I will soon get to the very unfortunate reason for my delay of writing, but first, let me tell you how I spent my American holiday in Odessa. I was actually just a tad depressed that I had potatoes and raw cabbage instead of my usual delicious feast on Thanksgiving. This is the first year that I have ever been away from either Nat’s or my family. I am accustomed to juicy, perfectly prepared turkey, steaming sweet potatoes, Costco pumpkin pies, and hours of eating. This year was just a tad bit different to say the least.
On Thursday I was warmly reminded of my country’s holiday by my hostel mate, Dasha. She is one of the sweetest and genuine girls I have ever met. I was surprised that she remembered that Thursday was a holiday whereas I was somewhat stoic to the fact. I went through the day, although thankful for everything I have in my life, minus my food allergy, slightly depressed. I was constantly reminded of my absence while surfing Facebook; all of my friends were excited about their big plans to celebrate the occasion with friends, family and food. I guess for one of the first times the entire trip, I found myself somewhat homesick. Just then, I remembered I had received a very thoughtful invitation from an ex-pat named Nik who was working for a different hostel in town. My mood was lifted as I made the phone call to ask him about the event’s details and what I should bring. He simply told me to bring something I could share with the rest of the group.
I arrived at the dinner one hour late because I had to go home and prepare something, but as I suspected, I was still one of the first to arrive. Being late to events and parties is one thing Americans and Ukrainians have in common. I joked about how I am happy that this party was not being hosted by a German because everyone was so late. Even for me it was too late, as I had not eaten and by 8PM I was famished. Finally the rest of the crew arrived with an amazing set of dishes that really represented the international composition of our friends. Along with the turkey, we had a Greek sauce, Mexican dessert, and a lot of vodka. My only complaint about the meal was the limited amount of turkey each guest was allowed to consume; it just seemed to incredibly small compared to what I am used to. I suppose that eating until you cannot move is not really the point of Thanksgiving, so I let it slide.
|There was more alcohol than food at our dinner|
|Salad and booze|
|International Thanksgiving Guest|
After the delicious dinner, we went to the living room and began a game of Ukrainian Monopoly. It was even more vicious and unrelenting than usual. There were under the table deals, extortion, and even a Casino where you can gamble away your money. It was an interesting spin on the American classic.