Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving in India - The Only Place

Really, we had Thanksgiving Dinner at The Only Place. Its an expat favorite:)

Actually, The Only Place, is a great kid friendly resturant that serves the best burgers in town. Except on Thanksgiving when they have a real live Thanksgiving buffet, chock full of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, potato salad, green salad, green beans, carrots, broccoli, sweet creamed corn, garlic bread, gravy, pumpkin pie and the always favorite Thanksgiving tradition of garbanzo beans ! (?)

I had a reservation for 25 and due to last minute additions (literally, people inviting other friends 24 hours prior) we were a cozy group of over 40 people (15 kids, but with their energy, it seemed like about 50 kids). See my final update to the group to set the "stage" for the night:

"Just spoke to The Only Place to confirm for tomorrow. While they will have PLENTY of food to accommodate for all of us (and the extra guests you have all asked to bring), we may need to eat in "shifts" (ie. Just like at home…. Kids 1st, then hungry adults then less hungry adults). Its buffet style and we should tell them to issue each of us separate bills to make it easier to pay. Also, he suggested bringing in an ice box/cooler of liquor/beer/wine if you are interested !!??!!. When I asked how much his corking fee was, he said "let's not worry about that now" and laughed. Last year it was about R100/bottle of wine. Sounds just like Thanksgiving in the Murphy Household in MN. BYOB, too many people, WAY too many kids, not enough seats, WAY too much food...."

All in all, it turned out even more chaotic than expected. Many of the other non-parent expats remarked that it was incredibly effective birth control. I have to agree, it'll be awhile before I take on any more kids after last night. Why you ask?? Some examples....

~ 15 kids with a median age of 3 1/2 (8 being the oldest and 2 1/2 being the youngest)

~ The 8 member tribe of 4 year olds playing craps on an upside down table with rocks the size of their fists

~ Billy approaching me with a handful of half chewed/half digested turkey and saying "I threw up Mom"

~ Kay and Owen picking ALL the flowers and leaves off the potted plants (some how and intregal part of the craps game)

~ Jimmy and Cody trying to pick up (literally, pick up) Ella and Grayce

~ Ella and Grayce trying to pick up (and kiss) Jimmy and Cody

~ Billy, Owen and Noah rolling through the dirt floor of the resturant as they "rolled down the sand dunes" (Wiggles song for all you non parents)

~ Jimmy and Cody showing off all the latest Power Ranger Operation Overdrive moves

~ High contact Ring around the Rosie, including Jump around the Rosie, Run around the Rosie, Hop around the Rosie and Scream around the Rosie"

~ A parental barricade to prevent the kids from running into Bangalore city traffic

~ One child (who should remain unnamed) throwing a rock at the plate glass window (no it didnt break , but the overwhelming Mom comment was "that god that wasnt my kid")

~ A jeapordy style game during the dinner with silly Thanksgiving questions and answers hosted by Amber (The belly laughs were hysterical)

Other than combat duty, what did the adults do for fun you ask? Lots of wine, beer, food and martini's.

The waitstaff, on the other hand, wasnt having as much fun and were quite distrubed by the whole event. They wanted to charge me on 1 bill, instead of separate bills, since they were having a hard time keeping track of the kids/people. As you know, never be the last person at an event like this.... After the 30th time of explaining "just have each person tell you how many plates of turkey they had", we finally called on the owner. He was SO gracious, "no worries ma'am, its like this every year, we'll figure it out". At the end of the night, it was 450R/plate, 100R/corking fee and 12R/bottle of water. That's about $15.60/person if you drank a whole bottle of wine yourself (I was tempted). Not bad for all you can eat dinner, all you can drink wine, all you can handle energy, non-stop entertainment (ie the kids) and some on the job parenting training for the non-parents.

Actually, $15.60 seems pretty reasonable for a good dose of birth control.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and YOURS!!!