November has flown by here at AIU. It’s been full of midterms, drama, and parties. Christmas decorations have been up since before Halloween (just like being home!), and more of them appear in the mall every week. It took a while to get used to not seeing any Thanksgiving decorations or advertisements, but there’s not really any place for turkey and stuffing in Japan. In one of my Japanese classes, my teacher asked me what Thanksgiving was meant to be celebrating. That was definitely an exercise in using my abstract vocabulary! (Still, I think we had it easier than the English students who had to try and explain Bonfire Night.)
Various groups of American students have made arrangements to celebrate Thanksgiving. One of the American professors has offered up his apartment for some of his students to come and make food. For the main event, American and international students have arranged a potluck on Saturday in the student hall. It sounds like it will be a full meal.
As for me, I’m doing something a bit more unorthodox for Thanksgiving. I’m taking a trip to Tokyo for the weekend to visit my friends K. and k. who are studying abroad there. I’m happy to see them for the first time since July and hear how their semester in Japan has been. Also, my friend K. is a great cook, and I’m looking forward to having some of her cooking.
Take care, and have an excellent Thanksgiving. Remember why you’re celebrating!
Japanese word of the day: kansha matsuri / かんしゃまつり (kahn-sha-maht-sue-ree) noun, a festival for giving thanks, gratitude.