The holidays are always a little odd whilst being abroad. It’s definitely the being thousands of miles and a Skype screen away from everyone that’s close to my heart, but I think it’s also in combination with the fact that as an expat in Korea we have to work right through our amazing Americana holidays. And then it’s not til the last minute when we all realize that we need to get our shit together.
My first year here was the most depressing of the three. One, it was my first ever away from the world back home, and second, there were big talks of getting a group of us together and buying one of the big turkey dinners from the Army base, but that did NOT come to fruition. Ultimately Steph and I spent our first Turkey day in Korea with 2 big piping hot bowls of pho in front of our faces. Don’t get me wrong, pho warms my soul on any other day, but on Thanksgiving it was pathetic and majorly deserving of a sadface.
Last year was much better. Though still accompanied by the lingering sadness factor, it felt a bit more like the holidays. I had Josh “Gay” Rich visiting, which was a wonderful blast from the past, and my beautiful family over here managed to get our butts in gear to make a tasty spread of thanks in our microscopic kitchens.
We even took these gorgeous family photos to top it off.
Not ripping a page from years past, this year the holidays have begun to feel a bit more like the holidays should, and that makes Danielle a very happy camper! Korea obviously doesn’t get the right ring for an American Thanksgiving, and then Christmas likes to usually follow suit, except this year! This weekend began with a trip to the European Christmas Market that is held at Hansung University, which also happens to be 1 subway stop south of me, or a quick 20 minute jaunt. Nothing ever used to be close to me! YAYAYUYUH!
Joshy, Jee and I all met up Friday night after work for some piping hot Glühwein, a dinner made up of some mediocre excuses for European delicacies, a fully decked out Christmas tree and an extremely miserable looking Santa. But miserable Santa aside, the holidays were alive and thriving in the air, and it was a wondrously toasty night with my loves. It got me super in the holiday spirit!
On Saturday we had our Thanksgivukkuh feast! It still took us a good nanosecond to get our lives together, and come to grips with the fact that of the 20 people we invited to our potluck, me, Tim, Joshy and Jee, plus a couple others, were the only ones to respond to be in our company. Hard feelings for all others aside, the few of us managed to slave away all day to pull off what actually ended up being my most favorite Thanksgiving feastgathering to date. Quality over quantity, as the saying so rightly goes!
It came fully equipped with a delicious homemade spread filled with some unsuspecting chefs (super impressed), and photos of said attendees taking photos of said feast. We are in Korea afterall, where the foodie photo reigns supreme, or you didn’t eat it.
Greasy latkes were flipped by the token Jew on the block, in honor of the Thanksgivukkuh miracle of some 79,000 years.
Fattening up was then followed by a few rigorous rounds of Apples to Apples (thanks Andria), Pilgrims and Indians arts & crafts hour with supplies hijacked from school, and a screening of the 2013 film most deserving of a Razzie Award, Sharknado.
I guess I can say goodbye to any form of political office with these totally un-PC photos of me sporting headress.
The evening wouldn’t be complete without a family photo in front of a screenshot from said Razzie-deserver, of a man chainsawing himself out of the belly of the beast.
It was a wondrously delicious evening with those I love most in this damn country that I live in. A holiday which started out feeling a bit bittersweet with so many friends having already left really redeemed itself, and most of my homesickness as of late has begun to dissipate, thank God!
Even though being away from home during the holidays is sadface but has become my new normal, nothing says home, I love you or Happy Thanksgivukkuh quite the way a wacko Skype sesh with the Schaeffs does!
Happy holidays from my crazy faced family/ies (sans Brotha Schaeff) to your’s!