Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Beijing Christmas

Things have been quiet in Beijing the last few weeks. Christmas came and went without much of a fuss. This is the first holiday season in my 31 years on this earth that i have not been in Chicago with my family. It's been really difficult to justify not being home. Several times this week, i was close to dropping $1,500 on a flight. That's $1,500 for the privilege of 30 hours worth of flying, another 8 or so in airports or commuting to/from them, resulting in less than 72 hours with my family. That's not even enough time to figure out the jet lag.

So i stayed in Beijing with the remaining few that are also family-less for the holidays. Most of my friends had left, leaving Ellen, Alicia, Jehan, Gareth, and Sandy. Even Therese was gone, spending her holiday on a tropical island in Malaysia. It was pretty lonely, but there were a few highlights:
  • I was sick. This meant two days of working from home, sleeping, and generally feeling like crap. Wait, that wasn't a highlight.
  • I played a pretty lucrative show at A Thousand and One Nights, an Arabian restaurant in Solana. It was just myself on percussion and an amazing guitarist, Jordan. We were told to just play something really upbeat and fun, oh and also it had to be Christmas music. To me, these two things are mutually exclusive: Christmas music is not upbeat. But, being the fantastic musicians that we are, and having never actually practiced together before, we played for 2 hours and loved it. Hopefully, more of that to come.
  • Christmas Day was pretty relaxing. Eight of us (the five previously mentioned plus Warren and Nora) met up at Ellen's played Foosball and Catan, drank Gareth's homemade eggnog and mulled wine, and enjoyed a very fancy Christmas dinner at Salt, one of the more upscale restaurants in town.
  • We did a White Elephant gift exchange... gift given was Guacamole (assembly required) and gift received was some awesome dark chocolate.
  • We also visited the newborn Emma Lillian Shyu, who has a Christmas Eve birthday.
  • The 26th was again spent at Ellen's... one hot tub, two games of Catan, three games of ping pong, four different rums to sip, and dozens of games of Foosball.

I guess i'm a little disappointed in this Christmas, but those are the sacrifices we're forced to make sometimes. However, i don't believe i will ever miss Christmas again. Family is too important to make that sacrifice.



Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Kevin! We're missing you too... Your sister, Joanie

Anonymous said...

You were missed by us too! Nathan needed someone to wrestle.
Love, Jen, Mike, Erin, and Nathan