Year 2: Semester 1 Week 13

Hey all,

It's December already! Christmas is coming!

Shanghai is feeling pretty festive in terms of decorations and everything, definitely more than I expected there to be. Loving Christmas music as usual. I've been practicing a version of Silent Night on piano when I have time. On Friday, I re-watched the Elf movie with a couple of friends just to get in the Christmas spirit. Most of my close friends here didn't grow up celebrating Christmas, so it's always fun kind of explaining the traditions and even the references in the movie, like Santa living at the North Pole, the purpose of elves in Santa's workshop, etc.

This week was pretty low-key, and I didn't do a great job of taking photos, but I think that's alright. After getting back from Beijing, I had a lot to do in terms of unpacking, cleaning the apartment, getting organized, etc., so I didn't have a lot of time for adventuring. Yesterday, one of my friends had a birthday, so we spent the afternoon shopping for food and cooking food for the party. She made fish with ginger and green onion, Japanese-style potato curry, and scrambled egg with tomato (a common Chinese dish), and I sort of helped. Also, I made cookies, and another friend brought homemade enchiladas, and we ordered pizza and cake as well, so it was quite a diverse range of foods for one dinner, haha.

I'm working on a final paper for my Contemporary Chinese Political Thought class, where we have to analyze one of the topics covered in the lectures (education, media/censorship, postmodernism, Confucianism, Communism, etc.) I'll probably spend a good portion of this week building a project for my Interaction Lab class. Most of the final exams are about 10-14 days away, so we're not quite to "crunch time" but we're to "gotta buckle down and get work done" time, if that makes sense.

China has "seaweed" and "chicken" flavored Cheetos. Haven't tried them yet.

Thankful for friends, for church, for education, for life. I've definitely learned a lot from discussing politics, religion, and culture with different people this week. I'm looking forward to making the most of the last few weeks of this semester.

Hugs from Shanghai,


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