Me and Chairman Mao
  'Tis the season.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Or at least it is in the big, expensive, foreigner-filled hotels. And in our apartment as well, since we went to buy a "charming" (little) fake Christmas tree and a bunch of cheap ornaments at the local market on Saturday afternoon. Then, on Saturday night, we went to the Beijing Hilton for a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, which was quite festive: a choir singing Christmas carols, an assortment of different Christmas-type foods (meaning everything could be classified as "dessert"), and a wide variety of tasty-looking non-alcoholic beverages. Now I will admit that the tree at the Hilton was a bit nicer than ours; however, I'm also guessing their tree cost more than fourteen bucks and some change (ornaments included). But, through the magic of digital cameras, you can decide for yourself.

Christmas Trees

(Our tree is the one on the right in case you were wondering, on account of them looking so very similar.)

Yes, the Hilton tree does look a bit funny. Why? Because it's not actually lit. That's right--after going to the Hilton specifically for the tree lighting, we didn't actually stay long enough to see the main event. (Hence the "tasty-looking" non-alcoholic beverages--they hadn't started serving them when we left.) What did we do instead, you ask, with a free night, money in our pockets, and all of Beijing--fancy restaurants, nice bars, swanky lounges, and all--beckoning to us?
Simple: we went and looked around the mall, stopped by the Hard Rock to eat, and then came home and watched four straight episodes of the O.C. on DVD.

No, neither one of us is a fifteen year-old girl. Why would you think that?

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