Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Beijing

As this was our first Thanksgiving outside of America, we were a little unsure about how we'd fare. I'm a big fan of the traditional Thanksgiving spread. Mostly because I can only get that particular combination of dishes and flavors a couple times a year. The week before the big day, M realized that she had to go to a lecture at Beijing University at 6 on Thanksgiving Day. Oh no!

It quickly hit us: Thanksgiving is American. For most of the rest of the world, it's just some random Thursday. Speaking of which, who was the wise guy who put it on a Thursday? Seriously. I mean, it was nice to be able to get Thursday and Friday off back in the day, but really, it just caused heaps of trouble. Anyone else remember the Tuesday night all-nighters, stumbling to that 4:00 class the next day to take that mandatory midterm from a very un-thankful professor? Or the 12+ hour bumper to bumper rides from Norcal to Socal and back again? Oh America!

Since I had a couple hours of work in the morning and M had the lecture at 6pm, we weren't really sure how we'd celebrate. But some of our newly reunited friends here in the city invited us to their potluck shindig that started at 3pm. Perfect! And what a shindig it was. M has repeatedly exclaimed that it was quite possibly her best Thanksgiving meal ever. She's still whining about how that lecture prevented her from just eating non-stop all night. It's possible we've been craving normal Western food for so long that our taste buds were in withdrawal, but the meal was freakin' awesome.

Those of you who know us well enough are probably laughing by now, since you probably figured we'd just gush about the food first. Yes, we're a couple of mini-gluttons.

We are thankful though. The holiday was a nice opportunity to step back and reflect on the near overwhelming sense of blessing and provision we've been feeling lately. We talk a lot of trash about being here in China, mostly for a good laugh and to keep the blog interesting, but also because there are times when we're genuinely freaked out about being here. In all of the craziness, though, there are these amazingly clear pinpoints of God's love and provision--surprising and exciting job opportunities, chance encounters with friends we needed to see, great conversations with new friends that we really enjoy, the list goes on. And we're nothing special; I guess all I'm really trying to say is that Beijing has, in many ways, made me more grateful, more able to see and appreciate the ways we're being cared for. I need these reminders, ungrateful wretch that I am.

On that note, a happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you!

PS: I totally rickrolled one of my classes today. I brought my guitar to some of my classes, and one of my younger classes, 7-8 year olds, was acting up while I was trying to sing them some kid's song, so I stopped. Paused. And said, "Ok, fine, now I'm going to sing you a very famous song." I just couldn't let them down.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

hahahahaha! this year i spent thanksgiving on the couch with a fever. i watched the whole parade live, and that was my favorite part. (i especially like the pink imaginary friend.) thank you for bringing back my best thanksgiving memory EVER!!! also, happy thanksgiving, beans!