Musings of Thanksgiving

I’ve been terrible about updating this lately, but lately I’ve been busy with schoolwork and real people shit. Last week we had our best attempt at bringing a very American Thanksgiving to the South of France. Just in case you were wondering, the French have no idea what Thanksgiving is. “You killed your natives and then ate their food,” most thought. Others had a cursory knowledge from South Park.

“Well, not exactly,” we explained. It’s mostly about friends and family and food. So, we organized a Thanksgiving party/dinner at my friends’ flat and told everyone to bring a dish. Turkey is sort of impossible to find in France. So we feasted on rotisserie chicken, barbecue chicken, sweet potato casserole, and a range of other delicious dishes. One dish I was quite impressed with was Trina’s made-from-scratch pumpkin pie. She actually bought a pumpkin to carve and cook and used graham cracker to make a crust. I made banana bread from scratch, it was a smash!

But as much as I loved the typically American dishes, I was entertained by the fact that some of the non-American students – French and otherwise – brought their own country’s food. Adriana made guacamole, someone brought egg rolls, and there was plenty of French wine and baguettes to go around. Hey, if we’re gonna bring American traditions to France, they’re gonna make us either their food, right? Thank you to Brian and Michelle for hosting a very unconventional Thanksgiving in all the best ways.

But I also appreciated celebrating Thanksgiving with good people and new friends abroad. To think that I came to France knowing no one is sort of staggering. I’ve become close with many new people and I’m particularly thankful for this. And it made me think about my family back at home, who for the first time are celebrating Thanksgiving without me.

I was riding in the car the other day when suddenly I got very nostalgic. Seeing my friends excited to return to their homes for the holidays made me lugubrious. I’m excited to be planing my winter break (and mini-tour of Europe), but am still telepathically sending airwaves home. I think of my friends and family and miss them. It’s funny, heh? You know, as much as I feel brave coming here, the really brave ones are the people at home who are still leaving a place for me. Thanks for not moving on. Thanks for supporting me while I’m away. And just thanks for being in my life.

It made me think of this quote:

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”  ~John Ed Pearce

 

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