Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve translates to Good Night. I disagree.

Yeah, so last year I was bracing for a rough Christmas eve but Kathy showed up at the last minute. This year, both Kathy and Malia were in the states so I knew that I would be alone on the mountain for sure. The majority of the celebrating happens on Christmas eve, noche beuna . My noche buena should really translate to night where everyone in the neighborhood drinks whiskey in a run down house with the radio rotating Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias and random salsa music. It wasn't even Julio or Enrique's Christmas albums, I felt like I was sitting at a party where my high school Spanish Teacher was the DJ. I originally thought that children drinking was something peculiar that I should be offended by. Christmas eve showed me that the week before was just the tip of the iceburg. Earlier in the evening I was in my house reading and a band of muchachos rolled up with a bottle of wine. They asked me if I wanted some, I sat and thought about it for a second. First of all, since when are minors contributing alcohol to adults, it was all backwards; I was sitting in my house reading a book about witches and talking polar bears and these kids roll up trying to give me booz. After noting that it was rediculous, I said "yeah, give me that wine." I figured that it is illegal to give alcohol to children but not take it from them, so if I had the biggest swig of the cheap wine that I could I would actually be helping them by leaving them less booz to get drunk with. After that I went over to my neighbor's house who's wife and kids went down the mountain to be with the rest of the family. We sat around drinking beer. He was telling me how much he loved having kids and how much he missed his, I was telling him about how much I hate being around kids but missed being one. Other than that, the conversation revolved around how much people owed us in the barrio and merengue artists. At one point I remember thinking, is this getting more fun or am I just getting more drunk? I think the answer was the latter becuase after a couple hours I didn't feel that well. Too much beer and cheap whiskey not enough mashed potatos and gravy. Luckily, the next day had plenty of both mashed potatos and gravy. I went to a volunteer's house outside of Santiago and enjoyed a Christmas dinner with six other volunteers. It was very wholesome and we played Catchphrase for about an hour longer than we should have. It was more of the Christmas I was hoping for.

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