Thanksgiving came and went and there I was with no leftover turkey sandwiches...no reheated mashed potatoes with gravy...no pumpkin pie for breakfast. I thought that Japan was strange but what's really strange is not stuffing myself silly on the third Thursday of November. What's strange is not having 3 sink fulls of dishes to wash before taking the obligatory triptophan induced nap on the couch....what's strange is that I actually miss that.
Don't worry friends and family...this story has a happy ending or should I say beginning? I don't know if I believe in luck but if it exists, I've been very lucky since I came to Japan three months ago. A great roommate, a good job, a sweet bicycle (it has a bell and basket), a few shows, and great new friends...let me emphasize that GREAT NEW FRIENDS. On Sunday the 27..a few days after the real Turkey day, my friends Lindsay and Sarah invited us (David, Jenny, and me) to their house in Yokohama for a home cooked American Thanksgiving. The only thing they had not planned on making was mashed potatoes (about the only thing I care about on Thanksgiving) so I volunteered. I made them the way Dad makes em...loads of butter and milk..he would have been proud. I carried those heavy potatoes the whole way...my biceps are huge. Jenny made a superb avocado and feta salad...yeah it's not typical Turkey Day fare but it was delicious. Sarah and Lindsay pulled out the stops...they cooked up real homemade stuffing, sweet potatoes, pies, whipped cream, and chicken (churkey). Turkies are hard to come by in this country. If I was a turkey I'd move here for sure..much safer than the US.
Not only was the food amazing but the vibe was warm and inviting. The minute we stepped into their foyer I felt right at home. There was some Robert Johnson on the cd player, the boys (Errol and Fumi)were watching the boob tube (no football game though) while the ladies fussed in the kitchen. The wine flowed. Lindsay and Sarah's boss, Andrea, showed up later on. It was her and her brother Craig's first Thanksgiving (they're australian mate). Our friend Akito's 15 year old sister was brave enough to join us even though her English was very limited and she was very shy. I hope she had a good time! We gave thanks, we ate, I played the guitar, we had coffee and pie, we watched the sunset over the rooftops and shrine...it was beautiful. The only thing missing was seeing my family and going out to Johnnies afterward to get drunk and listen to gossip about old high school classmates. That will have to wait for next year I guess.
Afterward we went out to karaoke. Beer after beer, song after song, we kept it up for 2 hours and could have gone on for more if we'd paid for more time. I sang so much that my voice went hoarse the next day. We took alot of pictures (I only have a few at the moment..Lindsay is sending me some more). After karaoke, we got some Japanese food...not the same as Thanksgiving leftovers but still delicious.
This day definately rates as one of the best days I've spent here in Japan. I've met some great people and I'm looking forward to more intimate gatherings like this. I am thankful for friends who make me feel at home in a far away place. THANKS!