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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being thankful in Korea

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
-Buddha

Thanksgiving can be pretty anti-climactic when you're a) living in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving; b) many of your friends aren't American; and c) the majority of your friends and family are thousands of miles away enjoying turkey dinners while you're eating fried pork cutlets for lunch.

This was my second Thanksgiving in a row away from home and family. Last year I was living in London and celebrated the holiday with friends. It definitely wasn't the same as being at home but it was utterly unforgettable.

That morning there was a Thanksgiving service at beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral with a few thousand other ex-pats including the American ambassador. It was truly moving to sing "America the Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" in this historic place and feel a sense of unity with everyone around me.

It was the perfect autumn day -- bright blue sky and not too cold.

Thanksgiving lunch 2007

That weekend, my flatmates and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for a handful of friends. Everyone brought something and while it wasn't entirely traditional (chicken instead of turkey, lumpy hand-mashed potatoes, curry), it was the thought that counted and we all had a blast drinking Buck's Fizz and watching movies.

Nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner 2007 - yum!

Compared to this year's Thanksgiving celebration, however, last year was absolutely traditional!

Obviously I had to work today which was fine except when talking to friends back in the US and realizing that almost everyone else I know is enjoying a nice three-day weekend.

Thanksgiving dinner this year? Mexican food!

Thanksgiving dinner 2008

A group of fellow Americans enjoyed chips and salsa, burritos, tacos and margaritas tonight and while it was anything BUT traditional, a lot of fun was had by all. Good friends and good conversation -- what more do you need? There's so much we all have to be thankful for that it's not the end of the world to be away from home on this special day.

And after all that food, we watched It's a Wonderful Life. Because as corny as it sounds, I'm slowly realizing that it really IS a wonderful life.

Diana and Melissa enjoying their HUGE margarita

I'm thankful for:
  • a loving family and amazing friends who support me no matter where in the world I'm living or what crazy ideas I come up with
  • the opportunity to live overseas and experience so many new and exciting things
  • a great group of friends here in Korea who make Seoul feel like home
  • a future without limitations or restrictions

1 comment:

  1. the last thing you're thankful for is my faaaaavorite

    ReplyDelete