There are some images that never leave you.
For me, seeing someone pull the neck out of a turkey carcass is one of them.
Thanksgiving abroad has never included turkey for me. Instead we've settled for chicken or meatballs, but this year it was decided that a turkey would be made and the fowl torture would be going down in my kitchen. On Tuesday, we bought the beast at Costco and threw it in my fridge to defrost. Friday evening rolled around and I worried about when to take it out. I weighed it on my scale. 6 pounds. A small bird that wouldn't need to be taken out until Amy and Kristy arrived on Saturday morning. I went to bed without worries.
I called Amy Saturday morning. "Hey, so I haven't taken the bird out yet. It's pretty soft and I weighed it last night on my scale and it's only 6 pounds."
"Hannah, you need to take it out right now. Your scale is in kilos".
That would make the bird 13 pounds and needing double the defrosting time. Damn metric system.
Amy and Kristy got to my apartment and immediately started flopping
the slimy dead animal around and making sexual innuendos about it. As you do. After pulling off excess skin and fat (and chasing us with it), Kristy forever impressed me by ripping out the turkeys neck like it was the most natural thing in the world. Meanwhile, I cowered on the couch feeling naseous. The turkey neck was...extremely phallic and so the innuendos resumed.
After slapping the bird up with butter, rosemary, garlic, apples and onions, we cooked it in the oven for four hours. It was still slightly defrosting in some areas when we put it in (according to Google, this is how you poison your guests) but Amy assured me that no one would die and I took her word.
Ruben came to cook the stuffing and by 4, we were leaving the apartment with biscuits, pumpkin pie, stuffing, and our turkey, the main event. We'd rented out our local bar, Indio, because it had actual table space and apt Native American paintings and decorations. Everyone was gathered at a long narrow table where the food was starting to pile up. Beet salad, feta and bell peppers, bread rolls, tomato soup, quiches, brie cheese with crackers
and apples, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, veggies, and some chickens in case the turkey wouldn't feed us all. By accident we had also bought FOUR pumpkin pies, two apple pies, and a cheesecake. It was time to feed.
Frank carved the turkey, as Margo snuck bits of it, and the smell of the cooked meat drove us mental. Before Frank could finish the job, the plates were already being filled. We all sat down and ate our food while being generally crazy, drinking beer and sipping out of flasks. We had to be finished eating by 7, so we cleaned up quickly and had the godsend of using the DISHWASHER at the bar. That was a beautiful thing. Some of us stayed to play the classic game "Marry, Screw, Kill" in which you are given the probable idea of being on an island with three men or women and you have to choose who you would marry, screw, or kill. It started going into the territory of rappers that I didn't know so I left to go to Jazz's where the afterparty was taking place.
A table full of wine, vodka, gin, and desserts
kept us happy the rest of the evening. Games of "would you rather", polaroid photo shoots, early Christmas gift making, dancing, yelling what we were thankful for while twirling with sparklers, napping, drinking, night walks, drinking more, eating leftovers, and drunk phone calls to friends who we missed, went on until it was midnight and Amy, Kristy, Phuong, Michael, and I headed to my apartment to pass out.
The next morning we had Irish Creme instant coffee, eggs, and toast in an attempt to bring ourselves back to life. The sun was bright and my apartment was too warm so I walked the group down the bus station in my sunglasses, jeans, and a tank top. The weather was GORGEOUS. Just another thing to be thankful about. After they jumped on the bus, I walked to Jazz's apartment where Eric, Jason, Piro, Valeria, and the lady herself were cleaning and eating their own breakfast of leftover pie, chicken, crossiants, and butter. Sharon and Frank came down from Scott's apartment and after finding a mysterious spy bee creature that we named "Bicket", we lay in Jazz's bedroom on her magical bed talking about inane things. Frank mentioned a thing called
Geo-cacheing, where you go to a website that gives you coordinates to a buried treasure that others have buried. Once you find it, you replace it with something of your own. We weren't so interested in it, until Eric said "You guys, there are five in Geumsan. Do you know where the Geumsan museum is?" Sharon and I were incredulous. FIVE IN GEUMSAN? Treasure!? Who would even take part in something like this? The last one had been found Novemeber 11th, according to the site. Were Koreans taking part in this? Dubious. But what foreigner would have done it? It all seemed suspicious and so we got everyone off thier hungover and tired asses and it was time to ADVENTURE.
Piro craned his neck to look under the bridge, as Jazz and I wandered through the leaves on the hill next to the museum. All I found was a bloated rat. Jason and Eric weren't having any luck with their smart phones and soon Frank, Piro, Valeria, and Jazz were sitting by the man made pond, having given up. Meanwhile, Jason and I were in some sort of circus graveyard, where plastic tigers hung in trees. We had searched
all the rocks by the museum, finding nothing. Our only clues being, "look in the rocks by the museum. it will be in a two lock box. stealth may be neccessary." It was imperative to get the coordinates so Eric tried to download the app but he couldn't so Jason took over. His phone was slowly dying which had me screaming "Hurry up! Hurry up!" As he downloaded the app, we wondered what the treasure could be. Jason assumed it would be golden naked women, I was hoping it was cold hard cash. All the sudden, he ran off toward the museum. "You guys, it's in the museum, let's go!!" I yelled. We scoured the rocks around the deck and soon Eric yelled that he had found something! We ran over and he was holding a dirty tupperware with camo glued onto it. Like little kids, we all smiled and cheered. He opened it and inside was a book to sign your names in. All the names were Korean. There was also a ladybug pin, an eraser, and some sort of carrot toy. It looked like a child had put thier most prized possessions inside. We put our oragami stars
that Phuong had made and folded up the turkey hand crafts and left them for the next person to find. We had spent a respectable hour doing this worthwhile activity and Sharon and I decided we would find all five treasures in Geumsan. Before it snows.
Everyone was tired and content, but the day was still beautiful and it was only 2pm. We got on a bus to Daejeon, had dinner at an Indian restaurant, and ate another massive meal. Afterwards, we went shopping for winter wear at Uniqlo and I got some amusing fashion advice from Jason. It seems best to shop for clothes with men because they are brutally honest unlike women who say that everyone you try on is fantastic. After some chai tea at Starbucks, Jazz, Margo, Scott, Sharon and I were on our way back to Geumsan. I was full, tired, and light on money, but I couldn't complain. Yet another wonderful Thanksgiving that will never leave me.
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