Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving - Turkey in Taiwan

In order to celebrate Thanksgiving properly, Michael and I decided to go to Carnegie's, one of the staples of the Taipei expat watering scene, in order to procure a proper Thanksgiving dinner.  We knew it would be really hokey, but that was what added to the fun.
The first step outside was made in the form of piano keys.   Carnegie's is basically a big bar, with walls covered in various music posters and musical instruments.

The bar takes up an entire wall and is crammed with an impressive display of alcohol.

They served a set menu dinner consisting of soup or salad, a platter of turkey, stuffing, pickled onions, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, carrots and peas and mashed potatoes, with gravy on the side, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

For a girl who famously declared to Michael on our first date that "I don't drink wine from places like this," it should be no surprise that I did not have any of the red wine that came with our dinner.  It was a... how shall we say.. fruit forward merlot.

My salad was tasty.  Michael's clam chowder looked like it came straight from a can.  But this only added to our amusement. 
The turkey platter was quite generous.  We speculated that the waitstaff piled all of the dark meat onto my plate and all of the white meat onto Michael's plate, because the meat on our plates disproportionately favored one or the other.  The carrots and peas were bland but the cranberry sauce was very tart and tasty.

 I don't think the good people of Taiwan know or understand what stuffing is, because their idea of stuffing seemed to be this slightly lumpy, gravy like substance that they poured on top the turkey.

The pumpkin pie would more accurately be described as a pumpkin tartlette, given how thin it was!
 We realized that we saw more expatriates (and, specifically, Americans!) in the bar than at any other point during our previously (admittedly brief) trips to Taiwan. Even though the food was not gourmet and eating dinner in a bar with other rowdy Americans drinking beer is not my usual idea of Thanksgiving, it was still kind of fun.  It's the kind of random and eclectic experience that I chalk up to, "well, that happened!"  And the kind of fun memory that Michael and I will turn to each other at some point and say, "remember when we had Thanksgiving dinner in a bar in Taiwan?"  That's what makes travel so much fun and so meaningful to us.

I don't mean to sound negative about this Thanksgiving - I actually quite enjoyed it.  I got a kick out of spending it at good ole' Carnegie's.  And we definitely got to experience some Thanksgiving cheer.  Thanksgiving is such a good holiday because no matter where in the world I am celebrating, I feel very connected to the United States.  It also forces me to take the few moments to reflect with gratitude on the bounty in my life.

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