would be waking up and opening Christmas presents so it would be a good time to call them.

Another way to bring a little bit of Christmas joy over here, was celebrating with a couple of my classes. Thanks to the enormous amounts of candy I received from Mom, Dad, and Grandmother; I was able to give my Treehouse and Kids Club classes (my two favorites, if you can't tell by now) a little Christmas party. I brought in some hot chocolate powder, marshmallows, and candy canes. I started by scooping out the powder into some paper cups, then marched them upstairs to the teacher's lounge where they could fill up with hot water. However, by the time we made it upstairs, I realized that half the kids had already eaten the powder!

One girl, named Sandy, especially enjoyed the hot chocolate. When the bell rang at the end of class, I saw that she hadn't drunk much. I told her she couldn't take it with her, but she insisted that she wasn't finished yet.

"Ok, Sandy. Hurry up then," I told her.

So she picked up her glass and chugged the entire glass of hot chocolate in under 20 seconds. Then she paused, and had a look on her face of pure discomfort.

"Are you ok Sandy?" I asked.

She paused for a minute, then gave me a typical Sandy smile, said Yes, and bounced out of the room to go home.

A few seconds later, while Ellen and I were still cleaning up the room, another student named Bella came running back in...

"Teacher Ethan, Teacher Ethan!" she yelled.

"What Bella?"

"Sandy... Sandy... BLEHHHHH" (imagine her making the hand gestures since she didn't know how to say "blew chunks" in English)

Ellen and I ran outside and saw Sandy standing on the stairway, completely surrounded by vomit.

Ellen took her into the bathroom and we laid down some newspapers to avoid other kids playing in it.

Afterwards, I saw Sandy downstairs and I asked her if she still likes hot chocolate. She shook her head 'no' with a sad look on her face.

The one on the left is Sandy

Hiding from the camera

The aftermath of Sandy's marathon chocolate chug


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