Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanksgiving in Taiwan

This year I had my first Thanksgiving away from my family (not to mention my first Thanksgiving in a foreign country) so, to make up for it, I had two Thanksgivings. After all, Thanksgiving is a strictly American holiday and what's more American than drowning your sadness with an abundance of food, wine, and good company during the holidays? (That only sounds super melodramatic. I mean it as a joke.)

The first party was held in Taipei by the American Institute in Taiwan. It was held on the top floor of a ritzy apartment complex right by Taipei 101 and the Fulbright staff and all of this year's recipients were invited. All the food was delicious, especially the bread pudding, and William Stanton, the director of AIT, carved the turkey.

William Stanton and the head chef tackle the turkey
The whole Fulbright Yilan crew!
While the AIT Thanksgiving party was held the Friday before Thanksgiving, the second shindig was a somewhat more low-key event on Thanksgiving itself. The girls at the Zhongshan apartment (where I lived for the first month after I arrived in Taiwan) were awesome enough to host a great big pot luck for all us Yilan-ites. Turns out that, when we pooled our resources, we had just about everything traditionally required for Thanksgiving dinner (except maybe green bean casserole) and a few distinctly Taiwanese things to boot.  

One of our food tables (there was a separate salad/sandwich table and a third for drinks and desserts)  
Through a funny twist of fate, we even ended up with a big fat turkey with all the fixins from a fancy restaurant in Taipei free of charge. Of course, then the problem was actually getting the turkey from said restaurant to the party in Yilan. But Vivian (who lives in Taipei) came to the rescue, volunteering to pick up the 6kg turkey and bringing it all the way to Zhongshan apartment in a taxi. 

Christine, the only one of us who had ever carved a turkey before, shows off her handiwork

*Sappy moment of the day* This Thanksgiving, I was thankful that, even though I was about as far away from my home and my family as I could possibly be, I was still fortunate enough to be surrounded by good food and great friends. 
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us in Yilan!

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