Pensive Poultry

25 11 2010

Technically Thanksgiving Day.  I feel as if I should be a bit more nostalgic or homesick maybe, but to be completely honest it’s not phasing me in the least.  These emotions could possibly be pacified by the knowledge that I will be celebrating with some friends this weekend to simulate the whole experience I would be having back home, or maybe the whole thing just doesn’t seem real at this point considering the lack of indication by my current surroundings that such a holiday ever existed in the first place – maybe all the warm memories are a construction of my vivid imagination…

With this admittance out in black and white, I am not sure whether to credit my seemingly heartless detachment as an example of strength and independence, or take it as a sign of some sort of borderline anti-social personality disorder.  Or, just maybe, in some between-the-lines reality things like Thanksgiving Day are never really meant to be missed.  The whole fiasco seems so easily to become more a grudging chore to everyone involved than something that is really appreciated.

I’ve always enjoyed the times with family and friends more when they’re not built up so much.  When I’m there enjoying their company because we choose to be, rather than because once upon a time some ‘Indians’ were killed, before helping some Pilgrims pick corn, before Captain America decided I get 2 days off work to pay for a ridiculously inflated airline ticket so I can wait in ridiculously long lines and listen to people complain about ridiculous things like security scanners seeing the shape of their body under their clothing.

It all seems like a bit of a racket to me.  Then again, I never really have been the conventional type…

This year I will be glad for the opportunity to Skype with my family who is slightly less spread out than usual, and then spend the rest of my evening streaming documentaries at home while the ondol floor heating aids the makkoli in warming my belly.

I wouldn’t feel right ending this post without noting the fact that I have an incredible amount to be thankful for this year and every year.  I love you all.


Pepero Day

11 11 2010

Today is Pepero Day.  Each November 11th, Korea becomes a maniacal frenzy of the purchase and trade of chocolate covered biscuit sticks   – Pepero – which are manufactured, heavily marketed and distributed by one of the largest conglomerates in both Korea and Japan: the Lotte Corporation.

Why is November 11th Pepero Day in Korea, you ask?  Well, because when you hold up two Pepero sticks they resemble the number “11”, and what better way to celebrate 11/11 than clearing out every mini-mart, supermarket, and Costco of these delicious treats.  Not only are simple boxes of Pepero available, there is a wide variety of cellophane-wrapped, glittered and bowtied gift baskets lining shelves for that extra special someone in your life.

Lotte – well done.  I thought Valentine’s Day and Christmas had consumer exploitative marketing tactics in the bag, but I realize now there is always room for more, beckoning us into even further absurdity.

When I was informed of this strange ‘holiday’ yesterday by excited students, I promised myself that I would absolutely NOT partake in this ridiculous affair; I will boycott any and all purchase of Lotte snack products for the entire day!

And in vain.  I left work today with 13 boxes of Pepero with “I love you Teacher” scribbled on the boxes.  Awwwww…. I LOVE Pepero Day!!