American Thanksgiving

Good morning everyone,

If you are like me and usually get up when it's still dark out, you may have seen some snow this morning. It's all melted now (in Koi anyway) but I'm still not looking forward to riding my bicycle to work on the slippery sidewalks. It'll clear up and be mostly sunny today, but don't expect it to warm up very much-the high is expected to be only 12C. The weekend will be slightly warmer with highs of 14C and 15C and hopefully no more snow...but Monday is looking like rain...

It's Thanksgiving back in the US today (because you have to remember that it's still Thursday back home). They always celebrate Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in November there. Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday. With Thursday being a holiday, most companies offer Friday off as well so their employees can have a long weekend. After pigging out on turkey and pie on the Thursday...ok, I'm joking...Thanksgiving is a very important holiday in the US. It's like a mix of 'obon' and New Year's in Japan. It's got nothing to do with dead ancestors, but it's a time when families get together and everyone gives 'thanks' for the people in their lives that they are most thankful for. After that, they eat too much turkey and pie and then go crazy on Black Friday and start shooting each other so they can save $50 on a tv...ha ha! (I'm not laughing at them shooting each other-I basically made that part up. But there is a lot of pushing and shoving just to save a few bucks on things they don't really need.)

So what does Black Friday in the US mean to us here in Japan? Well, Black Friday spawned Cyber Monday. For those people who don't want to go out in the heavy traffic and crowded malls (or who live in another country), we can now enjoy a lot of huge deals online. If you do any online shopping, it's probably not a bad idea to wait until Monday night or Tuesday morning (Japan time) to see if you can get any good deals.

I really want to get a new shirt for running this year, but I'm holding out for a few more days in the hope that I'll be able to pick up something really cheap on Monday or Tuesday. Because, let's face it, the winter bargain sales in Japan leave a lot to be desired. The discount is either really tiny or the item is so undesirable that you wouldn't buy it even with a 70% discount...ha ha! (I'm exaggerating of course, I've found a few good deals during the summer and winter bargain seasons, but it takes a lot of work to sift through the ugly ones.)

Have a great day! And if you see a cool-looking, long-sleeved running shirt online, pick up a 'Small' one for me! I'll pay you back...unless of course it's an early Christmas present for your favourite English teacher.... :-)

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