Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Flashbacks: Turkey Day aka that is not a biscuit damnit! day

Thursday was my first Thanksgiving back in the US. For my family, Thanksgiving is just another family gathering for us to pig out, but with a few differences. We dress up a bit and add a turkey and other classic Thanksgiving must-haves. It's also tradition to share at least one thing we are grateful for this year. Mine was pretty simple: I was grateful that I can spend Thanksgiving with my family again and able to eat an *actual* turkey.

Looking at the turkey was like this:

Thanksgiving in Japan pretty much marked the beginning of the holiday blues for me. I loved living in Japan, love it and miss it, but November onward was when the homesickness hit. Maybe its because the winter holidays are celebrated so differently in Japan (or don't exist at all, turkeys rejoice) that it really emphasizes the foreignness. At least Japan has a word for turkey(七面鳥、しちめんちょう、or seven-faced bird. lolz). A plus side was that it gave me plenty of lesson ideas/culture sharing time.

My first year in Okayama I had 2 Thanksgivings. The first was a potluck in Yakage, the next town over from Ibara. Awesome food, awesome people, lovely times. The second one was with closer friends. We decided that we wanted to celebrate on the actual day, despite the fact we all had work the next day and some of us had to travel over an hour to commute to and from the city (*ahem* me). Ordering turkey from The Meat Guy and/or the Flying Pig was pretty pricey, so we had KFC instead. I know. Looking back now I'm wondering what the hell were we thinking, but I think it was along the lines of hey, KFC is as American as you can get and its a kind of play on Japan's odd custom of eating KFC/friend chicken on Christmas. We did make homemade mashed potatoes and dessert though! And despite the near brawl of the Americans and British on what a biscuit REALLY is, fun was had by all. Not so much for me when I woke up 5 in the morning to take the first train back to my town and head straight to work. Never. Again.

KFC, hobnobs. Internationalization at its finest

The second time around we took the holiday more seriously. Sort of. Lots more homemade stuff including an awesome chicken bake (our turkey substitute) and homemade apple cider. Oh, and pazookie, can't forget that.  The day can be summed up into 2 words: food and Zelda.

So yes, I was very, *very* happy to celebrate Thanksgiving stateside. But, I am grateful that I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving in Japan with an amazing second family.




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