Thanksgiving day in Long Xuyen. There were talk of plans for a feast in the guesthouse. I didn’t actually take part in buying the decorations, but I did help putting them up, a little. That was yesterday. Today rolled around and people in the guesthouse had found where to get a turkey and found a restaurant that would cook it for us. Tyler had recently gone to Ho Chi Minh City and found ingredients for stuffing and they were cooking that too. And there was a rumor that gravy would be included as well. People were beginning to congregate around 3 or so. Sharla was mopping, others were beginning to cook potatoes, and me and Tyler looked around a little, and then went out to try and fix the blinkers on the motorbike. Finally the turkey arrived on a motorbike and shortly after the eating began.

Some of us started eating as soon as the turkey was cut, and not small pieces either. I hadn’t realized how much I missed turkey. It tasted wonderful, and the stuffing wasn’t the best, but it tasted good. The gravy didn’t make it, but I ate and ate and was stuffed like I should be. Jenna and Phil put to together a very sweet (literally and figuratively) apple pie somehow and it was amazing, except for the fact that I was so stuffed that I could barely put it down. Eventually people started going off to class and bed, and then it was just the four: Steven, Sharla, Tyler, and me. We played Monopoly and watched some TV before we went to our separate rooms.

Events like this day tend to make me think of the past because of the significance of the holiday, at least in my memory. This is the first Thanksgiving that I’ve experienced away from my family. There was no fire in the woodstove and no games of pool or ping-pong in the basement. The weather here was a little rainy in the evening, but not brisk and chilly like what I’m used to. I have a new life here, and it’s like this guesthouse serves as some strange unifier that turns all of the people here into some odd family. I don’t mean odd in a negative way by any means, but being in these walls, and being from Western countries pulls us all together. It was interesting that this was Steven’s first Thanksgiving ever; I didn’t know that they didn’t have it in Australia.

And life beats on here, to the rhythm of blasts of motorbike horns and the dying rainy season. Things pile up for classes at the end of the semester and I’ll be hustling around like a madman, a crazy nut, and then I hope to relax with my parents when they get here. The days go by so fast.


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