Last time we spent Thanksgiving in Korea (back in 2006) it wasn't much to write home about. Considering we were really new to the country (only two months in) and didn't really know many people, let alone any Canadians... Last Thanksgiving we happened to be in Canada so we got to experience glorious gluttony at its finest. I hadn't thought much about Thanksgiving this year (I'd actually forgotten that it was coming up) until I talked to lovely Dana and she mentioned she was having a full blown dinner and invited us to come.
Unfortunately Shawna had to make her way back to Gimpo and wasn't able to make it for the dinner. She was there in spirit though. I hadn't really thought much about the logistics of the meal and had mistakenly assumed that it wouldn't be that authentic. Maybe that sounds mean but there were a lot of odds stacked against a decent Thanksgiving. For example, no one has an oven and if they did, it wouldn't be big enough to cook a turkey. Of course, that's assuming that you could find a turkey for sale in this country. Plus things like stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie aren't exactly available in any regular store out here. You can see why I was prepared to value the occasion for the company rather than the food. The company was awesome, by the way, and we all had a great time hanging out, laughing, playing Guitar Hero and other games.
Happily, I was proven wrong and had clearly underestimated the awesomeness of the people I know. Dana, Kate and Katrina prepared the most authentic, amazing traditional Thanksgiving meal imaginable. They went to multiple foreign food markets and made a trip to Cost-co in order to find all the necessary supplies for this mouth-watering meal. We didn't get turkey but we did had a huge rotissary chicken that was so juicy and succulent! That was the only "variation" from the traditional menu. We all gourged on rotissary chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash, fruit salad, stuffing, cranberry sauce, buns, green bean casserole and dill pickles. Yep, we ate actual dill pickles in Korea, the land where only sweet pickles are welcome.
Even though they had planned the meal for about 13 people (and there were only 10 of us) we managed to polish off an impressive amount of food and drink. A couple of Dana/Curtis/Kate/Dave's Korean coworkers came to celebrate the holiday with all us waegooks. You know it's a good meal when the Koreans are attacking the dessert table (besides pumpkin pie we had Dunkin Donuts and Teri's amazing homemade shortbread) and when Dave is drinking gravy.
We ended up staying a bit later than planned and therefore ended up having to spend the night in Bundang. As luck would have it, Monday morning was the Oiler's season opener so we got to truly indulge in all things Canadian. Who isn't thankful for hockey? Curtis signed up for some sort of subscription where he can watch hockey online and he is able to hook his computer up to the TV. You can watch archived games as well as live broadcasts.
This was a really exciting game (although you wouldn't think so judging by Matt)- we were playing Colorado, which meant that Ryan Smith was back in town. (This paragraph is going to be a bit boring for anyone that doesn't follow hockey.) They actually had him as the Colorado representative for the honorary face off. I didn't notice any booing though. We played a solid game and Curtis filled me in on some of the new members of the Oilers. I've fallen behind a lot since moving to Korea but hopefully I can get back up to speed this season. The Oilers led for most of the game and it looked like we were going to go into overtime but then Penner scored a goal for us in the last six seconds!! Ahssa! So we won!!! What a great start to the week. ^^ Plus, it meant that the Oilers have won their season opener the last five years in a row. I hope we do better this season.
So there you have it- Canadian Thanksgiving Korean style. I miss my family and friends back home but I think we managed to do the holiday justice here. To see all the pictures you can venture over here. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We miss you and love you all!