First Thanksgiving in China

Actually, this is my third Thanksgiving in China – but the first year I ignored it and the second year RP and I went and ate Hui food at a local restaurant (there was a duck involved, so it was sort of Thanksgiving-like).

This year we had a huge American feast, courtesy of my friend Matt.

…and this photo doesn’t even show the two kinds of pie he brought out for dessert, including a blueberry cheesecake the likes of which I have not tasted in – how long have I been here? – ah yes, a year and a half.

(I could really take a cue from Matt. There are some people, like me, who complain about the things they miss about home. Then there are those people who suck it up, spend the money, and just buy the things they miss at the one store around here that sells such things at a large markup.)

I find, as I get older, that I’m thankful for the clichéd things everyone always mentions – but I really mean it! (just like everyone else!) – particularly: my parents and sisters who love me even though I live on the other side of the planet, and all the new family members I gained this year by getting married. Every year, as a person who used to have a truckload of health problems, I’m thankful for my health. But I’m also thankful for this unique time in my life in which RP and I often get to travel on a whim to new countries and cultures and, because we have simple lives and Kunming is a cheap place to live, we never worry about money.

(…which reminds me that I still haven’t put my photos up from Vietnam…soon!)

RP has already passed out from the quantity of food that we consumed tonight, and I’m about to follow suit. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! As someone who lives in the future and has already learned this lesson today, trust me: take it easy on the pie.


Quick hit: Dinner in Kunming

Before we move on to Vietnam, I just want to point out one thing: in the 15+ months that I have lived in Kunming, I have increased my tolerance for spicey food by about a million times. This is because Yunnan takes a lot of cues in its cuisine from its northern neighbor Sichuan, but with a lot less subtlety. Basically, every meal I eat is spicy. I am, as the Chinese say, totally 厉害 (lihai, “way awesome”).

That said, the other night I ordered some take out food – a chicken dish that I knew would be a little spicy. What is pictured below is what I had to remove from the dish BEFORE I could put it into my mouth. This one goes out to you, NR. Dad, you may want to avert your eyes.

I'm lihai, but not this lihai.