Friday, November 25, 2005

Día de Dar Gracias

Yesterday was the sixth Thanksgiving (out of 29) that I have spent abroad. Here´s a recap:

1996: Aix-en-Provence, France. Thanksgiving a la Francaise with the other members of my study abroad program. I don´t remember what we ate but I´m sure there was turkey (dinde).

2001: Amsterdam, Holland. A gathering of American colleagues, catered by our local Canadian resident chef and definitely featuring a big turkey (kalkoen). Hosted by the company president, who told me during dinner, "Don´t worry Jess, we´re not moving to Basel."

2002: Lucerne, Switzerland. One year later, we are indeed not in Basel, but in Lucerne, after the company announced in April that it would move to Switzerland. Dinner with a couple of friends at a local restaurant (no turkey), followed by fresh-baked apple crumble at my (still only partly furnished) house.

2003: Queensland, Australia. I don´t remember the name of the town where I stayed, but I hadn´t met anyone in my hostel so I went to the local pub for a hamburger and a beer (no turkey) and chatted with a retired Dutch couple. My first Thanksgiving without other Americans.

2004: Lucerne, Switzerland. On the eve of my departure, my friend Susana invited me over for dinner. It wasn´t until I was helping her fry up potatoes that I remembered it was Thanksgiving. Luckily, we were having a roast chicken, so it was almost like turkey (Truthahn).

2005: San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala. Back on Lago Atitlán, I´m in a small village filled with places to meditate, do yoga, have a massage or other holistic alternative treatments like Reiki or Indian head massage. Knowing this, it´s not surprising that this was my first vegetarian Thanksgiving. But at least there were mashed potatoes, and some nice people from Switzerland, France, the U.S and El Salvador.