Thanksgiving in Taipei-Day One

Maybe you knew, but this is my third Thanksgiving out of country.

Thanksgiving in Scotland, 2008

The first time was with my cousin, Katie, while she was studying abroad in Scotland. I was given tickets for my 18th birthday and what a time we had! It was proper cold.

Proper. Cold.

I ate vegetarian haggis that year. Made of Lentils, it was actually delicious.

You can tell I like it.

The second time was in London, and it was actually my birthday!

Can you guess which one is mine?

Somehow I don’t think I’ll be doing anything like either of these events this year. I’m not sure I could quite make up dishes like those I”m used to at home. It’s not that I can’t find marshmallows or brown sugar. Yes, they have both, but we don’t eat those for Thanksgiving. One thing that always makes me laugh is that outsiders think we all eat the same things for Thanksgiving. No, I’m missing steamed brussels sprouts, green beans, spinach, sweet potatoes, squash, and fresh cranberry sauce, etc. I’m not able to find most of those things here, sadly. Next year, there’s always next year.

Even though I am not going to be fully celebrating this year, due to my determination to keep holidays nonexistent so I can pretend they don’t exist until next year, we were invited to Taipei last weekend for a Thanksgiving banquet of sorts.

Bad quality of picture, apologies.

We piled into a banquet room at the Far Eastern hotel which had carpeting that I felt I ought not to walk on with my shoes that had seen the day tromping all over Taipei’s dirty streets. I scoped out the two sides of the room where the food waited, glad I could skip one side entirely as it was just meat!

the side dish side.

I didn’t take any pictures of the food because if I’m honest it wasn’t very vegetarian friendly and also didn’t say ‘thanksgiving’ to me. Most of the things I’d liked to have eaten contained bacon! (Where they got bacon I’ll never know)  I really did not take many pictures of the event either, but luckily my friend Aria took some lovely ones as usual. I’m not a big fan of photographs of people, but she is, so I always trust her to capture moments.

Me, Seth, some guy, Christie, top row more people whose names I forget.

I wish this picture weren’t squashed, but I”m still figuring out how to reformat it. If you know, please tell me! Seth is from Kaosiung and we only get to see each other at these events, but he’s a lot of fun! Christie is from Yilan and we’re good friends in fact, she might room with me if she gets into graduate school in NYC!

Everyone. Front row: me, Kim, Mary Kate, Danielle, Samantha, Allison top row: Adam, Michael, Reilly, Taylor, Kelly (our coordinator), Christie, Sarah, Rebekah, Aria, Will

Again with the stretching, but I quite like the original version of this photo. Note the shoes I am wearing. Can you see why I felt at odds with the carpet?


Let’s backtrack a bit. Earlier that day we had been toured around Old Tamsui and the pier and a castle thing, which seemed to be a very quick tour indeed. The weather couldn’t have been better. I noticed that the Yilaners all had brought umbrellas, rain jackets and layers, while the other three counties were significantly less dressed in outerwear. This just goes to show you the weather differences between our counties. I, myself, was wearing at least 5 layers and was toasty warm with a pashmina scarf nestled under my chin.

Visiting a castle.

View from the castle, which was on a hill

Apparently this castle had been used way back when for British prisoners, and also had stood as a consulate at one point (and perhaps still does?)


After the short jaunt through the castle, we boarded the bus again and made off to the Old Tamsui pier.

beautiful shoreline. Could be London if I pretend.

Guess the year in which this was taken?

We stuck out, I’d imagine, in more ways than one.

Flag us down.

Away down the pier

It was all rather lovely, and I stuck with Seth as we walked, eventually just meandering through the streets to see what we could find. We only had about 20 minutes by the time we’d all finished taking group photographs. There was even a couple getting their wedding photos doe who wanted us all in the background!

Kim and I

(I hate how it stretches!! Computer savvy folks, help me out!)

Taylor and I

being silly

the group

I found a store with all sorts of Owly things inside. Of course, I had to take a picture.

and also in front of the Hello Kitty sign. The shop lady came out and said, ‘Welcome to Hello Kitty World’ in her best English. I smiled and took a photo.

Ice cream which looks amazing but I’ve heard is tasteless.

three old guys.

The Taiwanese seem to love their arcades!


I wonder where they get all the squid!

Then it was the dinner. Do you all follow my reverse chronology here?

Stay tuned for part two of the Thanksgiving tales, which is much better.

Love, Hannah

One thought on “Thanksgiving in Taipei-Day One

  1. great post Hannah. My favorite photos are you in the owl shop and the three old guys with their bare feet! Thanks and looking forward to hearing more about that weekend!.

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