Friday, November 26, 2010

An All Import Expat Thanksgiving

As you might expect, Thanksgiving doesn't mean much around these parts. It comes and goes pretty much like any other day. On the bright side, working for an American company that supports American clients, it's still a holiday. In fact, I decided to do what I would have done if I was in the U.S. and took Friday off as well. Typically, with four consecutive days out of the office, we'd get the heck out of here and explore; however, with all of our recent travel, we decided to keep it low-key and just relax at home. You know, like a real Thanksgiving. Plus, there's always more than enough to keep us busy, the most important of which was an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner with some like-celebrating friends.

Even though I've only been back in India for a few short weeks since the extended homestay, there's something comforting about being around people that celebrate the same holidays on those holidays. With the exception of a couple of Canadians and a German (in the spirit of full disclosure, the Canadians moved here from Fargo, ND and the German is married to an American, so they basically count as Americans, whether they like it or not), it was a room full of those like-celebrating American citizens. While not the same as family, not a bad little proxy.

The food? Let's just say we just as easily could have been in Chicago as we were in a heavily gated and guarded enclave in India. The turkey? Butterball, moist, and delicious. The stuffing and potatoes? Just like Mom makes (almost, Mom). The pecan and pumpkin pies? Simply delightful. Something called a 'Magic Bar'? Probably about as close as I'm going to get to the taste of a Two Elk Bar without flying back and skiing Vail.

Everything, and I mean everything, tasted just like it would have in the States. The reason was simple. Every item had a story where it was specifically sought out as the real thing (like the turkey, which isn't exactly an indigenous bird around here), had an ingredient that had been lugged back in someone's suitcase (like the pecans in the pie), or had been carefully selected at the new import grocers, Modern Bazaar (like the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce).

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, more than I care to write about here. But suffice to say and without getting too sentimental, I'm thankful that Lindsay and I are having this experience. Like you'd expect, there are ups and there are downs. Luckily for us, the ups far outweigh the downs.

For one night though, I was thankful that the food tasted and smelled the way it "should". Today, it's back to expat India which, let's be honest, isn't a bad place to be.

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