Thanksgiving in The Alice is a strange thing. So familiar, and yet entirely different at the same time. For the rest of the town, it’s a normal Thursday. Shops are open, kids go to school, and the town functions as normal. The only exceptions is us Yanks. We take the day off work, pick up the kids from school, and gather together to eat, and eat, and eat some more. While most of America is enjoying the last of fall with it’s colorful leaves and crisp weather, we are hunkering down and preparing for temps into the 40s (100+ for those playing at home) for the next several months. At least the stores are playing Christmas music. Holiday creep hasn’t made it out of November in The Alice. Yet.
We were invited to another couple’s home. We decided to brine and roast a turkey to bring along. Little did we know that there would be two other turkeys (fried and grilled), and ham to go with it. I must give a shout out to Alton Brown. Even in this dry climate, the brine kept the bird moist even through transport. The feast was wonderful. Mashed and sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, dressing, pies galore, beer, port, aged Haitian rum and plenty of camaraderie. Several locals stopped by after work to join us and while I’m not sure they understand everything behind the holiday, the idea of sharing food with friends seems to be universal.
We arrived at 2, ate at 4, and stayed until after 7. There were still plenty of folks there when we slipped away. The day was nice, and we all ended up in the back yard enjoying the nice weather. By that part of the afternoon, there seemed to be fewer flies out there than there were inside with the remains of our meal.
Despite the good food and good times, it’s not home. Nothing will ever come close to the feeling of being with family and lifelong friends. Spending Thanksgiving away from home, but in the States, is different, but being half a world away is just strange. We called to wish our families a happy Thanksgiving, knowing it was still Wednesday night there. Throughout the day, we kept thinking about what they day should be like, down to the silly details. We could picture the tables we would be sitting at, food that would be there, the serving utensils, the faces, sounds, and smells. No matter where on earth we are, nothing will recreate that.
The biggest thing that was missing? American football. There’s nothing quite like laying on the couch, stuffed full of turkey, and watch college teams play rivalry games. The resident Detroit fan missed his Lions but was confident in the outcome (he wasn’t incorrect). Saturday was even worse! Luckily, we have cricket to watch. 🙂