Spring Festival and baijiu-rthday fun

JISHOU, HUNAN — My activities for the past couple of weeks have kept me away from writing much of anything, other than emails and QQ chats, so I am using this warm February afternoon to relay my activities since Jan. 15. The university officially went on Winter Holiday on Jan. 15. Classes resume in nine days. I managed to turn in all my grades by Jan. 13, clearing the way for my own four-week holiday. My friend Rain had plans for me beginning the 20th, so I basically had a week with little to do. The Spring Festival is a time for families to gather, much as Thanksgiving and Christmas are in the States. Given the mayhem of Spring Festival travel, students wisely leave campus as soon as they are able. Otherwise, train tickets may be impossible to obtain. This left the campus a virtual ghost town after the 13th, the day on which most students had their last examinations. Fortunately, I have friends in town. One of my freshmen, Grace, invited me to travel with her family to her grandmother’s village in the countryside on the 15th. There, her relatives were making a special kind of rice cake, a ...
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