This stuff costs an arm and a leg!!!
Monday 12 December 2005, 5:04pm
So I'm sitting on my bed, listening to some Christmas favorites (right now: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree), waiting for the power to come back on so I can use the water heater and take a shower, and trying to think of a way to accurately describe Christmas in South Asia...hmm...I think that, from what I've seen so far, Christmas is basically whatever you make of it. It's not like America, where you couldn't escape the holiday season if you tried. Honestly, if I didn't look at my calendar, I'd forget that it's actually December and only 14 days until Christmas!
Though Christmas fever hasn't taken over my city quite like Diwali did, there are a few little reminders of the holiday that I've spotted. Several small Christmas stores have popped up, selling stuff that in the States, well, I'd never buy cause it's totally gaudy...but somehow, it becomes quite appealing when it's all you've got. The problem is the price--even the smallest things cost a fortune! Example: We wanted a wreath for our door--average price for wreath (and these are the gaudy ones) is between Rs 750-2000, or $18-$50! yikes! But I think we've done pretty well--we got a tiny wreath, a tiny tree, and even a tiny manger scene, and we're making stockings with some friends, so I think it'll all end up being pretty festive.

The other funny thing about the stores is that while they're trying to sell Christmas stuff, it seems that a few other holidays have gotten thrown in the mix as well. I saw Easter eggs at one store, and as you can see from the picture above, another store had Halloween decorations right in the middle of the Christmas. It's hillarious to see a scary hand hanging right there with a bunch of Christmas ornaments, and also interesting to think about differently people here view Christmas, decorations, and so on from the way it's all seen in the States.
One nice thing is that it's actually been kind of cool here lately. Either that or I'm just getting so used to the heat that anything below 80 feels "cool." It has been around 50 in the evenings, and this morning, it was cool enough in our flat for me to put on my favorite sweatshirt, which was very exciting.
Another fun thing was making my mom's famous Christmas cookies this weekend. This is a Christmas tradition back home, so I was very excited that it worked out. The cookies were easy to make (they're kind of like sugar cookies with a nutmeg flavor) but the icing was another story
because it calls for meringue powder (which I discovered is actually powdered eggs). Anyway, it was quite an adventure to find, and when I finally got it, I had to buy a kilo (2.2 lbs)--the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons! The cookies turned out great, but if anybody knows any other uses for meringue powder, let me know...
Well, looks like the power is back on, so I'm going to take a shower while there's hot water--kind of like the saying, make hay while the sun shines, here, do what you gotta do while the power's on or you might be out of luck :)

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