Dec 24, 2012

Surprised by Christmas in Luzhou

Santa shops in China

Buying a new coat
Peter, wearing his new winter coat, in Bao-en Pagoda plaza

For Christmas, we have today and tomorrow off, but we didn’t really plan on doing anything beyond vegging and puttering. Christmas isn’t a Chinese holiday, and we weren’t going to get a big tree or make a big deal for just the two of us.

But, though Christmas isn’t really celebrated, it is recognized — with sales! On our Saturday afternoon provisions run into the city, we were ambushed by the sights and sounds of Christmas deals. Stores on Middle Road were festooned with be-Santa-ed signs reading “Your Text Here Merry Christmas Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet!” Peter, again, got really lucky with a winter coat that caught his eye; price tag 399RMB [US$64] which rung up as 239RMB [US$39].

Peter Santa
This time, Santa’s sack is full of coal for some good ex-pat teachers.

Finally fully realizing we were on holiday, we stopped for an afternoon beer at a place we just noticed that overlooked Bao’en Pagoda Plaza in the center of the city. Below was all hustle and bustle, and we took a long minute to be relaxed and happy.

In the supermarket — our next stop — listening to the strains of a Chinese version of “O Holy Night,” we’d decided that we caught the Christmas spirit. It was decided: we’d go home and watch “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” which, it turns out, with its focus on commerce and thrift, is a pretty Chinese Christmas tale.

Before returning to the countryside, we had one more stop. We swung by old apartment to pick up some charcoal for our grill (stay tuned). And then, while we were hailing a cab, we caught a glimpse of Santa.

Happy Christmas, everyone!