This was my first Thanksgiving that I had ever spent away from home. I knew from the moment that I applied to go abroad Fall semester that this was a day that I would have to face sooner or later but it didn’t make it any easier, to be away from my family, friends and traditions of this holiday that I love so much.
Anyways, knowing that this was going to be a rough time for me, I decided well in advanced to make myself as busy as possible so that I wouldn’t have much time to think about missing real Thanksgiving in the U.S. This included a full day of errands to run, and class to attend. The day was to end with a Traditional Thanksgiving dinner, as promised by NYU in Paris, atop the Eiffel Tower and the next was to begin with a trip to Prague with two of my girlfriends for the remainder of the weekend.
I have to say, the entire weekend ended up being a great success! The dinner was absolutely wonderful and I was really impressed with NYU. They basically rented out the entire restaurant (the one that is on the first level, not the one at the very top) and somehow managed to get them to cook us a French version of Thanksgiving dinner. The food was great although perhaps not quite traditional! I sat at a huge table with my all of my closest friends in the program and enjoyed delicious wine and food.
Although the dinner was not the same as being at home with my family, I came to realize that I was having a once in a lifetime experience and I ended up having a wonderful time. How many other people can say that they ate their Thanksgiving dinner on the Eiffel Tower?
The next morning, my two friends and I left bright and early to go to Prague and we had a wonderful time. This was the first trip I went on outside of France, so I was really excited about it and Prague was the perfect place to pick. I felt like because it is a small city, especially relative to Paris, it was easy to see the sites get a general feel of the city within the time constraints of the weekend. Not to say that our days weren’t jam-packed but this just made for a really fun weekend and just the type of distraction that I was looking for!
My Thanksgiving story is simple but fulfilling. The holiday of Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of the food. I love turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and everything else that is essential to a Thanksgiving feast. I started the day by having class. I am in Argentina and they have no idea what Thanksgiving is or that it even exists. I started the day by wishing my classmates lots of “Happy Thanksgivings,” but no one seemed to be in the mood. I don't blame them. It is hard to be in the mood for Thanksgiving when you have class all day. I myself had class from eleven to five. A really long day for a supposed holiday. In the middle of my day, I went up to the third floor of the school to ask the administrators if I could use the phone to call my parents. They told me no because they said that if, “They let me they have to let anyone.” I tried to tell them that I would keep it a secret but they would not let me. I then noticed that a classmate of mine, who I remembered being on Skype in the past, if I could use their computer to Skype my parents. I have a Skype account that I could use on her computer. However, when I asked her if I could borrow her computer, she mentioned that she had a Skype account with unlimited calling and that I could feel free to use it if I wished. I then proceeded to call my parents from the school lobby from Skype.
Later on in the day there was a Thanksgiving feast at school. At eight thirty everyone came out of the wood work for a feast. Even the administrators and there families came out to celebrate. The school had paid for caterers to carve turkeys, bake stuffing, and bring apple pie. The food was plentiful and so was the drink. The best part might have been the waitresses who came around and refilled your soda or water on demand. Therefore, one did not have to stand up to go get themselves more drink. The stuffing was great, because we didn't think Argentine's knew what stuffing was in the first place. The dessert was especially good containing apple pie, blueberry pie, coffee, and lemon pie. After dinner, I was so stuffed I went straight to sleep. God I love Thanksgiving.
Ever since I can remember eating I have always looked forward to Thanksgiving. For reasons I have never really been able to explain I have always been drawn to the massive amounts of seasonal foods, hoards of disgruntled family members, and the fact that on this one day it is perfectly acceptable to do absolutely nothing. I have always held this holiday in very high regards, but I never really realized why I find it such a crucial part of the holiday season until I wasn’t at home to experience it.
In an effort to make us feel more at home on the holiday in Buenos Aires, the NYU staff decided to organize a big Thanksgiving dinner party at the academic center. Even though they asked us for specific advice about recipes, organized caterers to cook for us and decorated the center with the traditional autumn hues (which was actually the most impressive part, considering it is summer right now), it still did not feel much like thanksgiving. Granted I was in a foreign country without family and it was about 50 degrees hotter than any thanksgiving I have ever been a part of, there was something else the day way missing.