It’s that time in America – Thanksgiving 2014!

Time to celebrate what we have in our relationships and to reconnect with friends and family… and eat slowly and surely until we’re so full we hate ourselves. But that’s what the after-dinner nap is for, dontcha know?

In this way, it’s the perfect time to visit my home country and the friendly Midwest in particular (so, thanks Alex, for having your wedding during this time, or I probably wouldn’t be here right now, because BRRR). There’s something about a little snow on the ground and a warm, food-scented kitchen that activates all the Peace hormones in my brain. Provided, of course, that I’m in said kitchen, and not out shoveling or something. And wearing many, many layers.
In the spirit of recognizing how much I love about BOTH of my current homes – Vietnam and the US – here are a couple lists for you.

Things I don’t have to worry about in the US

1. Mosquitos, geckos, cockroaches, ants, or roosters.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in HCMC,
2013, with… eyeballs? Panda boobs? IDK, TBH.

2. Being understood by customer service, waitstaff, and literally everyone I meet.

3. Not knowing what I’m eating, how I ordered it, or how much I’ll have to pay for it when I get the bill.

4. Getting out of the shower and sweating.

5. A city that borders on claustrophobic at times.

6. Running out of room in the tiny, itty bitty fridge.

7. The internet slowing down to the pace of a quadriplegic turtle, because of sharks, or pirates, or the Chinese, or all three (you think I’m joking, but these are the standard reasons).

8. My bike breaking down on the way to work, again.

9. Oh no, the maid forgot to get drinking water/replace the gas/clean our house!

10. Being 12+ hours ahead of my friends and family.

Things I don’t have to worry about in Vietnam

1. Cat hair. No shedding. Love you, tropical cats.

2. Getting out of the shower and freezing.

3. Guns and scary, unhelpful police (I’m looking at you, asshole Detroit Airport cops).

4. Public transit trip planning and allotting HOURS to get anywhere.

5. Worrying I’ll accidentally spend all my rent money while out to eat a quick breakfast with friends.

6. Chapped lips, a winter wardrobe, wind chills from beyond hell.

7. The CTA starting on fire (Chicago had a bad day last week, but also, no subway in HCMC. Yet).

8. This tap water is too hot/drinkable!

9. Oh no, I’m late again, whatever time it is. What time is it? I don’t even know how to get where I’m going, actually. Do you have wifi?

10. No toilet paper? Bum gun. Boom. Problem solved. (Sidenote: CAN’T BELIEVE this is a thing I miss.)

BONUS: HOW DO YOU TURN ON THIS PRIUS??? // Driving a car through the country at night is downright terrifying. Also, driving a car is a lot of work.

In the next few days I’ll be posting a few recipes I was able to make at home in an oven. Keep your eyes peeled! Holidays are when you can legit pull out the stops and get weird. I had fun in the kitchen prepping everything today.

I hope your Thanksgiving is equally rewarding and comforting for you, and that you were surrounded by the people you love and that love you in return!

Finally, Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and roommates in Vietnam – I’m jealous of your feast you made last week! I can’t wait for Rooftop Christmas BBQ Season.Are you an expat? How do you celebrate the Harvest Holiday… and what kinds of things do you cook?