The apples here are positively delicious, by the way. We got so many apples that our apartment is pleasantly apple-scented. But unfortunately, all the apples I got did not prevent me from coming down with the 'flu at the worst possible time; Christmas night, the day before an extremely busy and important day of teaching. Earlier this year I kept on teaching through a bad cold and a bout of laryngitis, but fever is a symptom that I cannot overcome; I just have to go back to bed until it's over. So I missed out on a Christmas party with some middle school kids that I was really looking forward to, and on my last lessons with the group of doctors that it has been my pleasure to teach for the last three months. Now and in future posts, I think I'll refer to this group of people as "The Doctors" to make it clear I'm talking about a specific group of doctors.
The kind words and the respect shown to me as a teacher and the friendly gestures toward Ross and me as foreign sojourners in China at Christmas-time are more than I can take on board. The fact that our Christmas dinner was a bowl of won ton soup in the dining hall -- because I didn't have the energy to cook anything -- that doesn't matter in the least in terms of how special this Christmas has been. I really need a day of quiet reflection to rest and take it all in. Laundry and soup and Kindle and bathrobe and my last packet of Neo-Citran.
And of course lots of our Canadian friends remembered us on Facebook; in fact, I failed in my intention to send a lot of emails and greetings to lots of people at Christmastime. Thank you to everybody and sorry I've been such a poor correspondent. My schedule lightens up considerably after this week so I'll have one less excuse.