(PICTURE: My early Thanksgiving dinner.)
Few things make me sadder about being away from home then when Thanksgiving rolls around. Nothing can replace being around my family and eating a ridiculous amount of delicious food. I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing for Thanksgiving today but in my head I've already convinced myself that Thanksgiving came early for me this year. Let me explain:
A few weeks ago I was eating at my favorite sushi restaurant and began making small talk with four "salary men" ("salary men" is the term people use for businessmen). Nobody spoke English well but after a few sake drinks one of the men told me that he makes soba noodles as a hobby. It wasn't long before the man declared that he wanted to have a "Soba Festival." The sushi chef said we should have the party at his restaurant and that he would make some special food too. We set a date and BAM, it was one of the greatest culinary nights of my life.
I showed up at the restaurant thinking that that it would just be the four men I had met and the sushi chef. Well, I was wrong. There were about thirty people in the small restaurant and I was more or less the guest of honor. I was told to sit at a table with about 20 people who I had never seen before. It turns out that I was sitting with the heads of the Koryama Rotary Club. But forget about them, it was all about their wives. Each wife had made their "special dish". I was surrounded by plates upon plates of food including a ton of sashimi and at least 10-20 pounds of the greatest soba I have ever eaten. At the end of the night I felt like I usually do after Thanksgiving -- completely stuffed.
It's gonna be hard to top this meal in Japan.