Giving Thanks

Today was Thanksgiving out here in Seosan, and relaying this fact to a classroom of Koreans created about as much impact as a marshmallow landing on a cloud. The general reaction seemed to be one of apprehension, as most assumed I would be assigning extra homework. Fortunately for them I did not, but I did do my damnedest to convey the essentials of my favorite holiday. In a nutshell, families get together, they eat turkey, which is like a giant chicken that makes you sleepy, they watch American football, and then they have a good long nap. The next day they wake up, wipe the crumbs off their bloated bellies, and proceed to go shopping. I think they got the idea.  Even though I’m thousands of miles from home, there is still plenty to be grateful for. Here, in no particular order, are a few of the reasons I’m saying thanks this year; my year in Seosan, South Korea.

  • Heated floors and heavy blankets
  • A cupboard full of medicine I brought from home that I’ve never had to use
  • High-speed Internet
  • The sauna
  • Reruns of English programming that have allowed me to almost memorize the entire script to “Kindergarten Cop”
  • Soju that’s cheaper than water
  • Rice fields, green hills, and clean air
  • Employers that treat me like family
  • The classes that actually ask my permission to speak Korean
  • A 25-hour work week
  • Living life without car
  • Being forced to learn how to use chopsticks
  • Electronic dart boards
  • Kimchi
  • The Chicken Lady and Mama Burger
  • Galbi, Shabu-Shabu, Booda-Jee-Gae, Nakshi-Dup-Bap, Bi-Bim-Bap, Galbi Tang, and pretty much any other Korean dish ever made
  • Barack Obama winning the election
  • Amazing friends, who are the real reason this journey has been so amazing
  • The little dot on my map that marks Seattle
  • And most importantly, my family who is waiting for me there when I get home

Related Listening: “Give Thanks and Praise” – Bob Marley

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2 responses to “Giving Thanks

  1. It is too bad that we earmark only one day of the calendar year to count our blessings – although turkeys might think otherwise. My list – in no particular order – of thanks include the following: The Seahawks play only once a week, George Bush is just about over and out, my children are grown, curious, loving and bright, your mother is as wonderful as the day we married, and in just a few months you will be back home!

  2. You write such nice posts!

    I’ve recently been pointed in the direction of an awesome Mongolian hot-pot restuarant (very shabu-shabuy) here in Seoul. If you’re ever here and feel that the other 5 million restarurants are not good enough then let me know and I’ll give you directions. I mean, it’s really *that good*. 🙂

    Cheers …

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