For the second time in our lives, we’re spending Easter in a country where it isn’t celebrated; where very few people have ever heard of it. This is definitely the first and probably the only Easter Sunday that I will ever spend in a shopping mall!
Our Sundays are usually spent with students and today was no exception. We met Howard and Vicky at noon and caught a bus to Xi’an Road, Dalian’s most popular shopping area. They had chosen a Hong Kong style restaurant for our lunch and what a feast we enjoyed! Our Easter dinner included both roast duck and bullfrog! That’s right, bullfrog! Like us, Howard had never eaten it before but Vicky assured us that it was delicious and, believe it or not, she was right!
After lunch, the guys followed Vicky and I in and out of a few stores before deciding that that was boring and wandering off to a coffee shop to wait for us while we shopped. They had a great time visiting while we browsed. Can you imagine all the English that we used as we talked about colours, styles and fabrics and discussed what we liked and what we didn’t? Our afternoon was much more about spending time together and using the language than it was about shopping but Vicky did buy a pair of bright pink jeans and I bought a hat. It’s not an Easter bonnet but when I wear it, I’ll remember our most unusual Easter.
Of course, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without chocolate. I’d actually been craving chocolate lately and Easter seemed like a good excuse to check out the candy aisle the last time we were in the supermarket! In spite of the muffin top which seems to be growing around my middle thanks to the rice and noodles that make up part of almost every meal here, as well as the mochas that I drink whenever we visit a western style coffee shop, I felt justified in buying chocolate when I did my daily brain training today. As I waited for Lumosity, the internet’s most popular brain fitness website, to load one of today’s activities, I noticed the following quotation
"Chocolate can be good for your brain! Dark chocolate contains flavanols and antioxidants, which seem to be good for long-term brain health."
Of course, Easter isn’t really about what we eat or who we spend the day with. Whether we’re with family around a table laden with ham and all the trimmings or in a shopping mall in China eating bullfrog, as Christians, Easter is at the centre of who we are and what we believe.
As our day comes to an end, yours may just be beginning. I hope that, wherever you are and whoever you’re with, it will be a day of celebration and reflection.
He has risen!