One of the best things about living in Wuhan compared to other Chinese cities is the large amount of foreigners. I’m really enjoying the chance to find out about not only Chinese culture but also spend some time with people from other English speaking countries such as Canada and America. This week as, it held the fourth Thursday in November, I celebrated my very first American thanksgiving.
Shannon, one of the American teachers at my school organised a huge outing to Aloha in Hanyang, an American owned diner-style restaurant which prides itself on home-cooked classic American food. There was a full thanksgiving menu including canapés, wine, turkey dinner and the holiday favourite pumpkin pie. I have to say that it wasn’t a patch on my Dads Christmas dinner, but it was also one of the most nostalgically delicious things I have ever eaten. Mashed potato! Broccoli! Homemade stuffing! All the familiar favourites as well as more eccentric American additions such as cranberry sauce with chopped up marshmallows, all drowned, in a stereotypically Northern manner, in lashings of thick gravy.
The biggest cultural difference came when I had to explain to the present Americans that “its just like Marks and Sparks” about the canapés is the highest compliment. Where they questioned how it could be that much of a compliment, saying it resembled supermarket food, I found myself saying that it “wasn’t just supermarket food, it was Marks & Spencer supermarket food . . .”
It worked out as actually the most expensive thing I have had to eat since I got to China, working out at 188kwai (around £18.80) compared to the 3kwai noodles I often eat for dinner. Apart from the price though it really was good food and I will definitely be going back to Aloha when I next get homesick food cravings.