Holidays can be difficult in a foreign country, especially when they aren’t celebrated at all or are entirely different than at home. Thanksgiving is an American holiday and it doesn’t exist in France.
I’ve had people ask me what I did for Thanksgiving over here and the answer is . . . nothing. At least, nothing special. I’ve found the history behind Thanksgiving to be rather unfortunate for many years and I quit indulging in the major overeating several years ago. What I still enjoyed was sharing time with my family, but that isn’t possible over here. Instead, it was just another working day, but I did enjoy a few different festivities with friends during the month.
I had an American friend visit who had never been further South in France, so we were off to Bordeaux! Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and my third trip to Bordeaux was also very wet!
Considering how good the weather is where I live, I’m not quite sure why all three of my trips to Bordeaux have involved so much rain. It’s still a lovely city though and the rain is a perfect excuse to sit down to a nice warm meal.
One thing that I forget when I’m in other areas is that the rules are sometimes different. An entrée that is priced in the teens is expensive for my area, but not necessarily a big city . . . so, it might be a normal-sized entrée or it might be more appropriately sized to share. In this case, the entrée definitely could have been shared! It was an entire wheel of melted cheese with sausage in it! The main course was also massive and I wasn’t able to finish either dish.
I’ve been to the city a few times and I’ve already seen the high points, so this was a great opportunity to show someone else the most photogenic sights that I’ve found. We also went back to the basilica that I accidentally missed last time – it’s one that they’re cleaning, inside and out, and the second photo is of one of the niches that has been cleaned – the details were stunning! Outside was the separate tower, which I’d mistaken for Pey Berland last time, and inside of it was the “poster” of the child. I’m sure it’s a social statement of some sort, but I searched and didn’t find anything.
Murder Mystery Party
The following weekend I went to a murder mystery birthday party with my new British friends. I’ve been to a murder mystery dinner in the US, which was an organized meal with actors; however, this was my first time where it was a private party and the whole thing was performed by the guests – fortunately, everyone had a good time getting into character.
The setting was a speak-easy during the 1920s and I was supposed to be the singing diva, who was meeting a man from Hollywood to see about getting a part in his upcoming movie.
Of course, murder and mayhem followed! The group often hangs out and listens to live music at a local pub, so this was a nice break from the usual weekend routine. There are a lot of really good musicians in the area though, so the usual routine isn’t bad either! We’re actually quite spoiled with the variety of quality musical acts.
And Finally, a Turkey Dinner
Well, lunch actually. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I did go out and have turkey; however, the French eat turkey much more often than I did in the US and it wasn’t specifically a “Thanksgiving” meal. You can find American-style Thanksgiving meals offered in certain places in France, such as Paris, but I didn’t see one advertised specifically in my area. When turkey was offered on Friday though, I jumped at it.
It came with mashed potatoes too, so it was sort of “Thanksgiving-adjacent.” It was a good choice – in fact, I started to dig in before thinking that I should snap a quick pic of my “Thanksgiving meal.” 😉
In regards to the other good aspect of Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I live in my dream country, have a good job here, work with a team that I really like, just moved into a house that I love, I’m in reasonably good health, have added some “sport” to my life (yoga & biking), have a fun new group of people that I spend time with and I’m starting to form a few closer friendships – I now have a well-rounded group of French & English friends who are both male and female. Year two in France is off to a good start!