Happy Thanksgiving! Today, I will go to work and come home for dinner with Andrew. Then, I will go to sleep at a reasonable hour because I have to wake up for work early. Don’t worry. We’re going to have a Chinese-Filipino American Thanksgiving dinner complete with Lo Mai Fan (sticky rice), Ginataang Kalabasa Sitaw (Coconut Squash Green Bean Stew), and Sweet Potato Casserole. We’ll have turkey on Saturday with some friends.
This Thanksgiving is very different. It’s the first one away from my family. Of course I’m thankful for Jesus, my family, my friends, a job, a place to live, the city of Edinburgh, and Andrew, but I this year, I found myself to be thankful for things I would have never expected. Here are 5 of those things.
1. The Sun
The sun is freaking awesome. Light is amazing. God knew exactly what he was doing. After all, the third verse of the Bible is “And God said, ‘Let there be light,” and there was light.” Obviously, it’s extremely important. As a California girl, I definitely have taken for granted sunlight. First of all, the sun gives warmth. There is something so nice about the sun hitting my face. The fact that the sun comes out helps me go for a run. (I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t been running that much since we’ve been here cause it’s too cold and dark). I start work at either 7am or 3pm. The sun goes down by 4pm so I barely see the sun (also because it’s cloudy so there is no sun). Also, our skin makes vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D important for strong bones, a healthy immune system, and is also related to depression. I’ve started taking Vitamin D supplements and I think it’s helpful. Seasonal Affective Disorder is real.
2. American Tourists
I have this impression that American tourists are high maintenance or ignorant of other cultures. However, when I check in a guest, I get so excited when I see a +1 (aka the international code) in front of their phone number. It feels like home to hear those beautiful American accents. Every time I meet and check in an American, I get to have a very nice conversation about San Francisco, how I got here, and even get to know them in a more “intimate way” than a normal guest. I love it! Also, an American means a higher likelihood of an upsell.
I love taking showers here! When it’s cold and you can turn the water heater on and you take a nice hot shower without timing yourself. It’s amazing and feels so nice. Guiltless free showers are AWESOME! Also, we can use the faucet water to wash off the food from the dishes when we wash our dishes. It’s so nice. Another thing I would never do at home is use a hot water bottle. After all, it’s a waste of a liter of water, but now I use one and it’s great. I also put hot water in my glass Camelbak and walk in the cold with it. It definitely helps a lot. I actually drink the water in it though.
Dryers are a luxury item in the UK. It’s not normal for people to have a dryer in their homes. There’s a washing machine, but no dryer so you end up hanging your clothes on anything you can find. Laundry will be hanging for a day or even 2 sometimes. I suppose it makes me actually fold it and put it away sooner, but I miss how you can just forget about it and leave the clothes there and it’ll be fine. We have a drying rack and even racks for a heaters, but I miss the warm softness fluffiness you can get from the dryer.
5. Wongfu Productions
I most definitely never thought I’d be thankful for Wongfu. I mean, I like their videos and love that they tell the Asian-American story, but I’ve never been really into it. There is something extremely comforting about their videos. Andrew and I have been watching their Lunch Break series and they’ve been very comforting. Their conversations are exactly the conversations I’ve had with my friends. I imagine certain friends of mine as Phil, Christine, Taylor, and Wes. I really appreciate how they share and embrace their Asian-American-ness. Their videos are very relatable and just feel very familiar. Now, there are a lot of Asians and Chinese people in Edinburgh and I am very thankful for that. I can get boba and noodles and relate with them in a very special way. I actually think I speak more of my broken Chinese here in Edinburgh than when I lived close to the suburban Chinatown of the SGV or worked in SF Chinatown. All is good. However, I do miss English-speaking Asians. But that’s where Wongfu and all those other Asian American youtubers come in!
I mean, this one was so good!
And this one!
Wongfu, as an Asian-American expat from California, thank you. You have provided endless entertainment and comfort to me.
And on another note, we’re coming home soon! We’ll be back December 26-January 4. Let us know if you want to hang out (and drink boba, eat noodles/InNOut/burritos) with me (or us).