AKA Merry Christmas, China
Work was productive. Actually, really busy. I spent most of the day in the lab doing training sessions. Then, I got a ride with people from work (meaning, in a car instead of on the bus) to the restaurant for our work Christmas dinner. It was wonderful. I'm attaching pictures from it. One of the guys gave me a toast and it was really sweet—I wish I'd videotaped it or something, because it was sincere and in good English, and made me smile. He was saying how he thinks I've made a difference here and he thinks I've been really good for the company. Awww.
Chinese people drink. Whoever says they don't tolerate alcohol, well, that's kinda true, but they still like to drink. They have this tradition where you try to persuade people to drink more, and if you can fill their glass and make them drink it, it's pretty much meaning that you're giving them happiness. So there were many overflowing glasses. One guy tried telling me something to get me to drink, I said you can't fool me, you've already made me drink a few glasses—so he replies, "Erin, we have 5000 years of history. If we have just one tradition for every year, we have 5000 traditions!" It was funny. Anyways, they had "wine"—and tried getting me to drink it. Lemme tell you, it sure as heck wasn't wine. It was distilled rice liquor. It was strong, and I might get drunk just from smelling it. So I passed and drank Chinese beer.
People here love to give the peace sign during pictures. They also apparently can't hold still while using my camera, so I apologize in advance for the slightly blurry pictures. I did the best I could.
Merry Christmas, everyone.