Xmas day was beautiful in Nanchong. Actually sunny, and without wind or rain to drive you into a huddling mess. Today, not so much, but you take what you get.
We went to the foreigner Xmas at Karen’s out at the Xihua new campus, where we ate sausage and jiaozi and mashed potatoes and drank coffee. We also played Scattergories, which I played exactly the way Holly had imagined I would play the game: annoyingly. Although to my shame I blanked on a book beginning with R. Just after the buzzer went off, Revelation Space popped into my head. But I prevented Mark from scoring Revenge of the Sith, because the actual title of the book is Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (this is what being annoying at Scattergories looks like).
We left early to come back to the bakery, where it was busy as all get out. As in all the people in Nanchong got out of their houses and came to the bakery for pizzas and sangria and such. (I just tasted the wine being used for the sangria – it’s fizzy and weird and not at all like a red wine is supposed to be. Holly’s going back to the place she bought it to get mad.) It was the bakery’s best single day in sales. I washed a lot of dishes.
Today after teaching Sam we had lunch. The first part of lunch almost killed me. Sam’s mom asked if I could eat crab, and foolishly I said yes. I didn’t make the connection that the crabs would be brought to the table cooked whole and bound in string, looking exactly like the armoured spiders of the sea that they are. I got mine open with help from Holly, but couldn’t get past the hairs on the crab legs sitting there as I tried to pick the orange meat from around the guts and brains of the huge bug. I hit these walls when it comes to food in China sometimes. Last time it was that hard was at the pig brain hotpot in Nanjing. But I made it through (and Holly got to eat two crabs).