thanksgiving in the middle east

i woke up today and it was thanksgiving. normally, this would be a really big deal, and i’d spend the first half of the day rushing about trying to buy groceries before stores closed for the holiday. people left and right would be wishing each other a happy thanksgiving, and everyone would be getting excited for the huge meal ahead. but today, since i was nowhere near the united states, nobody around could give a crap less about thanksgiving. for a while now i had really been wondering if we would be able to celebrate thanksgiving at all, and i was kinda bummed that we probably wouldnt be able to. at first, yesterday i had some grand ambitions of going down to the souqs and trying to find a turkey to eat, but i think it probably would have ended up being too much trouble.

several hours into the day though, i decided that i wanted to celebrate thanksgiving no matter what. instead of turkey, we decided to just go out and buy some of the roasted chickens that they sell around here. but what to do about the rest of the stuff? the main thing we wnated to make was mashed potatos and gravy, so we headed off to the souq. after a bit of searching around, we were able to get some butter, flour, garlic, potatos, milk and some greenbeans. it wasnt the easiest thing to do, since it’s not like there is one big grocery store where you do your shopping. we had to go from merchant to merchant, and buy each ingredient separately. it was confusing trying to get our needs across here and there, but we got everything… well, everything except for the main ingredient for gravy: drippings. luckily, we were able to fins a place with grilled chicken on a vertical spit, and asked the guy for some of the oil at the bottom of his pan. he wasn’t to pleased by our request… in fact i think he thought we were really bizarre. why the hell were we asking him for some nasty oil from underneath his roast chicken? but he gave it to us anyways, and we rushed home.

back in the hotel we cooked up a storm and actualy ended up w/ a really good thanksgiving dinner. it wasnt turkey, but it was still damn good, and caryn was able to whip up some really good gravy from what we had. it was a pretty random thanksgiving. us, sitting in Syria of all places, with 4 other people, none of whom were american, eating chicken… but it was still really really damn cool!

happy thanksgiving peoples!


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