10 Things I’m Thankful for this Thanksgiving

First, let me say that I’m thankful for the obvious things in life like amazing friends and family, and the best girlfriend a guy could ask for. With that said, my list of things I’m thankful for this year won’t include any of those. No, the things I’m grateful this year are the little things that help me keep my sanity while spending my Thanksgiving overseas.

And without further ado, my list of top 10 things I’m thankful for this year.

1. Music – Nothing helps cure a case of the Monday’s quite like cutting loose to some Daft Punk or moshing to Lil’ Wayne.

2.  McDonald’s – Americans living in China can relate to that occasional craving for a taste of home – even if it’s from a substandard fast food joint.

3. MSN Messenger / Windows Live Messenger – Thanks to Mr. Billy Gates, I’m able to see my girlfriend on a daily basis despite her currently living thousands of miles away.

4. American TV shows – DVDs of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “the Walking Dead” have been my saviors in a country devoid of any amusing television programs.

5. My bicycle aka Black Betty – Living in a city notorious for it’s “diabolical” traffic can be a nightmare, especially when you’re trying to commute to and from work. Fortunately, I have my white steed (or in this case black) in the form of a RMB 300 (USD 50) bike that has been roughed up more times than Rihanna. (By the way, domestic violence is no laughing matter).

6. Sarcasm – Call it a coping mechanism or whatever you’d like, but sarcasm has kept me sane on multiple occasions, especially when complimenting one of the local fine dining establishments on their exceptional service and culinary craftsmanship.

7. Facebook – Instead of being thankful for Facebook allowing me to keep in touch with long-distance friends and family like most people, I’m grateful that Facebook allows me to keep up-to-date on the latest Maury-esque sagas like finding out which of my friends came out of the closet, had an illegitimate baby, or was convicted of a felony.

8. My camera – While I’m no pro, I do enjoy taking snapshots of my friends and documenting the constant zaniness surrounding me.

9. VPN (virtual private network) – To quote Amazing Grace, “was blind, but now I see.” Hallelujah! With my VPN, now I am able to see a world unscathed by the Great Firewall and into a sacred place chock full of dancing cat videos and “unbiased” news.

10. Freedom – Any proud American will tell you that one of the best things about American is freedom regardless of where you are. I, personally, value freedom of speech especially while trying to uphold this right despite being censored on a daily basis.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May your waistlines swell and your cup never remain full.

ImageMy Thanksgiving feast

What are you thankful for this year?