At the very last minute, a friend coaxed me into attending a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by other PCVs. If you didn’t know this about me, I am a very lazy person, socially. People like me in a crowd because I just follow whatever plans someone has made, no real objections, ever. I’m the dream of every social control freak. However, this means when there is no one telling me what the plans are, I am perfectly content to stay home and read a book.
For this Thanksgiving, I was perfectly content to go hang out with my Chinese family until someone more or less said, “you are coming to Thanksgiving, it’s at this place, show up.”
And, per my compliant self, I did. Boy was it a good time!
Besides the subsitution of chickens for Turkey, I think that Thanksgiving might have been more “American” than ones I would’ve had back in the U.S. As you know, with my Chinese family, we always had to add some Chinese flavor to our Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks to someone’s family’s generous care package, at our dinner, we had the works – stove top stuffing, gravy, chicken, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, green beans, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, brownies, etc. It was legit!
For me, Thanksgiving is one of those rare occasions where it is really nice to be with Americans. In some ways, Thanksgiving is almost like the “American Christmas”. Most Western cultures celebrate Christmas, but only Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. And when it comes down to it, the two holidays are similar – it’s about being with family, and lots of food! 🙂 I almost prefer Thanksgiving because it doesn’t involve the whole present fuss.
I’ve spent more Thanksgiving abroad in recent years, but there has always been a made-up Thanksgiving upon my return. Next July, there will surely be a Thanksgiving meal at the Lee household! Holidays abroad isn’t always easy, and I’ve had to endure many of them. This is the price you pay for a life of a wandering globetrotter. On the upside, with the right people, these occasions often make memories that last a lifetime.