Every year to celebrate our break up with daddy England, America collectively faces the roasting July heat to spend time with friends and family either around a pool and/or a BBQ pitt. Chlorine smells sting the nostrils, while colored lights illuminate the sky in radiant colors and flashes of semi-controlled fire. July fourth is not without consequences however. Scorched skin occurs not only from our yellow, ray bedecked star which enlivens our planet, but also from the mishandled fireworks that are a requirement for all Americans to partake in on this splendid celebration. Faces smeared in sugary and sticky watermelon juices coupled with BBQ sauce decorated fingertips makes for a delightful clean up.
How is July fourth celebrated in other countries you might wonder? Well, it's not, as it's an American holiday, unless of course there are Americans around to seize it by it's tail and share with other countries all its glory.
Our celebration was a last minute throw together. We had wavered on what to do, going back and fourth, and finally two days before sent out mass text messages for a BBQ. Unfortunately the school's pool, which only has 4 feet of water, but is a pool in Korea non-the-less, a novelty to be sure in this non-swimming country had yet to be opened. But a BBQ in our courtyard we did enjoy. Kyle and I ordered beef ribs from an online foreign food store. A suggestion for those in the future who cook beef ribs- marinate. The ribs are much more tough than pork and a dry rub, just doesn't cut it. The BBQ was close to perfection with everything from eggplant/mushroom kebabs, home style fries, to apple and cherry pies. What it lacked however was a watermelon. Yep, there was no watermelon at our feast. The problem is not that lack of watermelons in this country, but the price of these fruits. Not only are they half the size of the ones back home, but they also cost an arm and a leg. $15 for one watermelon is more than I am willing to put out for one of my favorite summer fruits. In reality, I refuse to buy just about any fruit except for bananas because of the prices. I just won't pay $5 for four apples. I'm spoiled by American food prices, and I just can't spend that much on food even if it is vital to my nutrition. In Japan I have heard there is such a thing as a square watermelon and its price make my whining about $15 to shame.
These watermelons go for near $100 or so I am told. I'm sorry, call me cheap, call me miserly, but "NO WAY Jose!" The novelty is not that great that I will spend a day's wages on a watermelon just because it has the shape of a square.
But I regress... where were we? Ah... yes, the BBQ, near perfection. We even had fireworks. Well, kind of. We got sparklers galore and Roman candles. I've mentioned before that we have a miniature, and slightly overweight statue of liberty in our school, so we thought it only fitting to fire the flames near our lady of freedom. A Canadian made that suggestion. By the by, did you know that Canada (their equivalent to July 4th) is on July 1st. Basically the queen or king whoever was in charge at that time patted Canada on the head and said, you can have your own government, but Mommy and Daddy England will still watch over you to make sure you are ok.