While Thanksgiving is a time for turkey feast, family reunion and great shopping deals, it can also be something different - anxiety, regretfulness and the wish that you haven't celebrated this day at all.
With that, I am taking you back to my second Thanksgiving in US.
During that day, I finished the experiments with my lab mates. My American friend was texting me that she also like her job but not as much as I do since I was sacrificing my holiday time for it. However, that is not a choice. My upper classmate told us that he used to write proposals during holidays upon professor's request. Well, that's the thing you will have to compromise when you started working as a student researcher.
Anyway, that night, when everything was finally done, we gathered together at a friend's place for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey was there, plus several other Chinese cuisines, so delicious that we soon forgot about the daytime endeavor. Dinner was not the main thing for friends reunion, the afterwards activity was. For that night, I recommend a Karaoke app to my friends. You know, it was so difficult for Chinese students to find a decent Karaoke place in US, although that was on our top list to have fun back in China. For us, we have to drive to another city for a KTV experience. That's why all my friends soon emerged themselves into this app. The whole apartment was filled with sounds of multiple people singing. One of the guys, in order to avoid disturbance from others, even sticked his head into the refrigerator to sing a song.
Just like that, we've been using that app all the way through the elevator and our short trip to the nearest shopping mall. It was Black Friday and no Black Friday is complete without crazy shopping crowd. Arriving at the mall, the parking lot was almost full. Thus we have to park all the way close to the road, a little bit further from the mall and not much light over there. Heading into the shopping area, long queues seems terrifying in front of multiple popular stores. Hot guys with no top were welcoming customers showing off their muscles. We continued using the KTV app while waiting in the queue. Yes, as expected, lots of discount deals and you cannot resist coming out without purchasing anything. A shopping crowd was a crowd. Late until midnight, we were done with some stores and tired of shopping. Time to go home and here came the highlight of Thanksgiving.
Back to our car outside, I opened the backseat door to find that there was water on the seat. It didn't take us long to know that it was actually shattered glass- somebody broke into the car. The next moment, we were checking if our stuff was till there. It was no surprising that my friend's Mac book was gone and so was my backpack, with my computer, wallet and other stuff that I cannot remember of. My first idea was not about how much money have I lost, instead, it occurred to me that I have no backup of all the important materials and academic findings I had so far. It took months of hard work to get those. For one moment, I was overtaken by a horrible feeling that I felt like I care about nothing. Then, I thought about my passport, which might be in my bag. That's my most critical identification document and it would be a headache to get a new one ( I would have to visit the embassy in New York for that).
Well, it never occurred to me that Thanksgiving can be so miserable. We've been stolen. My friend might not care much about her Mac book but I was heart-broken with my research findings being stolen. That's not something that money can compensate and now I just regret going out to shopping at all.
You may think that US is such a safe and civilized country that nothing like this might happen. You may think that Thanksgiving is such a blissful holiday that everybody will be happy. You may keep thinking like this until you run into some dark reality.
After this, I learned to be more cautious. And Thanksgiving shopping is not that attempting anymore.