Due to a recent earthquake in the area, internet access is very limited, and will continue to be so for the next week or more. For instance right now it is almost 2 in the morning; I thought it was the only time of day I might be able to connect. So for a little while the KSA Daily should more rightly be called the KSA whenever I can get connected. Sorry.
Class is Over; When I say it is Over
I remember the days of school schedules and time tables. When you knew the first day of September when would be your last day in May. Everything was written out for you and kept.
School here works very differently. Over Christmas everyone was asking when my last day of class was. There were many times I had to plead ignorance on the matter. We had cancelled class for both Christmas and Boxing day. When we reported back to class on Wednesday our oral teacher informed us that this was going to be out last day of class, and that our exam would be on the 8th of January after she got back from her in-laws. The next day on the 28th (yes I did go to class that day), both of our teachers likewise informed us that we were having our last class (they were getting to busy to teach us). They also said that since we had just finished a lesson and it was pointless to start a new one that we should just sit around and talk (If I get the teaching job next semester this might have been my last official day of formal education, talk about anti-climactic). One of our teachers said she would call us when she had time and give us our exam, but not to worry about it too much since she was planning on photo coping another teacher's exam from a different class, so some of the material might not totally match what we have studied. She told us we could work on it together at home and she would collect it 2 months after winter vacation was over.
A Treeless Christmas Pizza
Merry belated Christmas. The day of Christmas seems very much the same, but the build up as I said before is very different. This year I didn't set the tree up in my room, instead we took it over to my classmates house. Part of the problem is that all the Uyghurs know about Christmas is what they have seen on TV and movies, that information is then reinterpreted through their own understanding. Some think we worship the Christmas tree (I guess one to many movies have scenes with westerners standing around the tree holding hands and singing "Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree"). So to avoid misunderstanding I did not decorate.
I spent Christmas day with some of the other foreigners who live in town. We exchanged gifts and had a pot luck. The only thing is that luck was not totally on our side, none of the people in my group had the good fortunate of being excellent cooks. Dinner, therefore, consisted of whatever people could make. We had pasta, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pizza with a fruit and whip cream dessert. It was good, just different.
I think we all tend to miss home most at this time of year, so many of the foreigners spend a lot of time together celebrating and eating food from home, in the midst of the festivities I found myself asking where the mutton was. I was eating so many hamburgers, and wraps that I really missed the whole big bone of meat just being set in front of me.