Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Sweet Taste of Freedom

I’m free! I’m free! For the remaining days of December, I have exactly one obligation (meeting Erin at the train station). No more school, no more private lessons, no more anything. Just lazing, watching MTV, eating and drinking.

This evening, my school had it’s end-of-the-year-and-Christmas party. We sat at the tables in the teacher’s room, which had been rotated and decorated. They brought out food and poured champagne. We were not allowed to touch either, however, until after students had recited some Christmas poems and played us some music. This was followed by a dramatic reading of a super-long poem, a tribute to Kassai and the teachers. Each teacher was mentioned and his or her various quirks or exploits mentioned. Finally we toasted, and ate. From what I hear, at some schools, the alcohol was flowing: not so at my school. We got one glass of champagne each. It was funny to see the stodgy older teachers get tipsy and jolly off just this. By 7, the other English teachers were standing and saying their good-byes, so I made my exit with them. But not before picking up my gift bags from the school. Everyone got the same selection of gifts, which include: a bag of coffee, a stick of sausage, a bottle of champagne, and a large bag of laundry powder. I pondered the meaning of this last item on the walk home. Is it something traditional? Does it signify the washing away of the old year? Is it a hold over from past times when major laundry was a once-a-year occurrence? In the end, I settled on the most logical explanation: my school is super cheap. But if anyone else received the same present, or has a better explanation, let me know.

1 comment:

Gaines said...

At my school last year, the only Christmas present my teachers received was washing powder. Apparently, it's pretty expensive and is an acceptable gift here. Or at least, that's how it was explained to me.

Hope you're enjoying your time off! Merry Christmas!