Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

The sixth quarter update

15 Jan

Zhongguo Jumble has been in existence just over a year and a half now.  Even though I recently published my 2012 Year in Review post, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out some of my favorite posts from the last quarter.

What to write next?  Who knows?

My own favorites?  What to write next? Who knows?

I’d characterize last quarter as being the “quarter of comments.”  I got lots and lots of great feedback from readers and in my opinion that feedback made the posts themselves better and more thought provoking.  I also realized that people feel connected to me and my family and friends via the photos and stories that I publish.  That has been a powerful learning and motivation as well.

Posts that generated a discussion through the comments last quarter were:

Sweet treats and Christmas wishes – this was a post where I noticed the globalization in my local bread store with Christmas specials of different types of bread.

TCKs – putting people into boxes – here I talked about TCKs (Third Culture Kids) and how difficult it can be to grow up in a different culture than your parents.  This was a thought provoking post about slang and language and how it can change.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Shanghai – my first ever Thanksgiving dinner (as hostess) was a resounding success and my readers enjoyed it as well.

In addition I participated in a couple of photo challenges, though fewer than the previous quarter.  The post that was “liked” the most was a photo taken by a good friend during my first Chinese New Year in Shanghai about being foreign.

If you missed any of the above posts, I suggest that you check them out.  Or if I missed one of your favorite posts, please leave me a comment about which post you enjoyed the most.

Over the last 18 months I have published over 230 posts.  Sometimes I get questions from my family as to where I come up with ideas for my posts and whether I ever feel I will run out of ideas.  Ideas come from all kinds of places – some are from blogs or topics posted by others, sometimes it is something crazy that happens at work, or something a colleague or friend says.

To answer the second question – “Yes!  I often feel that I will run out of ideas.”  The last quarter especially has been a tough one.  I didn’t travel at all for work and it felt like my life was getting predictable.  I can’t be sure where the next post will come from, but I do know at least that living in Shanghai isn’t boring as long as  I keep my eyes (and ears and nose) open.

Keep tuned in for 2013 and beyond.

How do you keep your motivation on a long term project?


Celebrating Thanksgiving in Shanghai

27 Nov

The happy crew

Last Thursday night I celebrated Thanksgiving with a wonderful group of friends that I have met over the last five years in Shanghai.  The twelve of us (some new friends and some old), celebrated with a traditional turkey dinner that had the best turkey most of the table had ever eaten.

I ordered it all – no food preparation in my kitchen at all except for deviled eggs and my friend Marcus who made stuffed tomatoes.  This was predicated by two things – 1) Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, so I had to work on Thursday and 2) my oven decided to break the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  The stress free way, then was delivery!

City Shop, the local supermarket chain has a delivery service and previous years I had had their turkeys as well.  They did not disappoint.

Beautiful bird

One of the joys was that two of my friends brought their kids and so we had four kids under the age of six who were there as well, full of energy and really cute!  It was the first time that three of the four of them had turkey, so I am now part of their cultural history!

Luckily one of my acquaintances had recommended that I print off some Thanksgiving coloring pages to keep them occupied while we ate.  They worked like a charm!  I need to keep that in mind for future events.

Showing off her turkey!

As we were finishing up the main course and before we had a chance to cut the pies that I ordered (my mother’s pie is still hands down better than the pie that was delivered) my parents called!  We were able to use my iPad to connect them to the gathering and share some of our enthusiasm with them.  Technology at its best.

Introducing the crew to mom & dad

Here are a few other photos from our evening.  What a wonderful night!

Monica carving the turkey! She did a great job.

The feast

Li and me

I am thankful for many things including the opportunity to celebrate this holiday here in Shanghai in my new apartment.  It was the first time I had people over and was a resounding success.

I am also thankful for my readers of the blog and your continued support and interest in my Shanghai adventures.  Thank you for your visits and comments.  May Thanksgiving morph from a holiday into a state of mind for us all.

This post is also my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Thankful.  If you’d like to see what others are thankful for, you can click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

A Thanksgiving gift several years ago – he will be celebrating with me this year as well!

Although Thanksgiving is not celebrated in China, it is still one of my favorite holidays.  In previous years I have been invited over to the house of good friends, but this year they will be in the US visiting their children, so I was forced to come up with a Plan B.

Instead of traveling to places yet unseen (as I discussed in my Cabin Fever post) I instead decided to throw a Thanksgiving party.  Later today, I’ll be having nearly a dozen people over for turkey and all the trimmings and good company.  It will be the first time I’ll have had visitors over to the new place and it seems like a great way to celebrate with friends.

Just about everyone I’ve invited has lived in the US for at least a couple of years, but aside from some of the children who will be running around, I am the only native born American.  Traditionally the US has been welcoming of visitors from other shores, so hopefully my small party will continue in that tradition.

More to come after the fact – Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from China!  May this special time of year serve to remind us how lucky we are and consider those less fortunate than ourselves.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Turkey and… lamb kebabs?

6 Dec

Yum! (Full disclosure - this is a US turkey)

For the last several years I have been blessed that my good friends have thrown a Thanksgiving party at their house.  Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family and eating too much.  Since turkey is very rarely seen here in China and apartments don’t have ovens, it also typically involves ordering a pre-made Thanksgiving dinner from one of the many restaurants and grocery stores that provide such services.

This year, similar to the last two, my friend Mike (also an ND alumni), sent me a note inviting the two of us for turkey.  This year however, he said he was throwing a larger get-together and it would be at a karaoke bar near his house.  Li and I were running a little late, so by the time we got there, the party was in full swing.  True to form, Mike had ordered one of the “turkey dinners”, but since there were so many people there, there was also a full selection of typical KTV fare – boiled dumplings, popcorn, lamb kebabs, hot soups and other chinese snack foods.  The rest of the group had focused on the more familiar food, so we filled up our plates with mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and green beans and perched in the back of the room while the rest of the group sang.

A large proportion of the group was Mike’s coworkers whom we didn’t know, but I knew that in any good KTV gathering each person must sing at least one song.  After finishing my turkey, with help, I selected Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and led the room in a series of twirls.

It was not a traditional Thanksgiving, but sure was a lot of fun.  May your holiday season be as happy!

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