Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Shanghai-style (updated)

Happy turkey day!  We wish we were home, but we'll celebrate 7,500 miles away.  Since turkey is incredibly difficult to find in China (they're big pork eaters, a la the pork donuts), we're going to a restaurant for our Thanksgiving meal.  Besides, even if I could find a frozen turkey, between my culinary skills and challenging oven would probably mean that we'd eat out anyway.

Our Mandarin tutor told us that the reason there are virtually no turkeys (and that they don't eat turkey) here is that Chinese farmers are scared to raise them.  She said that turkeys are big, mean birds and peck and bite people, so they don't want to raise them.  I guess that makes some sense, pigs wallow in their own filth and mud, but they don't have beaks.

We're going to a restaurant called Southern Belle, a true southern-style restaurant owned by a guy from Boston.  Not sure where this Beantown native got the idea to open a southern restaurant in Shanghai, but I'm sure Paula Deen would be proud. 

I did keep one tradition that I've had for the last 7 or 8 years, which was to run 5 miles on Thanksgiving morning.  Usually, I run the Fast Freddy Five Mile Foot Feast with Jennifer and Anne on T-giving day, but I ran it on the treadmill this morning and pictured the familiar sites of New Albany as I hoofed along, instead of watching Amazing Race Asia on the TV

Tomorrow, we're heading to Xi'an in Western China.  It's where the Terracotta Warriors are, now considered the eighth wonder of the world.  It's also one of the former capitals of China.  Hope to have some good stories and photos to post on Sunday.  I'm excited because Nick has always wanted to go see this magnificent sight, even before we moved here, so it's a perfect thing to do for his birthday (on Monday).

Just a few words of thanks:
I am grateful for my amazing family
For my supportive friends, old and new
For being able to meet sweet Nate (and hopefully next Thanksgiving I will be grateful for being able to bring him home)
For Nick, for keeping me sane through trying times, being my rock, and making me laugh, and for giving me the gift of this grand adventure that we're on
And, hopefully in a few hours, I will be thankful for turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, though I know it won't hold a candle to my mom's or grandmother's T-giving meals in years past or B's T-giving creation this year.

Home in 10 days!

Our dinner was quite delicious.  We were joined by one of Nick's American colleagues who just arrived in China on Monday.


  1. We missed you during the run! The hill into the park still sucked, but we did it! Hope your day was great!