Happy American Thanksgiving!

To all my American readers: Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I must have told at least 60 Chinese about the significance of this day. It is interesting to tell the first time, but wears on you after a while. I felt like I was shortening the story each time. At the start of the day I was giving history lessons on the Pilgrims and the Mayflower and the feast they shared with the Native Americans. By the end of the day I was saying, “Your family gets together, you eat a big turkey and fall asleep on the couch.”

We had a big surprise at work today – a huge Thanksgiving feast! You may remember that I mentioned before the company had hired a Western chef to improve the food selections in our cafeteria. To be honest, I am not too sure how that turned out overall because I hardly ever eat in the cafeteria anymore. The food quality is just too dodgy and there are so many students that it is a hassle to wait in a huge line. I either make my lunch at home or eat in a neighboring restaurant. (To give you an idea about the food quality, the only day that we ate in the cafeteria in about a month, DH got some serious food poisoning!)

Anyway, the cafeteria served an authentic home-cooked meal today, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, salad and many other interesting foods. It was a Chinese take on Thanksgiving and I think they did a great job. Evidently one of the American flight instructors helped out, or even arranged it, I am not too sure. The turkey was tender and very flavorful, not at all like the way DH refers to turkey: “You know, that dry bird…” The mashed potatoes had a layer of cheese on top, not too sure why, but you know I love cheese so I didn’t complain. There was a gravy to accompany the meat and potatoes and I enjoyed it. All of the Western staff as well as the Chinese employees partook (?is that a word?) in the meal, which I thought was a nice gesture. I believe that the overall consensus was that the meal was a success.

Now if we could just get them to repeat this everyday, or at least on Christmas, I would be very pleased. I have lived outside the US for almost six years now, and I never really celebrated Thanksgiving in those years. (I don’t know how to do a turkey!) Frankly, I never really missed all the calories and the post meal stupor. But today I was very happy and without sounding too corny, it was nice to share the experience with everyone at work.

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