The University of Iowa

Not Your Average Thanksgiving

December 5th, 2013

By Siqi Wang for The Daily Iowan

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break? Did you eat well, rest well, and study well?

For most American students, it seemed as if all of you went back home to your families to enjoy the annual feast, with turkey, mashed potatoes, and delicious pies.

But most international students, including me, prefer to travel around the United States, even some of the world, because a 12-hour flight back home is kind of expensive.

I decided to spend my Thanksgiving in Los Angeles with my uncle's family.

Los Angeles is an extraordinary city with warmer weather than Iowa, many restaurants and shopping centers, and people of many different backgrounds.

During this trip, I found there are numerous Chinese supermarkets, hundreds of Chinese restaurants, and many Chinese law offices, hospitals, and schools in the LA area. Because of this, I realized many Chinese people could live there without speaking any English.

As for Thanksgiving dinner, my aunt is definitely a "cook." She cooked lots of traditional foods that usually appear for dinner on the Chinese New Year. We ate Zhu Ti, pig's feet with 10 different sauces that takes two hours to cook; Pa Ji, chicken wings with soy sauce on top; Bao Zi, a kind of dumpling formed in a circular shape; and many different fresh vegetables with traditional Chinese sauces. My mouth is watering as I write.

After this delicious dinner, my stomach was so full. I couldn't even stand up, but my cousins persuaded me to walk to the nearest Target and get the latest iPad Air for $100 cheaper than usual.

When we have arrived around 7 p.m., the line was already pretty long. I had not seen anything like it before. People were wearing thick coats, numerous layers, scarves, and fur hats to show their "dedication" to Black Friday.

After an hour of waiting in the cold (it felt like 24 hours), the front door of Target finally opened. There were at least 200 people before us. Before we had the chance to enter, all the electronic devices such as high-definition televisions, high-quality microwave ovens, and more had disappeared. We then had to stand in another long line for the iPad Air. I knew by the time we reached the front, it would be impossible to get an iPad, so we gave up and walked around Target to see what else we could find.

And guess what I got? Only two socks. It was definitely a sad shopping experience but a wonderful Thanksgiving. I still don't want to accept the reality that break is over.