Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas Celebration and Mayhem

Here's an assembly of photos from various Christmas celebrations we had. Here I am lighting the potato menorah I constructed, because I'm not sure that Shenzhen is aware that Judaism exists and you can't find menorahs anywhere. I may look brain dead, but I'm actually just reciting the prayer.
Here's the potato in its full splendor on the last night of Hanukkah.

Our program threw us a party on Christmas eve at the awesome hotel we stayed at in September. We were all looking forward to a semi-Western Christmas dinner (most of us were at least hoping for french fries), but our program director apparently told the hotel staff that we didn't like their Western food and we wanted a Chinese banquet. Maybe HE did...
At the head of the banquet hall, there was a stage with lots of performances from our Chinese hosts that no one understood.

Here's our whole group. They gave us Santa hats!
Here's our buddy Zach playing Christmas carols for us. The smoke machine was a nice touch that he was unaware would be added to his performance. After he played all the Christmas songs he knew, an encore was requested, so he played some Pink Floyd.

Here's what Zach looked like on the TVs in the hall for people who were sitting too far away to see. Doesn't he look like he's green-screened in?
I set up a secret Santa program, which went surprisingly well. Amy, my secret Santa, is on the left, and I'm showing off her gift: a bottle of "Viagra"! We asked the Chinese people around, and it is, in fact, some kind of aphrodisiac liquor. I offered it to people jokingly, but everyone was so desperate for alcohol that it was gone within fifteen minutes or so. No reports back on whether it achieved its desired effect.
In an incongruous step, we spent a lot of the night playing truth or dare in the hotel lobby. In actuality, we were playing the drinking game 'asshole', but a lot of people weren't drinking. If you couldn't take a drink when you were supposed to, you had to subject yourself to a truth or dare. I know, you're thinking, "Shouldn't you stop playing truth or dare when you're 14 or so?" but we had a great time. A lot of the dares involved slightly traumatizing the hotel staff: Andy had to pelvic thrust at them, and our friend Kelsey had to recline seductively on one of their couches and make bedroom eyes at the staff. I think at an American hotel, we might've gotten kicked out for our antics, but the Chinese staff was just puzzled. We were not good cultural ambassadors. Above, our buddy Daren takes off his shirt in preparation for a topless cartwheel.
Here's Kate doing a table dance. In the lower right, you can see my hand with a watch timing the incident - I think she had to dance for a full minute.

Here's our buddy Veronica, who usually doesn't drink much but sure made an exception for Christmas, getting wheeled around by Zach and doing some kind of go-go dance.
Kelsey doing his aforementioned seductive poses.
This is definitely my favorite picture of the night. An inebriated Veronica punched Daren, I think because he didn't get permission from his wife before giving Kelsey a lap dance. Daren's reaction face is pretty priceless.

After our little party, we walked back up to that giant Buddhist statue by the hotel. Andy and Kelsey scaled it, which was pretty impressive. You can't really tell in the picture, but I think that's Kelsey (or Andy) sitting on the statue's head.
Here's a Japanese snack that Andy and I have been curious about for a while, so I got it for him for Christmas, along with some other trinkets, and an awesome hat, which unfortunately doesn't fit. The Every Burgers are pretty great! They're tasty little sandwich cookies, if anyone wants to know.
Another snack that I got Andy. We were almost too afraid to open the box!

Here's another Christmas party we went to - definitely the most scandalous of the three. There was a white elephant gift exchange, and one guy got this thong, which I guess is shaped like a stork... I don't want to get into it too much, but he definitely modeled it in a terrifying spring through the crowded apartment. Merry Christmas!


Linda said...

it looks like you guys had a pretty good time over the holidays, I've never seen a potato menorah before, neat! Is it hard to find booze, or are guys not allowed to drink? I know that i definitely got alcohol every night i was in china...but i was pretty demanding about it, haha.

Kate! said...

I definitely have been thinking Kelsey was a lady this whole time, what a shock! I'll have to go back to old posts and re-read them with that in mind.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year! Did you play Dreidel with M&Ms? Have fun on your vacation!

Andy said...

To linda: no booze is pretty hard to come by, i just think some people in our program are just raging alcoholics

to Kate: The weird thing is, i have been thinking kelsey was a lady too! Whups!