Dear Miss Chen,

firecracker 01

Thanks for your message.


I have been busy shopping for the festival. Every morning my family visit the supermarket and the street market to buy this and that – meat, vegetables and all the same goodies as your parents might be getting for you now.


Last weekend I went back to my home village. I paid a visit to my mother and other relations there. I met some of my childhood pals too. My mother will spend the festival in the village with my younger brother and his family. He has got a daughter and a son.


I also visited the family graveyard. Altogether there were five tombs for me to visit. They belong to my great-grandparents, my grandparents and my father. It is the Chinese custom to burn some paper money (not banknotes though) at the grave around important Chinese festivals so I burned some for my dead family members.


I still do English every day during the vacation. But I did not speak any English when I was in my village because no one there understands English. Living in China, we have to stay with the language every day to keep our language skills living and growing. I do hope you do some English every day, including the last day of 2008 and the first day of 2009.


I bet you have carried home several bundles of homework. We have got a rather short vacation, though. Of course, as I said, the most important job for the vacation is to eat and drink, sleep and play. Homework comes after that. The purpose of the holiday is for you to have a change of environment and to immerse yourself back in society. However, if you plan your time well, you can get all the bundles of work done before you come back for the new semester.


I wish you a good time at home. You may get a lot of gift money from your relations over the Spring Festival. Have fun and learn well.


If you like, do drop me a line. Email is fast and cheap.


Yours truly,



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