Apologies to the parents, who requested I do this, well, actually on New Year's.
Further apologies to any reader who may already have seen my description below of New Year festivities, since I've used variations of it in a couple emails.
Happy New Year! My best wishes! May God grand you lots of prosperity, health, and all the good things in life!
Saying something resembling the above is more or less mandatory in this country the first time you see someone after Jan 1. Until at least about March. It is also typical-almost-to-the-point-of-being-rude-if-you-don't to send text messages with something like that to anyone you may not see in that time frame. My favorite this year came from my best student last year, one of the few I had who moved on to high school this year:
Je vous envoi un chèque de 100 ans qui je serai payé à la banque de santé,situé sur l'avenue prospérité,rue de la paix,porte du bonheur,guichet 2011.Bonne fète.
(For what it's worth, I didn't teach his French class. Don't blame me.)
But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Spent Christmas in Bobo. Two years ago I spent New Year's there. This time we didn't go out to a fancy dinner and show, though; we cooked. We also each introduced everyone in the group to one of our Christmas traditions. I hope my mom will forgive me for the one I chose: I made peanut butter balls. I think she will, considering that there were almost nothing like the ones we make at home. The peanut butter was the local stuff (no sugar, preservatives, emulsifiers...just ground peanut and oil), and the chocolate was melted candy bars - no semi-sweet baker's chocolate to be found here! Nothing I could use to temper it! Which meant I had to keep them in the fridge. But they tasted yummy all the same. We also did Secret Santa pagne stockings. I received a new cap that I love (the attentive reader will notice that I got a hat last time I was there, too...new tradition?), in a stocking my mom would love - it says "Jesus est né" all over.
Did little during the lull between the holidays, and loved every minute of it. I went to work for a couple days and taught myself a bit about MS Excel pivot tables, but mostly I just goofed off. For several days, my friend E stayed in Kait's* room (yep, that's still how I refer to it. I've even heard some of my friends refer to my place as "Kait's house"!), so it was a lovely week of good company and no responsibilities.
Then New Year's itself rolled around. And in all honesty, I was considering skipping it. It's not at all my favorite holiday, staying up that late seems more like a chore than anything else these days. But I'm glad I didn't, we ended up having a crazy good time. Every time we hit a snag in the plan, it turned out to make the evening EVEN BETTER:
BAD: We couldn't find a cab.
GOOD: But the bus stopped for us even though we weren't at a stop.
BAD: But the bus wasn't going where we planned on going.
GOOD: But It was going to a different nice restaurant.
BAD: But it's a restaurant usually very full of tourists and with a snooty yet inefficient staff.
GOOD: But even though there were very full, the staff was on the ball, seated us right away, and was on top of our orders the whole night.
So from there we decided to go to our favorite bar, a little place run by a French guy who loves Americans and always has jazz or motown playing.
BAD: It was 1130 and they don't open 'til 1 AM.
GOOD: But he served us anyway, and we rang in the New Year shooting tequila with the owner.
Then, we decided to go dancing, by which I mean the pretty girls decided to go dancing and we guys decided that following them was better than drinking with each other.
BAD: They picked my absolute least favorite club.
GOOD: But there were no hookers in sight (seriously, that's why I hate that club, it's just depressing, I tell anyone who will listen that the hallway to the bathroom reeks of cheap perfume and broken dreams), the music was higher quality than usual, I danced with a very attractive non-hooker (um...probably, anyway), and there was a group of French guys who were hilarious and wearing crazy wigs. One kept insisting on unbuttoning my shirt.
So that was my holiday. It was a good one. Sorry, no photos - I still haven't visited my old village (shame on me), and my camera is still packed away in one of my trunks. Er, I hope.
*Wondering why in this case I broke my no-name rule? Because Kait is back in the States now, sad face, which means no discussion of her time here is likely to lead to badness. Miss you, Kait!