Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving in India

Well, we knew that Thanksgiving here would be interesting, for starters, its 75 degrees every day and we all had to work. Beyond that, things were very interesting!

On Thursday, we celebrating Thanksgiving at "The Only Place" a local establishment that serves continental food (aka burgers and fries). We had a table of 20 reserved for all our Palm Meadows friends. Yes, we celebrated with the Germans, the Irish, the Canadians, the folks from New Jersey and our friends from Seattle/Arizona. The other Target expat were there as well.So, basically everyone we knew in Bangalore was at this place for dinner. They had a whole spread ... turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, brocoli, beans, carrots, rolls, garlic butter and pumpkin pie. They also have a corking fee of of just 100R ($2). This is fast becoming our favorite place:) We all ate too much and the kids played "Power Rangers". Just like at home!!

On Saturday, we had busy plans for the day. The Christmas Bazaar and hosting the Target expats for a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

The Christmas Bazaar was amazing. There were tents set up all over St Marks Cathedral and there must have been 200 vendors selling sweets, food, soda, crafts and other gift items. There was a huge stage, Santa, kid activities and pony rides. Needless to say, we had a great time. The kids were so excited to see Santa. They talked about it non-stop on the way to St Marks. The only concern was that Kay did not want Santa to touch her. She was adament about that! Jimmy was going to ask for a pretend BB gun with a pumper thing and a trigger (no lie, we didnt even prep him on this "Christmas Story"-esce request - I was cracking up). Kay wants a kitchen with a stove and Billy wants a tricycle (we think). They were all set to ask Santa for their gifts when they actually spotted Stanta. Now, keep in mind, this is India and the "suit" was made here. Needless to say Santa was a little on the skinny side and his beard was scotch taped to his face. They just stood and stared at him for about 10 min's. Then Kay, on the verge of crying, looks at me with a quivering lower lip and says... "Why is Santa...Daddy"? Sure enough, Tom was playing Santa for the Overseas Womens Club and Kay was the 1st to catch on. So, we had to explain that Santa got stuck in traffic (as we all do in India) and that the Reindeers got sick because of the food/heat (again, as we all do in India) so Santa had called Daddy and asked him a big favor. He needed Daddy to pretend he was Santa so that he could find out what all the kids wanted and then call Santa on his mobile phone to tell him. This explanation apeased the kids. Until they realize they got gypped out of seeing the real Santa. We heard nothing else for the last 2 days except... "Now, when can we see the REAL Santa?"

After our close experience with Santa, we were off to find another turkey. Tom had managed to find one early in the week, but once it was plucked and butchered, it only weighed 2.5kgs (5.5 lbs). That wasnt going to be enough for our feast. So, we were off again looking for a turkey. It turns out, that while you can buy a chicken from almost anyone on the street, turkeys are a rare commodity. We managed to find one at the local market. The shop was called "Wet Pets". Yep, it was a pet store and the had 2 live turkeys. Upon hearing we wanted to buy one, the guy started chasing them in an attempt to catch one. Imagine being in a very Indian open air market, with traffic, street vendors, etc... and this guy is chasing 2 turkeys down the block. We were laughing so hard we couldnt even take a picture. Needless to say, he was successful and we had VERY fresh turkey for dinner.

Even later that afternoon, ur friends the Chinese/French family next door, lent us their oven. Very overy nice of them considering they are vegetarian and they were going to have a recently deceased turkey in their oven for 4 hours. We did mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing (thanks to a visitor from the US that brought us 2 boxes of Stove Top - YUM!!), salad, apple and pumpkin pie. We also had great wine and even better company. We invited the neighbors to join us and they seemed to enjoy their 1st Thanksgiving meal (granted it was pretty much just carbs for them, but still good). The kids LOVED having company and were busy painting and giving tours of the house and their rooms.

We all fell into bed exhausted.

It was a good holiday weekend, all in all.

We did miss all of you (our friends and family at home). But, we know that we are so blessed to be loved and to love so many people all around the world.

Love and Happy Thanksgiving!!