Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In the haze of holiday shopping and retail insanity American`s little November tradition is nothing more than a blip on the radar in Tokyo. Thanksgiving used to mean something a long time ago. People used to sit around the family dinner table, eat turkey, and talk about what they are thankful for. My family tried this when I was a lot younger but it always ended up in dad throwing a beer bottle at me, my mother throwing her plate at my dad, and my sister laughing her ass off while calling us all stupid. Those were the good old days indeed. Now, I am a full fledged adult living out my life in Tokyo. While no one will have a beer bottle thrown at them this year, I hope, I have been reflecting on past Thanksgivings and looking to the near future as to how I am going to celebrate this time honored tradition in Tokyo.
I have experienced some odd Thanksgivings in the past. For some reason Thanksgiving leads me down a road of ruin almost every year. A few of those past odd Thanksgivings will always stick out in my mind.
The most fun Thanksgiving I have had so far was the first one after my parents split. It was just dad and I trying to figure out what to do on a cold West Virginia day. We did manage to cook a turkey. Although, we cooked it a little too long and it was a little dry. We had a lot of good laughs talking about what we were not thankful for while eating the bird. After stuffing out faces we drank a few shots of Jack and walked into town. We ended up at some bar gambling on a few football games and getting drunk.
The other Thanksgiving that really sticks out on my mind was the year I found myself in a small apartment in St. Louis with two gals from India. They had no idea how to cook a turkey. The older one of the pair was hell bent on having a turkey for Thanksgiving. They look to me as if I was the expert. These two gals both had the ability to breath fire at a moments notice. I did not want to get burned from giving wrong directions as to how to cook a turkey. I called my grandmother and she walked them though the entire process. What was interesting about eating a turkey with these two gals was that they insisted on having curry soup and way too much wine along with the bird. It was a weird night if Hindu music, nakedness, wine drinking, and fuzzy memories.
So, this year I will have Thanksgiving in Tokyo for the first time. What the hell I am supposed to do? The Japanese have no tradition, as far as I am aware, of Thanksgiving. It seems that the holiday itself is only mentioned in English mags and news letters. After reading the Metropolis I have found that there are several places offering a Thanksgiving meal to us gaijin who desire some turkey with all the trimmings. After getting the thumbs up from the gal I have decided on a place called Beacon in the Omotesando area of Shibuya-ku. The gal will reserve us a spot tomorrow I assume. I hope we get a spot because for 8,500 yen I can enjoy a damn good Thanksgiving dinner in a nice restaurant.
This year`s Thanksgiving is looking to be 100% clear of any trouble or oddness. I say this now but I am sure that the god of chaos is watching me and plotting a proper punishment. I have faith that Thanksgiving is going to be fun and relaxing. I end with a question for everyone living in Japan. What are you planning to do for Thanksgiving?