Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans! Or even non-Americans! JOIN DA FUN!
It only hit me today that this would be the first Thanksgiving I've ever spent without my family. We haven't always done the turkey-and-mashed-potatoes bit, but we'd always be together out of...habit. (And we kinda like each other, I suppose.) When we lived in Taiwan my school gave us a four-day weekend, which we would spend in Japan amidst the early Christmas decorations. Last year was possibly the first year I had spent Thanksgiving in the US, yet not with home cooked food. Instead my mum, brother and I joined my mum's uncle's family for a buffet dinner at their local country club.
There were craploads of food, but it was unfortunately not that great. Just gimme a home-baked pumpkin pie, dammit.
I tried to dig back further in my flickr account, but didn't find any photos from Thanksgiving 2004 (I do have a photo-less entry in case you're wondering. But beware; my writing from two years ago is on par with that of a squirrel missing an important chromosome). I did find some photos from my last visit to Vassar though.
...Annnnd, the memories come flooding back. I went upon the insistence of a few friends (Tom: "We're doing the Rocky Horror Picture Show!"; Jason: "Lee-san, come back!"; Megan: "I got you something from Japan!"), but it felt...weird. I guess I really didn't belong there. The campus. The edumuhcated-ness. The presence of fellow students and no one else. THE GODDAMN ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, which made me want to stab myself (or someone else) multiple times since that would be slightly less painful torture than watching the movie. (I tried to fucking flee the theater after my "friend" made me go onstage for being a RHPS virgin, but stayed after being convinced that the worst was over and I may as well tough it out. I also figured that I since I don't actually go to the school I never ever have to go back. And hey, I haven't; how lovely.)
Sorry, just venting. Different strokes for different folks. Or something like that
Oh, my main point (or something I was trying to convey) was that IT SNOWED! That photo is from November 13th. I really do like snow. Seeing it. Smelling it. Rolling around in it. If it's not dirty or full of pee.
My family is going to have a Thanksgiving-esque party on Sunday. Today I shall be alone or hang out with Mare. Last night my cousin Patrick was in town and invited me to his former homestay family's home one RER stop outside of Paris for dinner (with the couple who owns the house and two other foreigners that they're housing). Their house was amazing. Full of color, art, personality, ye know...life. The place I'm living in now is great too, but it's not the same. It's barely in the same universe. Then again, the couple had been living in their house for 20 years and have thus had quite a while to build up their massive collection of art, books of all kinds (wife is a photographer, thus lots and lots of art-related books), and unique room decorations. (You should've seen the bathroom. Cutest. Bathroom. Ever.)
Oh, the food! It was all simple in a delicious way. Foie gras and toast to start (not something they eat all the time, of course), an especially mustard-y salad of lettuce, pine nuts and avocado, some kind of white fish with a butter-creme fraiche-lemon sauce, yellow rice with raisins and chopped hazelnuts, soft, runny cheese and baguette slices, and...[breathe in]...a cake from Pierre Herme, contributed by my awesome cousin (actually, our dads are cousins, so whatever that relationship is...I'm not sure). He's certainly one of the cooler relatives I've ever met (which means a lot to me since I'm not close to any of them), but he's also the only relative I've ever spent time with by myself since we just both happened to be in Paris.
It was my first French family dinner and it meant a hell of a lot to me, probably more than the couple could know. For one thing, I had to attempt to understand and speak more French than I ever had to in my life. I was surprised by how much I could understand, frankly. My pronounciation and grammar were terrible, but the couple (who knew English, but wanted to keep things as French as possible) was used to talking to people who didn't know much French and spoke more slowly than they naturally would.
It's weird to think about how different things would be if I had lived with a French family from the beginning of September (for those who don't know, I live with an American family). I would know much more French and would feel more confident about speaking it (which in turn would make me feel more comfortable about living in Paris). The downside would be that I wouldn't have met all the great people that I've come in contact with by living where I am now and it would've been harder to get on my feet during my first weeks here.
...whatever. I'm thankful that everything turned out the way it did. Things are peachy.
(In case you are sad from the lack of food porn, I have a "real" entry coming up soon. Anyone who keeps up with my flickr should know what the entry will be about. :] )