An UnChristmas party in Tianjin

Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, plastic-y Christmas junk, and wanton consumerism? Can’t get enough. But Baby Jesus? Silent Night? In Tianjin? Good luck.

We just got back from the annual NGO Christmas party. Christmas songs and the Christmas Story were conspicuously absent, unlike years past. This year in Tianjin, if foreigners and locals get together and sing Christmas songs or read the Christmas story at a non-preapproved venue and time, the sky will fall down. Actually getting preapproval would cause the canals to rise up and the garbage mountain to be cast into the artificial TV tower lake, so you can appreciate why preapproval is more of a theoretical possibility than an actual observed phenomenon.

Actually, that’s not exactly how the people of consequence explained it. But instead of getting into it and explaining it all here, I’ll just say that things are noticeably tighter in post-Olympic Tianjin, especially around Christmas. Since we’re the well-behaved kind of foreigners, our Tianjin Christmas is just that much less Christmas-y.

We still had a good time; our friends who were organizing it did a great job, especially with having to scrambled to redo the program at the last minute.

Tomorrow night me and a buddy are hitting the local bath house… Merry Christmas to us! Hopefully fun stories will be forthcoming.

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