Day 327 and 328: A Not So American Thanksgiving

My oh my this weekend flew by so quickly! Carina came over so we celebrated her birthday all weekend by lounging at the pool, enjoying decadent food, and watching movies. We saw The Impossible on Saturday night and it kind of freaked me out. The movie is the terrifying true story of a family who survived the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. My stomach was in knots and I was pretty much crying the entire the movie. I feel so great now about moving to an island just south of Thailand… yup.

Now I am back at work this Monday morning so let’s get down to business with this 365 project.

Friday, November 23rd

As I walked down to our lobby the day after Thanksgiving, I encountered a wet and rainy day. Unprepared, I asked the front desk if I could use one of their umbrellas but they were out!

Our new doorman with kind, crinkly eyes started talking to me in Chinese then walked away. The front desk lady who speaks a little English told me with a incredulous laugh that he was getting me his own umbrella! The doorman came back with his beautiful red umbrella with a wooden handle and offered it to me.

I was shocked.


I was so touched by this simple act of kindness and overwhelmed with gratitude. While his umbrella kept me dry on this rainy day after Thanksgiving, my face was wet with tears of happiness. Even in China I am reminded of and grateful for the generosity of the human spirit.

It is universal.

Saturday, November 24th

The Thanksgiving festivities continued on Saturday with a grand feast shared with our American and Scottish friends. Peter and I spent the morning at our friends John and Berri’s house prepping mashed potatoes and a green bean casserole (the girls) and watching a movie (the boys).

It was a stressful morning involving me losing Peter’e iphone in the taxi and an even more stressful afternoon preparing the Thanksgiving meal at our friends house on an extremely empty stomach.

But it was all worth it.


The dinner was delicious and the company was even better. We were surrounded by so many new friends who had accepted us into their families and homes with open arms. After only two months in Shanghai I had already found myself part of a crazy and dysfunctional family. It showed me the strength of Peter’s character with the friendships he had made and the strength of the expat community. We may be different but we are all in this together. 

I was also in it for the pumpkin soup.



After dinner we spent the evening chatting, drinking, and eating dessert. Barri and I took the two little girls on a walk around the neighborhood and messed around on the outdoor exercise equipment. There is nothing like playground ellipticals to work off a Thanksgiving meal.


We then started an epic game of charades with the Americans vs. the Scots that lasted until the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately for our team, the charades cards were from a Scottish game which meant we had to act out people, places, and things that we had never heard of before. It definitely revealed how ignorant Americans are about world history! Whoops. And did you know that pickled cucumbers are called Gherkins in Scotland? Weird.

We definitely lost but learned and laughed a lot!

Kirsten and Peter Thanksgiving

It was definitely a not so American Thanksgiving to remember.

Happy Thanksgiving from China! 

3 thoughts on “Day 327 and 328: A Not So American Thanksgiving

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