I’ve never cared too much for turkey. Deep fried, baked, white meat, dark meat, gravy, no gravy–it was all the same to me. But this year, my second Thanksgiving in Seoul, I couldn’t get the idea of a big turkey dinner out of my head. I had to have it.
So, I found a couple options. I could spend $50 on a turkey buffet in Itaewon (the foreign part of town), I could indulge in a $70 sit-down dinner in Apgujeong (the Beverly Hills of Seoul), or I could pick up a pre-made dinner from the military base (enough to feed 10-12 people) for $100. It was a no-brainer.
I decorated the apartment with hand turkeys and Thanksgiving Day wreaths I made at school. I mopped the floors and scrubbed the stove. I made sure there were enough paper plates and plastic cups for everyone attending.
“Jen, do you need me to go with you to pick up the turkey dinner,” asked my roommate Cory.
“No, just pick up some wine and get excited for what’s to come,” I said. “I’ve got this under control.”
But I didn’t. Not at all. On my way back from picking up the bird, I somehow lost my footing and fell to the ground–the box landing on my ankle. I knew right away it was broken.
After the doctor confirmed my prognosis, my roommates came by the hospital to check on me, and to pick up the highly-anticipated Thanksgiving dinner. “Just make sure to save me some,” I said.
But, in true Korean fashion, I was out of the hospital 30 minutes later, hobbling to my apartment on crutches.
A couple glasses of wine, two plates of food, and a pack of painkillers and anti-inflammatories later, I was in my bed watching Anthony Bourdain with my friend Jason–trying to drown out the music and laughter from the living room.
“I know this sucks,” said Jason. “But you have to admit, that was some pretty damn good turkey.”