Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Ramada Thanksgiving

This year thanksgiving was really strange. Because China doesn't celebrate thanksgiving it wasn't talked about or anticipated as much. We also didn't get any time off of work or get to spend the time with family, so it didn't really feel like thanksgiving. However, one of the other foreign teachers at our university took it upon herself to put together some thanksgiving plans. Those plans were made by multiple phone calls to the owner of a restaurant here in Wuhan called Brussels. It is a restaurant that serves "western" and European foods and the owner had found some place to get turkey, so we were all calling in our reservations to get a plate of turkey from him.

Well, right after we had all made plans to go to Brussels, we received an email from the foreign affairs department here at our school inviting us to a thanksgiving dinner at the Ramada a few miles down the road from our school. They gave us really short notice and gave us just a few hours to tell them whether or not we were coming. However, since the turkey dinner at Brussels would have been about 120 yuan per person and the dinner held by the school was free... we all decided to go have thanksgiving dinner at the Ramada on the school's dime instead. Luckily the owner of Brussels seems like a pretty cool guy and he is letting us come eat some turkey on Saturday instead.

When dinner time arrived we all met together at the bus stop in front of the school and planned to take taxi's down to the Ramada, but there was a major traffic jam and the taxi's didn't want to go down there, so our taxi ended up taking us the long way around, which made the cab fare cost double what it usually does. However, at least we got a cab. Some of the teachers ended up walking. It is just over 2 miles, which isn't that bad, but it still takes about 3o minutes to walk. When we all finally arrived in our various taxi's or on foot, we were happy to find that the Ramada here in Wuhan is really fancy!

The Ramada

We were taken up to the 28th floor of the hotel to have a buffet style dinner in their rotating restaurant. It was really beautiful and we had some amazing views. We could tons of twinkling lights spreading out across the city below us. I have never been in a rotating room before, and I have to say it is pretty cool, but it is a little bit disorienting.

The dinner itself was pretty good. They had hundreds of different things for us to eat, but very few of them were actually thanksgiving foods. They had one turkey for the entire buffet, so I only got a little slice. Needless to say, I am glad I can go to Brussels on Saturday to get more turkey. They also had about 5 baked potatoes and a crock pot full of pumpkin soup. They also had a pumpkin pie, but it was the worst tasting pumpkin pie I have ever come across in my entire life! All of the teachers had fun trying random foods, and a lot of teachers took advantage of the fresh salmon that they had there (it was raw so I didn't have any). They also had all kinds of fruit and noodle dishes and TONS of dessert. They had a chocolate fountain, but the only thing by the chocolate fountain to dip in were skewers with cherry tomatoes! Who eats tomatoes dipped in chocolate???????? No one that I know does that, so the tomatoes sat untouched and we found other things to dip in the chocolate (Simon got smart and drizzled some lemon marshmallows in the chocolate).

The dessert buffet and seafood buffet
It was a fun evening because it had tons of good, non-chinese food, and it was nice to be removed from our mundane teachers life in our drafty apartment for a few hours, and we could live it up for a little while. I think everyone ate more food than we have in months! The person who packed the most food away also happened to be the smallest and the skinniest of the bunch. We were all quite surprised that she could keep eating and eating and eating and eating, and her stomach didn't even start to poke out!

Well we were missing our family and friends back home on Thanksgiving, but it was nice to have something nice to do to celebrate.

1 comment:

Kayli said...

Did you say the school paid for the meal??

Chocolate-dipped tomatoes. Ah!

Glad you got something of a Thanksgiving dinner!