Friday, October 01, 2004

I have a vacation from work now, missing Thursday and Friday of this week, as well as all of next week, to observe the mid-Autumn or Moon Festival, celebrating the season, and National Day, celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Earlier this week, red and yellow flowers appeared along the side of our apartment building, which I recently learned symbolize the events.

It's a nice break from my first month of uninterrupted teaching. I don't think I have another long holiday until Spring Festival, when we will have, at least, three weeks of vacation. Unfortunately, Angela, having started a new job during the past week, has to work during the holiday so we won't be going anywhere unusual, although we had tentatively planned to travel. "Mooncake" day, as my students called it in English, occurred on the day preceding the mid-Autumn Festival, which also corresponded with the full moon. Many people distribute the sweet cakes, filled with figs, dates, bean paste, eggs and other things, as gifts.

A student's parents had given my boss tickets to a magic show at Capital Stadium, which she gave to me, Angela and two of my other coworkers, Maile and Carol. It was a nice opportunity to do something out of the ordinary. We attended the performance with little expectation, and it was what you might expect from a magic show. Lots of sleight of hand, silk scarves, playing cards and levitating women. The performance showcased magicians from around the world and there were many entertaining acts, particularly the couple from Spain, in which a demon crawled out of a man's chest. Also, our seats were quite good.

I believe our highlight of the evening came after we left the stadium and went to find something to eat. In considering one of two restaurants that we had discovered a few blocks from the stadium, we noticed a few magicians entering one. Angela noticed the Argentinian magician, whose performance we liked the best, told him so, and he responded by raising his arms and smiling. Upon looking inside the restaurant, we noticed that many of the magicians from the show were all eating together and it was surprising, but nice, to see them in their street clothes.

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