A short little ditty. Excuse my youth, but this is my first holiday season away from what was my home for the first twenty-two years of my life. My Turkey Day was filled with school, meetings in Thai, and the weekly market. Just another day in the moo-bahn.
Throughout it all, basketball, college, and following, I’ve always been surrounded by family on this day, even if it was only for about 36 hours before I had to go back to practice. This year, Pi-Chaai sang me Jingle Bells to show me she could be in the holiday spirit. I failed mention to her that scores of Americans would be incredulous for the singing of a Christmas carol pre-feast and it’s not exactly the right holiday. Somehow I don’t think Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving Song would catch on here.
This is the difference between sharing your culture and its traditions with someone and being with people that understand them. I spent the better part of my free periods at school the past week writing up a Thanksgiving story about the history and what we do to celebrate it. I had pictures printed out of pilgrims, turkeys, and a map of the distance between England and North America. I got to share with one of my schools, when it wasn’t actually Thanksgiving, and I’d like to say they enjoyed making their hand turkeys. Mostly though, I don’t think they were really filled with the Thanksgiving spirit of giving and love, but just saw it as another assignment from their crazy farang teacher.
This has been a year for a lot of firsts. I think one of the most significant ones though is seeing the start of my true adult, independent life. When you’re on your own in a new place or starting your own family of husbands, children, or the friends you couldn’t shake even if you tried. This is how my holidays, my life, will be for the rest of my life. It’s scary and exciting and part of me doesn’t want to do it. Grow up I mean. I had to get myself planted down in the rice fields of Thailand to truly fly out the Cooper nest, but I’m glad that I finally did.