The pitfall of living overseas is the inevitability of coming home. Dull. And with that the recalibration of expectations that the Offspring have regarding holidays and how they are spent. Some expats have a problem living overseas during traditional American holidays because they`re just a little bit off. And of course family is far away- which in some cases is a welcomed Christmas blessing. The Offspring were confused by a Japanese Christmas which included the time honored tradition of feasting on chicken at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Holiday decorations had Christmas lights and glass balls but the rest had us scratching our heads looking for a connection.
A Cinderella desk is inside, but no Santa.
With no family within 7,000 miles of home, ExPats are free to flock to exotic locations now only three hours away. For ExPats in Japan, places like China, Thailand, Malaysia, Bora Bora- the list goes on. A 24 hour flight combined with jet lag that lasts for the entire vacation and another two weeks after getting home is enough for most people at home to opt for a drive to the Jersey shore. ( I don`t include myself in that category- any travel that includes Jet Lag gets me upstairs packing my carry-on)
During the holidays, we lived it up.
Snow Monsters in Japan….
To Snow Monkeys in Nagano…
To places we never thought we would see like the Great Wall of China
The added bonus of these fabulous vacations was the cost- virtually nothing. In China we spent about $10/day feeding three adults. I`m one of those mean moms who forces everyone to find something to eat out of the local cuisine. Instead of baggage containing breakfast bars we are more apt to load Pepto Bismol.
Fast forward to our repatriation.
OS#2 “Where are we going for Christmas?”
Ouisar-san “Grandmama`s – maybe.”
OS#2 “WHAT? We`re not going to THAILAND? What are we going to do at her house for a week?”
It`s a tough life folks. Just to get them back in the swing, I may go get some KFC. That`s KPF to you Montrealers……(Poulet Frit du Kentucky)