Alright, it was chaotic, but fun.
Things opened up around 3pm, and kids just queued to perform, thanks to Lily's organization. Prior to the show, Nick and I wandered Ke Ji Guan (the Museum of Science & Technology, where the show was being held) and saw some of the stuff. It doesn't hold a candle to Science North in Sudbury, but there were some fun things there, including a cool tunnel version of the "crooked kitchen"... it almost made me vomit I got so dizzy walking through it.
The best part of the night was definitely seeing the kidlets do their thing. And "their thing" ranged from choreographed modern dance, traditional dance (from many different time periods), martial arts, comedy acts, singing, and many assortments of musical instrument playing. I got to see Andy and Jenny from my EL class sing. They were very cute. Jenny followed me around half the rest of the show, and when I was on stage, kept waving and clapping. Most of the uploaded Flickr pictures were taken by Johnson and Angela from my TB 5B class, as they arrived to help but really had nothing to do.
The parents of the kids were horrible. They never clapped for anyone but their own child, so the place was silent except for Michelle, Nick and I clapping enthusiastically. Some of the acts (like the red dancer trio, the boy pianist and the guzheng player) got some hearty applause, and deservedly so. Most of the kids put a lot into this.
As far as the teachers went, the first thing was the Beijing Opera skit with Michelle and Joe, which was quite funny. Second up was Ivy showing us how to make a paper crane, which only Camilla got. Michelle wound up with a triangle, I tore mine to shreds to create a demonic phoenix-esque thinger and I have no clue how Nick, Joe and Andrew did. Not much better, but the kids loved watching us mess about. (I gave Jenny my horrible folded thingy.)
Then Nick had a Santa race (three teams of High Flyers dressing one of their teammates up as Santa), and then I was on with my search for tai ji quan pants skit, which Lucinda, Katy and Angie helped out with. They definitely kicked ass. The kids had a lot of fun with that, as it was all in butchered Chinese and involved them trying to sell me a pair of shorts, a skirt and sweat-pants, respectively. At the end I was trying to haggle with Angie and asking the kids to approve, and I was getting universal dissapproval until I added a piece of candy to the bargaining. It was hilarious watching fifty little hands slowly rise into the air, hoping for the candy. Nick said their faces all dropped when I gave it to Angie to close the deal. It was fun.
No real issues with the show except that it was a bit mad. We almost got lynched at the end when we were doing the final lucky draw for prizes. Poor Lily, though... she worked her ass off for the entire 3 hours. She was so exhausted and dejected afterwards. Got her feeling better at supper, though.
We went for supper at a Brazilian restaurant. We took up half the place. I sat next to Lily and Kelly, the cleaner (who is damn funny and just plain awesome). Nick and Katy were across from me. Everyone opened up their secret Santa gifts, and were generally happy. ... except for Lucinda who I think said "What the hell is this?". I think she got an alarm clock, as did Ivy. Not good things to receive in China, by the way. Traditionally, it means you want the recipient to die. Ivy burst into tears, which I thought was a result of the clock, but she was upset that Joe is leaving. It was his last hurrah. He's heading to Wenzhou tomorrow.
It was a good night, all around. My secret Santa gift was this Swiss Army Knife lighter thing. It looks like some high-tech acetylene torch, with a knife, file, and scissors that come out of the sides of it. Oh, and it has a compass. I certainly did alright. Nick got a baby bottle, which had to be from someone who has been around a while and knows about Nick and Katy. That was funny as hell. He drank wine and beer from it all night. (Takes 5 minutes at a single go to drain a full bottle, by the way.) At least no one got an apple. The Chinese and their apple giving at Christmas. It means prosperity and health, but the idea of getting an apple as a gift is just weird. Xiang Li gave Camilla and I one each when we went for supper. It was like "Ahhh awesome. I've always wanted... fruit."
Now to get some sleep, teach two classes tomorrow, and wake up to Christmas.
Edit: having issues uploading to Flickr the 50-some photos from tonight. Will get that up there soon.