This is my obligatory Thanksgiving-abroad post. Although, I feel like it’s a little different, because I did get a (Frenchified) Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the potluck shindig CIEE threw at the program center.
I was surprised, because I hadn’t found any squash or cranberries or sweet potatoes at the markets or grocery stores—but people did, because they brought the traditional Thanksgiving sides and I was super duper excited about that. In fact, I was so pumped about the sweet potatoes that the scoop I scooped was so big and heavy that my flimsy paper plate fell over … so that the sweet potatoes were stuck to the paper tablecloth like SPLAT. Thankfully, no one in the assembly line saw it, but I did have to scoop a smaller ball of sweet potatoes : (
But in addition to those traditional dishes, there was turkey (flown in from an American grocery store, I’ve heard) and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and lots and lots of French wine. No cornbread or stuffing, but I was so full at the end of the dinner that it wasn’t that big of a deal. Plus, the Nutella banana croissant pudding I made (it’ll be in the next post, for sure) was a huge hit, so all in all it was a good Wednesday night.
It wasn’t Thanksgiving though, but like Tofurkey, it went down like a decent substitute. Usually, Thanksgiving break is the one time in the fall quarter I see my mom. Her parents live outside of Philly, so she’ll drive down with my sister and I’ll take the bus to my grandparents and we all eat together.
But this year—for the first year since my parents split up—is the year of Thanksgiving with my dad. Kind of. I’m thankful that he sacrificed his Thanksgiving Thursday to fly over and arrive in Paris Friday morning. That’s better than cornbread. Plus, I never see him during fall term, so it’s a nice change. He and my step-mom will be here for 10 days, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Like I’ve repeated on here multiple times, he lived in Paris for a couple years so most likely he’ll be showing me around. Although—and I take great pride in this—he never went to a Paris Christmas Market so I’ll get to take him to that. We won’t have to go to the tourist traps and I won’t have to babysit him. And, unlike my mom, he’ll be living close enough that he can meet my host family—which I am nervously excited for. It will be like a merging of two parts of my life.
But what did I do on actual Thanksgiving? Nothing really. Went to class, did homework, walked around my neighborhood, took a nap. My host mom has a cold and took a nap upstairs in the loft, so I accidentally woke her up when I went to get dinner and that made me feel like crap. But she laughed when I told her I was going to an absinthe bar on my Thanksgiving night.
It’s the same one Anthony Bourdain went to in the first episode of No Reservations so you can expect a blog post about that too. The website is pretty punk, and that’s what the “philosophy of the bar” is telling me about too. Apparently it’s supposed to have the opulence of a 19th century absinthe bar in a 21st century rock karaoke bar. So what’s not to like?
Here’s the link to the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6t9mWBKs9I
And here’s a link to the bar’s website: http://www.cantada.net/
I’m very excited—and thankful—for this opportunity. Not just to go to the absinthe bar, but to be in Paris, to be able to celebrate time in the fall with my dad, and to be able to write about it all and have an audience. I feel kind of sappy because I’m the only one sitting at my table who is saying what I’m thankful for—and it doesn’t even really feel like Thanksgiving anyway because everyone else’s Facebook statuses are about food and family and football and I don’t have either of those with me today.
But maybe I needed to get away from the food and family and football to realize that it’s just about taking time out of your life to look at it from a different angle (or, you know, writing it all out for a blog post).