Fellow expats in China, are you sad for the approaching holiday season? Do you wish to be home for Christmas?
Do you miss your family? Turkey? Snow?
Well, screw family! Go to Sanya island instead! Holidays are so much better sipping cocktails on a sunny beach with strangers instead!
Forgive my lack of sentiment, but being Chinese, Christmas was always a white man’s holiday. My first Christmas in America, I heard about Santa Claus from kids at school. So I followed the proper procedures, laid out cookies and milk and went to bed with giddy anticipation. “Please please bring me an easy-bake-oven…”
The next morning I found my dad eating the cookies, and NO Easy-Bake-Oven in sight!
“What the hell father? Those cookies are for Father Christmas! That must be why he didn’t bring me presents!!!” I was on the verge of tears.
“Father Christmas?!??” He looked dumbfounded. “Ahahahaha! That’s made up by white parents to get their kids to behave! Santa’s not real! Stupid kids….”
He went back to those cookies as my childhood crumbled into pieces.
So forgive me if I’m not big on Christmas.
The privilege of being a Canadian teacher in China, is that we got Chinese holidays (a month for Chinese new year) AND Canadian holidays!
Well, just Christmas really…nobody there gives a shit about Thanksgiving.
So, the teachers got together and brainstormed where to go for 5 days. Thailand? Vietnam?
In the end we chose Sanya in China’s Hainan Province.
Sanya is known as the Hawaii of China. Keyword being China. It’s no Hawaii but there’s still sun and beach plus cheap beer. You get the most Bang for the few Bucks you shell out.
About 10 of us teachers went, and I invited my new friends as well. Most people couldn’t come because they don’t get Christmas off at their work (Suckers). Lukas decided to join because he’s the boss at his job, and Lucy didn’t have a job, so she came as well.
Where to start…
The food there was unbelievable! Amazing seafood of course, but the best was, get this: Eggplant! I had THE BEST eggplant there at a street barbeque. Never found one remotely as good anywhere else. I wanted to start a Kathy’s International House of Eggplant after that experience. My fellow travelers agreed to invest if I ever did.
As for activities, since we only had a few days there, we decided to take it easy.
During the day, we hung out at the beach or shopped local markets.
At night, we went to check out the local clubs. In China, clubs are usually the same chains you see everywhere, 88酒吧 ( 88Bar), Soho, etc.
They all have similar themes: Paid performers on a stage doing the robot dance (not on purpose), locals playing dice (a drinking game). The locals were super friendly! They bought us all drinks! Afterwards, a few guys attempted to start a relationship with me via Wechat, only to find out I cannot write Chinese…oh well, next life maybe.
My favorite though is drinking Harbin Beer on a beach bar owned by these 2 Italian guys. As the sun went down, we’d sit and watch the ocean waves, and then dance barefeet in the sand.
I also met a lot of interesting people on this trip.
One girl was British and used to be on a rugby team. She kept trying to make out with me after a few Vodka and Redbulls. “I’m not a lesbian, but I think you might be. So I’d make out with you if you want….But I’M not a lesbian.”
I told her thanks, but I’ve already done my share of making out with girls in Korea. It was nice! But I’m good for now.
She said ok. Then asked if I could set her up with my friend, because she also looks like a lesbian, and might need help finding out for sure.
Now the story is not complete if I don’t mention any boys. At this point, I was on a boy craze phase that I should have gone through 10 years ago.
While we didn’t do much sightseeing, we did book a trip to the local hotsprings.
In order to take advantage of the hostel tour package, we needed a certain number people, and we were off by 2! Luckily we bumped into this pair of gorgeous blonde couple from the UK. Their kids could be like… models for the Sears Catalogue.
We all went by bus, and I sat next to the UK guy. His accent was a bit difficult to understand being from a remote part of England, but he was extremely friendly.
We spent about 3 or 4 hours at the hotspring. Trying out the 50 or so hotsprings.
My favourite was the Red Wine Hotspring (surprise surprise), the Chocolate spring, and the swim up bar. Wait that’s not a spring…
I did NOT enjoy the Bitey Fish Spring! It was the favourite of old Chinese men because the tiny fishies eat off your deadskin. But those “nibbles” hurt like a mother****ker, so I got out of there asap.
It was the ultimate luxury for a low low price. If you’re ever in Asia, hotsprings are a must try.
On the way back, Jacob (UK guy) sat next to me again, leaving his girlfriend a couple rows behind. I thought it was strange, but figured he probably just wanted to learn Chinese from me or something.
Once we returned to the hostel, Allison sidled up to me.
“So…looks like Jacob is interested in you.” She smirked.
“What? He has a girlfriend!” I said incredulously.
“Who? Linda? I thought so too at first, but she told me they are just friends.” She said.
“Oh….but they are both so blonde.”