Ah, Thanksgiving, that special time of year where it's socially acceptable to eat so much that you either pass out and drink so much that it seems like a good idea to scream at a group of men in strangely tight pants as they throw a ball around a large field of grass. Well, to be perfectly fair, back home in the States both of those things tend to be socially acceptable ANYWAY, but I think you see my point. The fact is that I actually usually find something strangely comforting about this holiday, the food, the family, the copious amounts of alcohol (oh, dear, is your family not like mine? Pity). Despite it's puritanical heritage, it isn't a particularly religious holiday, so everyone can pretty much celebrate it as they like. As my mother reminded me, the true origins of the holiday really lie in a group of desperate and isolated people who were probably so thrilled to have lived through the year in that terrible and strange land we now know as Massachusetts that they were just looking for a little celebration. I'm sure they never dreamed that one day their distant ancestors would be honoring the tumultuous early years of settlement and slaughter by covering sweet potatoes with marshmallows and trying to eat our weight in turkey. How proud they must be.
Of course, this year I'm not spending Thanksgiving in the States, so I supposed it's a whole new ballgame. As turkey is one of the few native foods of North America it can be fairly difficult to find here in the land of smoked pig products, so that was out. And because my decision to come to Madrid was spontaneous, to put it mildly, I don't really know enough people here to cook a whole bird of any kind, I mean, considering all the people I know here, frankly, a cornish game hen might be pushing it. So what is an American girl in Spain to do? Well, the only thing she can, frankly, which is make a nice meal for the few people she can rope into bringing wine, and count her blessings. Frankly, considering how cheap wine is here, that's not so bad, all things considering.
There are a lot of things I'm thankful for this year. As always, I'm thankful for the big things, my family, my friends, my wireless internet connection. However, I've always said that it's the little things that make life worth living. Here is the short list, in no particular order: 1. Mad Men, Season 3 2. Impossible dogs, and the people who put sweaters on them 3. The fact that I saw an old man hit a waiter with a cane today in a Cerveceria 4. Modcloth.com 5. The fact that I no longer live in a hostel, though at times my apartment feels like one... 6. Free tapas with every glass of wine at basically everywhere in the greater Madrid area. 7. In light of the temperature fluctuations here in Madrid, the fact that I brought multiple layers to Europe. 8. The fact that I will be back in the US by the time Sherlock Holmes comes into theaters 9. Free entrance to El Prado and El Reina Sofia daily. 10. The fact that no matter where I am, my flourless chocolate cake still sames to taste the same.
I must say, while we in the States might think we know what it's like to love sports, but we have NOTHING on Europe. I saw a group of men crying the other day when Real Madrid won in a seasonal match with Zurich. Take THAT, Superbowl. To all you football fans who are offended, well, call me when you start crying.
As for the rest of you, Happy Thanksgiving! Eat some extra turkey for me. I myself will be contenting my stomach with chicken. Same difference, right?
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.