That means “Happy Thanksgiving!” in Pinyin. 感恩節！ That means “Happy Thanksgiving” in Mandarin.
Thanksgiving, for the most part, is a no-go in Taiwan and honestly why in the world it should exist here is just a tad confusing to me. After all, it is a purely American holiday, established by Abe Lincoln way-back-when; a day to celebrate the harvest, remember how the pilgrims and the Native Americans dined in harmony (…thank you, first grade teachers for your highly inaccurate depictions of what really happened…see this instead for the true meaning), and give thanks to being able to eat exorbitant amounts of food. The Chinese have their own Thanksgiving sort of day anyway (Mid Autumn Festival) and that was back in October.
Thankfully for me, however, there is a large enough expat population here in Taipei that demands some turkey and gravy come end of November. I had my array of choices: pre-set meal at a restaurant, buffet, or take-out meal with the full trimmings. My roommate and I decided to splurge a little bit and go to the buffet at the restaurant called “Cafe” in the Grand Hyatt Taipei, the one across from Taipei 101.
We arrived there around 7:15pm and though the hostess visibly winced when we told her we did not have a reservation, she was able to sit us at a table right away. And let me tell you, the buffet was FANTASTIC. Yeah, I got my turkey n’ gravy with the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes (which I actually wouldn’t recommend–they were way too runny), peas and carrots, and roasted brussel sprouts. BUT I also got fresh sushi and sashimi, shucked oysters, Chinese dumplings, *real* bread with European cheeses, a raw vegetable salad bar, and a large variety of other Asian dishes. Finally, I cannot forget the dessert bar, which I shamefully circled more than three times for pumpkin pie, warm dark chocolate pudding cake, fresh fruits, panna cotta, cheesecake, truffles, and Movenpick ice cream.Yes, you could say that I would recommend this buffet.
It truly is a glutton’s favorite holiday.
Total damage: $1000NTD poorer and a throbbing stomach ache mended only by not eating anything for the following 24 hours
But so totally worth it!
Now we can officially get ready for the next imported Western holiday:
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. No matter how you say it.