Nov 24, 2006 4:37 pm


Let me confess. Being abroad on Thanksgiving makes me realize how deep my American roots have sunk. I knew I will miss being home during thanksgiving most especially because it it the one time during the year that my husband's family has a real get together courtesy of my sister in law (Thanks Bette). We will miss seeing them this year. We old foggies do not change all that much (at least we would like to think so) but the growing brood of young children do and in most delightful ways. Being in a country with so few Americans (including tourists) made matters worse.

So, what is one to do? Organize a holiday dinner of one's own seemed like the obvious answer. Easier thought than done. You try to find a turkey or cranberry sauce in Goa and you try to cook it without an oven. Moreover, this year in Goa, Thanksgiving falls on the opening day of the Indian International Film Festival. All the who's who in Bollywood and, not only in Bollywood, are here. There is going to be a parade down main street as well as an airshow and a glitzy opening ceremony. Not only were some of our potential guests planning to attend but we may get to do so, too. We are not sure. It is 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the ceremony starts at 5:30 and our driver has some instructions to take 2 photos with copies of our passports to some office for some tickets. The problem is that we are foreigners and security is very tight. They are afraid of a terrorist attack. No one is going to be permitted to bring in a purse, a cell phone or a camera.

But we already had our thanksgiving party yesterday. It was a real thanksgiving dinner. Only we were the pilgrims and the real Indians were our guests. With the exception of the other Fulbright professor here in Goa, we invited the people who helped us get through the difficulty early weeks here. The menu consisted of home made salads including salad Nicoise with corn. The main course was delivered by U.S. pizza and the desert was purchased in the local Baskin Robbins ice cream store. Yes, we topped it with Hershey's chocolate syrup. Arthur even told our host all about the pilgrims and the Thanksgiving meal they had. In other words, we discovered that Thanksgiving travels well.

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