Thank God for Thanksgiving (Break)

Two weeks left to school, aka halfway through senior year, aka OH GOD REAL LIFE BECKONS. Thanksgiving break is deceptive that way. On the other hand, this has been one of the least inspiring semesters, even coming from me. NEVERTHELESS, hanging out with friends is always good and Cause for the Opposite of Despair, so.

This Thanksgiving was the first one where I stayed in Philly and it was soooo refreshing to see University City empty and quiet and peaceful. Still, it didn’t stop various internationals from flocking to the theatre to watch Skyfall with us on Monday night. I think the least boring part of the show was me telling the group of idiot kids behind me to shut up. Otherwise it was basically about Bond with mummy issues and a house in Scotland that the screenwriter/director thought would sound cool and mysterious. To borrow a line from the film: “Day. Wasted.”

Break began at Wednesday noon for Alan and me cos we didn’t have any classes. Finally headed down to Green Eggs Cafe which was super yum. Alan had his red velvet pancakes which were HUGE (we ate a quarter, gave another quarter to the guy sitting next to us and then brought home the remainder) and I lucked out with this juicy, pesto-y Cubano sandwich. Service was one of the worst I had experienced but dude, noms.

After a spell on the Bed of Concussions (seriously our bed is ridiculous once you lie down you’ll enter slumber whether you want to or not), we headed down to Ken’s Seafood for ROAST DUCK + THREE EGG DISH + karaoke. Inevitably alcohol needs to be imbibed — how else will your ears survive the decibel-bursting, out-of-tune warbles that’s bouncing off claustrophobic walls???

Here are some tips on how to be a good karaoke mate:

  1. Don’t choose emo ballads. I learned the hard way. Unless you are Adele herself, nobody gives a shit about how you never-minded-and-will-find-someone-like-you.
  2. Don’t choose shitty songs. Which is basically a way of saying non-crowd-friendly songs. This is not the time to demonstrate how cool your music taste is with because you’re singing some crappy 30 Seconds to Mars song that nobody has heard yet. (Anyway, if it’s on a karaoke machine, it’s not indie enough so deal with it.)
  3. Don’t fucking hog the mic. I think a good ratio is like 1 of your songs to 4 of other peoples’. Any more and you look like a douchebag who loves the sound of her voice too much.
  4. Sing when people ask you to sing. WHY ELSE DID YOU COME TO AN EVENT TITLED “KARAOKE” ON ITS FACEBOOK PAGE.

Anyway I sound like I’m kaobei-ing everyone who turned up but please let me clarify I had a super lot of fun so here’s photographic proof of me smiling with people.

And then Thursday happened, which is Turkey Day. And for the first time in the history of our little apartment in Hamco, we all cooked! Basically in our house the boys can cook and the girls can’t. BUT EVERYONE PULLED THEIR WEIGHT… And subsequently doubled theirs, with all the food we had haha. This is my favorite master chef and his three-flavor BBQ baby back ribs 🙂

Jo prepping the ingredients for a super inventive salad: mushrooms, apples, walnuts, some crazy homemade honey mustard mix + rocket salad… (Must clarify la, Darren helped her haha.) But still she looks extra zai here. Shall pretend this isn’t the girl who put a whole egg in the microwave and caused it to explode.

Not forgetting the other Master Chefs Darren (King of Agar-ation) and Matthias (the Chinese Cook), the residents of A602 prepared the most eclectic, turkey-less Thanksgiving dinner in the history of mankind. We had the abovementioned salad, pork rib + mushroom soup (the Chinese type), carrot cake (also the Singaporean kind haha), mussels in white wine (cooked by Alan!! he wants the attention so everyone give him so thanks), creamy basil pesto pasta, BBQ back back ribs and Tim’s amazing papas arrugadas con mojo verde (soft potatoes with green something my Spanish is cui sigh). INTERNATIONAL OR NOT. Despite 9 people eating all the food on the table, I kiasued too much and made everyone prepare extra… So we all started food coma-ing soon enough.

Some skeptical people may be wondering, so what did Rachel contribute to the dining table? I confess it’s nothing complicated but… at least everyone finished these chocolate-coated strawberries? Haha.

Post-dinner, we each wrote a card of appreciation for the person on our right, which hopefully the boys didn’t find too corny. AND THEN WE PLAYED CRANIUM. And I damaged Tim’s eardrums with my overexcited + uber-competitive screams. And then we watched 2046 which is like… so… slow… and… artsy… Everything is bokehed and soft and Artistic and we gave up after 46 minutes. When I say ‘we’ I mean that Tim, Elton and I were the last ones standing cos everyone was falling asleep at their chairs.

Despite all the food and activities, the house (sans Jo) managed to wake up for Black Friday shopping at PPO. We decided not to be too hardcore, only reaching at 10.30am. I think it’s far less stressful that way. Didn’t expect to burn the entire day (and my wallet there) but everyone came away happy. Bought a new bag, a chiozers (haha what a lian I am) Columbia jacket + waterproof pants + gloves for Peru, make-up (as usual), jewelry AND AND AND DRESSES. Senior formals here I come haha. Okay, end bimbotic paragraph it’s 4.43am as I’m writing this and I’m not really filtering my thoughts now haha.

Here’s a picture of the boys. Photo theme was “My Favorite Item from Black Friday Shopping” but I think they all just wanted to match. Well, Darren wore his blazer at first but we said it made him look like a pretentious Whartonite, so:

I really wish I had a picture to remember our epic dinner at Stanley/Wenbo’s. Gigantic hotpot for like, 16 people or something. There was so much food — an endless supply of fish and pork and Bryan’s ridiculously amazing glazed AND fried chicken — and they had ma la paste too which reminded me of Beijing. After that we all played Resistance, which is a way more intense version of Mafia or Polar Bear.

Basically cards are drawn and you’re either part of the resistance or you’re a spy/traitor. For either side to win, you need to complete 3 out of 5 missions. Between each person’s turn, the group has to discuss its hypothesis on who is on whose side. Suffice to say, accusations of “YOU! SPY” flew across the circle quickly. I thought Alan made a very wry and funny observation about the game.

Alan: “This is the problem with the civil service. The moment you ask a question you get accused of being a spy.”

Haha I loled super hard. Anyway Stanley the future General pulled some super intense trick but thankfully the members of the Resistance triumphed WAHAHAHA thanks to Wenbo.

And today we went to Morris Arboretum, which is something to check off the bucket list, but that’s a post for tomorrow. I am indeed thankful for the much-needed break and all the friends I got to spend time with. Missing all my family back home, so hello, hope this post can keep the communication going even though I have been so bad with calling. SORRY. Love you!

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