Happy Thanksgiving! While, I really missed celebrating one of my favorite holidays at home: running in the Chicago turkey trot with my dad, baking pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and turkey sugar cookies with my mom and sister and playing football with the McMahon family, by the end of the night, I was quite happy with my Spanish Thanksgiving.
I started Thanksgiving by pulling myself out of bed at 7:30 AM for my 9 AM class, trekking through the freezing Galician rain, and finally arriving in class, asking myself ¨It´s Thanksgiving, why am I here in school?¨ However, as soon as the professor entered the classroom, he turned to me and wished me a happy Thanksgiving (and in English!). While it was a simple gesture, I was so pleased and comforted that he remembered the special American holiday.
After class, I went alone (Kelsey and Arinelli were in class) to a radio station with Pablo (our housing director) to talk about Thanksgiving…in SPANISH! Before this, I was extremely nervous…What if I blank out and forget Spanish, or even how to speak? What if I say something that isn´t true about Thanksgiving? What If I do mess up and embarrass myself along with HC´s name and reputation?¨ Thankfully, the radio host who interviewed me was quite nice, and only asked me fairly simple questions about myself, my reasons for coming to Spain and the history and traditions of Thanksgiving (although I did have a few grammer mistakes…). 🙂
After the radio, I came back home and started to bake for the feast later in the night. Since the recipes were from home, not only did I have to translate all the English ingredients to Spanish, but I also had to translate the American measuring system to the metric one. It was a quite stressful process, as I was extremely worried that it would not turn out well, and that I would be the joke of the night. A few hours later, Arinelli and Kelsey came over and helped me decorate the turkey cookies as we told our family´s Thanksgiving traditions. Thankfully, everything turned out perfectly!
At 8:00 we headed over to Pablo´s, which is a quick 30 second walk from my piso. When we arrived he already had the turkey in the oven, the mashed potatoes cooking, and (most importantly) the football game on the TV! While I know I am supposed to be immersing myself in the Spanish culture, it was so nice to watch a football game on Thanksgiving. After the game, the three of us, Pablo, our culture coordinator Arianna, and a few of Pablo´s friends, gathered in the dining room and shared a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. At the end of the dinner, we all held hands, and said what we were Thankful for, which was quite a lot!
Dato Divertido: Today as I was Christmas shopping with Arinelli, we were shocked as to how many English tourists there were walking around Coruña. In fact, almost every Saturday (especially in the fall and summer) a cruise ship lands in Coruña, mostly comprising of English tourists and they basically take over the downtown. I, along with the locals, just roll my eyes when they try to speak to the cashier or the waitress in English, or walk with large cameras slung around their necks…ohhh tourists…thankfully I am not one of them!